Heroes of Ruin is an ambitious action role-playing title that n-Space has created for the Nintendo 3DS. Having a major focus on multiplayer functionally – including online co-op, voice chat, daily challenges and more – this is the only online dungeon crawler for the 3DS to date. So does Heroes of Ruin provide that fun online dungeon crawler experience like other titles or does this title fall to ruin?
Starting off on a ship to the land of Veil with the protagonist of your choice, your ship is soon destroyed by the Leviathan of the sea. After surviving the attack, and a brief tutorial section, you soon find yourself in the city of Nexus. Upon arriving you must start finding a cure for the Ruinlord of Nexus named Ataraxis, who is cursed and will soon die. As the story continues, you’ll uncover more secrets of the Ruinlord and the ongoing War of Ruin conflict.
While the story is your typical fantasy epic, it actually isn’t that interesting. The story does get somewhat confusing from time to time, but it does come full circle during the final moments of Heroes of Ruin. With a bland storytelling element and confusing plot from time to time, it is hard for Heroes of Ruin to keep the player’s full attention.
As for gameplay, Heroes of Ruin is an action role-playing game. Like most games from the genre, you can pick from four different classes that are available, each with predetermined races. The vindicator is a warrior/paladin combo with the race of a lion-humanoid; the human gunslinger will act as the rouge using luck and ranged attacks, while the alchitect is an eleven magician that uses magic based attacks. Finally, the Savage is a troll looking character that uses brute force, making it mostly similar to a berserker class. While these classes have predetermined races, the customization is lacking and is shallow at best.
After you’ve selected your preferred class, you are then thrown into the world of the Veil. Gameplay is your traditional action role-playing game hack and slash affair, similar to Diablo and other titles. It’s essentially it’s: start quest, kill monster, collect loot, finish quest, rinse and repeat. There are a lot of monsters and quests to pursue though, along with tons of loot to collect. In Heroes of Ruin, the quests are generally quite boring and tedious after the first hour – really nothing special or epic. On the other hand, Heroes of Ruin will easily hand over loot items like it’s candy and at times you’ll be in such an abundance you’ll have to sort out and sell around 90% of that collected loot.
Just like any other action role-playing title, levelling up your character is essential. Leveling up grants you a skill point for their respective skill tree and three points towards health, offense, or defense stats. Each class will have three unique skill trees which will give players active or passive skills to use in combat. Nearly all skills, no matter which class it is, can easily takedown any foe. There isn’t much of a challenge in Heroes of Ruin, even the weakest class which is the alchitect can easily pile on the body count.
The main focus of Heroes of Ruin is the multiplayer aspect. Players can take on the adventure solo or gather a group of 3 other friends or strangers. Playing solo might be good from time to time, but will get boring. Playing with friends can easily make the adventure more bearable. Sadly, the voice chat feature that uses the 3DS microphone isn’t good for communication. The trade feature is simple to use, especially with the amount of loot you’ll be swamped in. Heroes of Ruin even uses the StreePass and SpotPass functionally with StreetPass being used for trading items with other players, while the SpotPass is used for daily challenges to give Heroes of Ruin a longer life-span.
Presentation wise, the graphics aren’t pretty. Character models are stiff and blocky, all four environments look the same, and the still images during cutscenes lack any artistic feel. As for the 3D feature, Heroes of Ruin offer some good 3D textures, but can easily hurt the player eyes if left on for long gameplay sessions. The voice acting is hard to hear from the Nintendo’s 3DS speakers, but after putting on headphones to listen, the voice acting is terrible to listen. Even worst, the soundtrack doesn’t offer that epic or fantasy feel.
Heroes of Ruin is an ambitious title that take advantage of Nintendo’s 3DS features. Sadly, the forgettable story, easy combat, and terrible overall presentation makes this package quite shallow. There are some redeeming qualities like multiplayer is can be fun with friends, the online community is active, tons of quest to do, some of the features that Heroes of Ruin takes advantage works, and the 3D is good. Overall if you’re looking for a decent dungeon crawler, Heroes of Ruin might be around your corner.
Audio/Visual – 1/5: Heroes of Ruin isn’t the best looking, nor isn’t the best sounding game in the 3DS library. Sadly, the 3D works great and does make the terrible graphics pop.
Gameplay – 4/5: It’s your traditional action role-playing game with character selection, leveling up, dungeon-crawling, loot, and more. Combat wise, Heroes of Ruin is a tad on the easy side especially for those hardcore dungeon crawler fans.
Innovation – 3/5: Heroes of Ruin does good work on some of the 3DS capabilities like using StreetPass, SpotPass, and having a solid online feature. Sadly, I wish the microphone feature worked a little better.
Value – 3/5: Heroes of Ruin can be completed within five hours. There is some value if you have friends to join with.
Final Score: 3/5