First Impressions - Rough... but a Fun Ride!



  • Hey everyone! I am Arcie. During the Winter Sale on Steam, I decided to grab Kings and Heroes. The game has been on my Wishlist for some time because it genuinely looked like a game my friends and I would have some fun with. I convinced my brother and a few other friends to get the game. I have now tried 4 different classes and played the first two dungeon types and feel comfortable with making a 'First Impressions' post.

    Graphics
    The graphics are very hit or miss. It's strange, really. The textures are very nice at times but suffer that issue where they don't all load at the same time, so weird blob things become people or trees or fences. Overall, when the game is loaded, it's not half-bad. Character models, on the other hand, are a bit limiting and stiff. There doesn't seem to be any idle animations for any of the characters and clothing doesn't seem to move naturally. I have always been of the mind that graphics don't make the game, but they sure can break one if they are poorly executed.

    Gameplay
    Overall, I enjoy the gameplay. It feels a bit samey, but the game's difficulty settings and numerous dungeons allow for a lot of customization for a group to hone in their preferred settings and provide some solid replayability. Unfortunately, the customization of the dungeons is vastly outweighed by the horrible AI facing these poor enemies. At one point, my buddy, who was our group's Wizard, was shooting the furthest back Archer. The 3 melee guys directly in between us and the Archer were just standing there, oblivious to the death quickly taking over their once comrade. Wolves don't hunt in packs, they are just random individual monsters occasionally standing with a spider or a rat. Pulls feel very MMO and less organic; pull the guy on the left far enough from the other guy so we only get one. After that guy is dead we can grab the next guy, etc. Enemies get tired of chasing after a while and just reset. Enemies don't seem capable of traversing the complex dungeon terrain as they often get stuck at the bottom of a rock, allowing for simple sniping tactics. Also, agro skills from the Defender don't seem to actually hold agro.

    Character Customization
    Visual customization is pretty solid where it is currently at. Skill customization seems very limited at the moment. Each character has roughly 8 or 9 skills with 5 levels each.Those levels just modify the base numbers and don't do anything truly interesting. Gear boils down to numbers as well. Is this going to give me more Defense or more Hit points.There is no real customization, simply a tedious task of going to an NPC on the other side of town to learn a new skill every 4-8 levels.

    Presentation
    Very rough around the edges. Getting stuck on things is pretty common place. With no dungeon mapping system, it's very easy to get lost. There is no key binding other than the strange defaults provided. The game engine is horribly optimized, leaving textures often loading last and load screens excruciatingly long. Overall, the city is nice looking, but when it comes to things like user interface, instructions, etc, it needs a lot of polish.

    Controls
    The controls are very confusing at worst and nonsensical at best. The 'G' key should not be the USE key. Use in almost every action game is set to 'E' because it's accessible. I can't press G while moving and I sure as heck can't press F and keep myself between the enemy and my Wizard with my shield. These keys make no sense where they are. Block needs to be simple to hit. If you can't figure out the best place to put these keys, then let us, the community, figure it out! Give us the capabilities to reassign keys as we see fit. Also, small things like how to Trade and how to remove items from their skill bar should all be very obvious in the context sensitive menus.

    Overall
    We had a lot of fun with the dungeon delving. We will play it again and I don't regret the purchase. I would like to see this game get finished and polished to a diamond. As it stands, I think early access is hurting the game as it's not quite finished. Bugs are running rampant. For instance, Rats apparently don't reset their location when they begin the standard animation after being knocked back. Once they are knocked back, they play the animation, but the tracking is still following the players. Once the rat begins it's main attack animation again, it starts directly in front of the player, usually kicking the player in the face.

    I want to see this game succeed and hope my thoughts are coherent as I am falling asleep. Get some polish on this game, give us some context to these dungeons, who these random villains are hiding at the bottom of the depths of these adventures. Until then, I am sure my friends and I will occasionally visit, but distracting us from games with WAY more polish in a similar game is going to be near impossible.


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