Kings and Heroes – Review
Sometimes the name of a game just sums up everything about it in a good tight package. This can be beneficial to some games, and extremely detrimental to others. Kings and Heroes, unfortunately, isn’t an exciting name and sounds extremely generic. But is this a diamond in the rough, or does it keep true to its boring namesake?
Kings and Heroes starts out like a typical MMO. Go kill some mobs, go talk to this NPC, go collect some plants. It’s extremely basic, the first few hours are a typical grind and gather introduction to the game and it’s systems. Although if you can weather those first few hurdles you’ll reach the meat of the game.
Kings and Heroes isn’t a typical MMO, although it can fool you at first. Beneath its generic outer shell is an extremely inventive (although not unique) dungeon system. Put this on top of its standard open world MMO trappings and you can find an extremely enjoyable game.
The meat of Kings and Heroes is its dungeons. Although there is a Huge 100 square km seamless world map to explore. Regardless, these dungeons are procedurally generated in a way very much like Diablo. The tilesets will be shuffled and each level of a dungeon will be randomly placed before you. No two dungeons will ever be the same, or at least feel the same. Instead of repeating the same dungeon for the Nth time, a party of up to 8 players can visit the same location with a different layout each time.
The bosses will also be different, which means they can drop different loot as well. This brings a sense of surprise and excitement to repeating the same dungeon run. Using tilesets of different designs makes each visit feels familiar but different enough to keep you wanting to come back for more. Add to this the ability to change the difficulty, which in turn makes better loot drop on harder difficulties, ensures a lot of variety time after time.
In Kings and Heroes, players can choose to create their avatar from one of seven different races. Each race has a unique look and in typical MMO fashion can be modified slightly. So what races can players be? First, we have the lizard men the Amarians, stout Dwarfs, majestic Elves, cunning Goblins, long-lived Halflings, borning humans, and mighty orcs.
After a player selects and customizes their character they will pick a class. This is by far one of the coolest features of the game. Not only do you pick your class, but you roll a set of dice to determine your starting stats akin to Dungeons and Dragons. They will be automatically assigned, but you can continue to roll until you get the stats you want. Players then choose their class from the fierce Warrior, holy Cleric, accurate Ranger, devilish Rogue, or the wise Wizard. Each class has it’s own unique abilities and starting weapons. The classes all fill the typical MMO archetypes.
The combat in Kings and Heroes is pretty vanilla. It’s what you’d come to expect from an action based MMO in 2018. Luckily you have no auto attack, so attacking is done with left clicking your mouse. Your more powerful abilities are tied to your number keys and each class has a unique “dodge” ability. The wizard teleports to get away from danger. The combat is extremely average, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun. It’s involved enough where players won’t just be facerolling keys while they scroll through Twitter on their phone. Also, enemies hitboxes are tight, so you can just aim near them like in Elder Scrolls Online and get counted for a hit. This is particularly fun with range classes as this forces players to actually be accurate with their shots.
Kings and Heroes can also be played in the first or third person perspective. Playing in the first person can be extremely enjoyable when exploring the open world or crawling through a deep dark dungeon. Again it’s more a matter of preference, but combat can be just as fun in the first person as in third. Playing in the first person can be a more intense and immersive experience. Letting players choose that style of play means that the developers have to make several design decisions have in order to support and amplify that effect. For example, one of my personal favorite features is instead of queuing up for dungeons from a tab, players and groups will visit a tavern and sit at a table. Surrounded by ale and food this gives the feeling that you and your party are a group of adventures like in Dungeons and Dragons.
Kings and Heroes can be fun. Getting together with your friends and running dungeons endlessly while collecting loot to grow your character is almost addicting. The time will melt off the clock as you explore deeper and deeper into dungeons, smashes all foes you stand in your way. The open world questing is tired and repetitive, and not innovative enough to stand apart from the countless MMO’s populating the market today. But Kings and Heroes is worth it, it brings back that joy of sitting around a table with your buddies and delving into a dungeon while you roll dice.
Kings and Heroes isn’t a head turner by any stretch of the imagination. The game has that plastic sheen to everything in its world. The rocks, people, plants, weapons all look like they came from a box filled with Fisher Price toys. Although Kings and Heroes pulls it off well, the aesthetic is consistent throughout the world.
Sadly, I did experience a number of graphical and technical bugs. When rolling dice to create my character the flash of light that is supposed to happen would just black my screen out totally. A cool event was ruined by a lame graphical bug. Also, I did get stuck in the environment a handful of times. The world is built with a specific path in mind to reach certain areas, so don’t try wall jumping up a mountain like in Skyrim.
Story always takes a back seat in most MMOs. Sadly, Kings and Heroes is not the exception faring way worse than even the most basic MMOs. The game is plagued with generic quest text and all around boring story beats. What really matters though is the stories you experience with your group of friends while digging into the deep randomized dungeons. I found it’s more fun to look at Kings and Heroes as a digital sandbox and create my own stories with a group of friends. Although this doesn’t make up for the lack of engaging story beats through the game.
With its unique dungeon feature, Kings and Heroes has more legs than it seems at first. Running the same dungeon is never actually the same. Even if your just dead set on trying to get better loot, speedrunning dungeons is fun. More often than not just blazing through dungeons will be less fun than taking time with them. Regardless, players can sink countless hours exploring the open world map and doing generic quests or delving into the endless amount of dungeons hunting for rare gear.
Generic is the best way to describe Kings and Heroes. This doesn’t mean it’s a bad game though! Kings and Heroes is fun. Getting together with your friends and running dungeons endlessly while collecting loot to grow your character is almost addicting. The time will melt off the clock as you explore deeper and deeper into dungeons, smashes all foes you stand in your way. The open world questing is tired and repetitive, and not innovative enough to stand apart from the countless MMO’s populating the market today. But Kings and Heroes is worth it, it brings back that joy of sitting around a table with your buddies and delving into a dungeon while you roll dice.
Note: GameOctane Editor Jason Germino received a code for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
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+ Action based combat
+ Awesome dungeon system
- Boring quest system
- Generic art style