Heroes and Legends: Conquerors of Kolhar Preview – MOUSE n JOYPAD

Heroes and Legends:

Conquerors of Kolhar Preview



Heroes and Legends: Conquerors of Kolhar is an turn-based action RPG. The game hasn’t officially been released yet, so some of the problems I found may or may not have been fixed by release date.

The player starts with three heroes, Yaha (the warrior), Benedict (the mage) and Allen (the cleric), but will gain more as the game goes on. The player can only control three heroes at any given time, however, so they will have to swap them out should they want a change. But I find myself in the same position as other games with this formula – if I’ve spent all my time progressing as the same characters, why would I switch to weaker ones as the game gets harder? Unless I was to backtrack and level up one of the benchwarmers so they were the same level as my main team.

Currently there are two game modes: story and challenge. The plot is uninspired at best and downright cliché at worst. Your heroes set out on a quest to find a MacGuffin from an ancient civilisation. Once in their possession, they then learn it’s a key to “Cataclysm”. I spoil this with no remorse since this is the plot of around 40 different films, books and games. Some attempts at character development have been made, since each character have their own (for want of a better word) personalities. Yaha, for instance is always eager for battle, and never backs down from a challenge. Benedict complains about everything, and just wants to be back with his wizard buddies, and Allen has a fierce devotion to the queen of the land. With these three distinct personalities, one could only imagine the sharp and witty banter between them, right? Wrong. Characters communicate through speech bubbles, and only during “cut scenes” (which are speech bubbles with an image of who’s talking below it).

Challenge mode is exactly how it sounds- a random collection of enemies to fight. This obviously takes place away from the main plot, but one thing confuses me: why do my characters start from level 1? I understand that it’s supposed to be a challenge, but surely I’d like to have my characters carry over from the story mode if that’s where I’ve put all my time? And what if I chose to level my character from challenge mode in preparation for the story mode? You can’t get any special loot from challenge mode and use it in story mode so frankly, it’s a waste of time.

Now the gameplay isn’t exactly turn based. Each character have their own timers for when they auto attack. These timers can be upgraded to reduce the time between attacks. Each character also has 3 special abilities, depending on the character. Yaha can perform one powerful attack, a battle cry to make the enemy flinch, and a provocation move to make all the enemies focus on her. Benedict can increase his accuracy, shoot a bolt of fire, and weaken his opponent’s attacks. Allen can heal the whole group, increase the group’s defence, and sharply increase his own attack power. Each power have their own timers too. While this may sound fast paced (since everything is happening in real time) this might be the most tiring RPG I’ve ever played. Each area consists of a ridiculous amount of stages (20+), each with 3 enemies to defeat. This can become very monotonous. Also, due to the relative weakness of the enemies, the first half of the game practically plays itself. You may need to use an ability once per stage (probably the heal all to keep everyone alive) but other than that you just watch your characters make progress. This is the first game I’ve ever played where I’ve thought “Oh. Look at that. I levelled up. Yay, I guess.”

I think I know why this game is a bit difficult to be invested in. Heroes and Legends has next to no animation. At all. The most you are going to get are the breathing animations of the main trio and the white lines slashing to show that someone is either attacking or being attacked. The enemies are completely static. You can change your armour which changes the stats you have, but if the armour visibly changes then I didn’t register it either because it was a minimal change or I was so unfocused I couldn’t care less.

This game also uses a strange conveyor belt inventory system. After each wave of enemies, you will gain some loot. You have limited slots, and after your inventory “bar” is filled, anything at the end will be lost for good. This system makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Who (in games and real life) ever stuff their pockets so full that whatever went in first somehow disappears? This isn’t even “video game logic” it’s just annoying. Heroes and Legends implements a forging system, where you take all the stuff you don’t want in your inventory and recycle it to raw materials to craft it into useful items. But when you have about five or six slots for items, you aren’t going to generate much raw material, are you? This in turn makes you unprepared for the second half of the game, where the difficulty ramps up.

In the game’s defence, it was created by a very small team (Cuve) of around five people. There’s a decent variety of monsters, though there’s not really any deviation from “hit it until it fades away”. The artwork is decent enough, but leaves me wanting more. It would probably have been in their best interest to animate the enemies too. The soundtrack is nice, if a little repetitive.

Overall, this would have made a very decent Flash game. As it stands, I cannot recommend to fantasy or RPG fans, since you have very little involvement at any given time.