Heroes of Hammerwatch Review
Heroes of Hammerwatch is a rogue-lite action-adventure. Explore and battle your way through procedurally generated levels on your own or with up to 3 friends.
People become swiftly hooked on the endless loop of procedural levels, the constant player improvements and unlocks for character skills, the steep challenge that gets easier to manage even as it gets harder the more you level up. It’s the obvious reason why Crackshell chose to make Heroes of Hammerwatch, the sequel to their top-down RPG, simply called Hammerwatch, into a rogue-lite. Now you’ve got the same simple but addictive gameplay of the previous game, only on a never-ending loop of looting, levelling up, building/upgrading and progressing by going on runs to collect ore, gold and XP.
Heroes of Hammerwatch: Ultimate Edition begins with you choosing a character from a diverse line-up of classes, naming them and altering their appearance (a welcome touch in a pixel art game), before heading to the town of Outlook. This is your base of operations, and while you adventure through four locations in the Dungeons and death you will loose your loot and gear, the upgrades you’ve unlocked in Outlook will remain.
So to begin with, you’ll descend into the mines near town to search for gold and ore, and complete quests for the townsfolk such as retrieving lost items. Death is almost assured, especially in the early game. None of the classes are particularly robust, but I found the Paladin with his (or her) shield to be the easiest, just don’t get too overwhelmed. I have done a cool little Heroes of Hammerwatch puzzle guide which is worth the read and has some decent tips.
Armed with a standard attack and one special ability, with others unlocked later, you’re job is to clear the mines, collect as much treasure and ore as you can, and ultimately defeat the boss. You lose everything you’ve collected on death, though you can send it up to town in a handy cart once per level of the mine at a cost of been taxed. The risk-reward system is pretty neat, but the cautious won’t take the risk at all at first. You’ll only have one health potion and very few chances to refill it, and one tiny error can ruin your entire day. The joys of roguelite games.
The Ultimate Edition comes with all the previous released DLC, which includes extra characters like the Witch Hunter, and other areas to explore, though you’re better off starting in the mines as the DLC’s are intended for slightly higher level characters. As you gather more and more ore you’ll be able to unlock additional services in town and upgrade your buildings, which in turn will boost your chances of survival.
Multiplayer elevates Heroes of Hammerwatch from a fun but frustrating experience to something much more playable and enjoyable
Another way to last And survive longer is to team up with others online. Up to four of you can delve into the dungeons for loot and glory, and the action becomes more frantic but easier to manage when there are others there to take some of the heat. Multiplayer elevates Heroes of Hammerwatch from a fun but frustrating experience to something much more playable and enjoyable. It’s still good when played solo, but can be repetitive when you keep dying two levels down.
The Developers, Crackshell really don’t give you much direction or guidance when you first start, and for a while I was lost with a few things, like where to find the Book of Monsters etc or things like what luck in the game actually did.
In terms of presentation, the game has a fairly dated, and now extremely, common pixel art style but it does look authentic and has that 90s RPG feel and look to it which I think is great. It’s simple and it works.
An enjoyable little rogue-lite with a mountains upon mountains worth of replayability, several huge areas to explore and a line-up of diverse classes to choose from, Heroes of Hammerwatch is the perfect game for killing half an hour alone or several hours with friends or randoms. It lacks guidance for newcomers, but it’s definitely worth checking out if you need another rogue-lite fix. I highly recommend it.