Kings and Heroes is a World of Warcraft inspired online RPG dungeon crawler. Created by a small studio called Industry games it’s easy to see where they draw their influences from. In my time playing through the title, I experienced several bugs and the world felt surprisingly empty. All the makings of an online dungeon crawler are here but the game misses the mark with pulling it all together. Bloomy graphics and a strong intro gain interest early, but holding it is almost impossible with the bugs and generally unpolished feel.
(Character Selection Screen)
Before I can summarize the ORPG I have to talk about the litany of bugs and running issues. I played Kings and Heroes on my custom rig and still faced constant issues. Frame-rate drops were common and I found myself wondering what was a visual hiccup and what was an artistic direction. From holes in the sky-box or a small jump getting me stuck in a tree, bugs were omnipresent. Enemies sometimes fall through the floor, while still attacking you and you can clip the camera through the walls, showing the rest of the level. While exploring the overworld, I kept getting spontaneously teleported to the main town. With no explanation as to why, this was especially frustrating. All the little bugs weren’t game breaking, but they were annoying.
Shiny but Not Polished:
For the most part, the game rendered decently and the environments are ok looking. Dungeons in particular look better than the hub world. Even though all the dungeons are procedural, they all seem well put together, the cave themed dungeons deserve a special mention. The hub overworld seems haphazardly slapped together, especially in comparison to the random dungeons. Perhaps the best location of the game is the respawn area where you find yourself after dying. It feels like a hellish underworld, and really makes death feel more impactful and game changing.
(Entrance to the main hub)
Going Through the Motions:
There are quest givers, but they don’t really tell you where to go in order to do the quests. Unlike most RPG’s, which usually handle questing by giving you a journal entry on what they wanted you to do in addition to some lore or fluff. Heroes and Kings simply give you an objective, with no details. Once a quest is accepted you’re told to go to a place, do a thing, and gather the stuff, that’s it. It just tells you what you have left to gather, or kill. The NPC’s aren’t really fleshed out. They’ll ask you how you’re doing, but don’t have any other options for dialogue in the text. The shops all feel fairly useless since rewards are plentiful and it’s easy to find anything you could need in the dungeons. With such an unrewarding interaction loop you’ll be anxious to get back to the fighting and questing.
Questing and Crawling:
At the start you are given seven different races to choose from including: Orc, Goblin, Human, Dwarf, Elf, Amarian and Halfling. Each start with different advantages to your character from common RPG stat categories, Charisma, Constitution, Dexterity, Intelligence, Strength, and Wisdom. All the usual archetypes are here. Each of the five classes have a somewhat differing play-style from ranged weapons and casters, to healers and tanks. The classes are: Champion, Ranger, Cleric, Wizard, and Rogue. After choosing from these options you decide your ethical alignment. It’s standard D&D with the options ranging from lawful good all the way to chaotic evil. The game play was not affected by this choice as much as you would think. The combat itself is a mixed bag. It uses a hot bar system, showing all of your abilities, similar to many MMORPG’s, which Heroes and Kings seems to be trying to emulate. None of the combat abilities seem powerful, even if they end up killing enemies, the animations never feel like they have any weight behind them. Many will feel right at home with the controls but the overall feel is loose and unimaginative.
Crafting and Crawling:
Beyond the classic way to obtain equipment in the dungeons, you can also craft items in the hub world. There are currently five crafting skills available. They are: Weaponsmith, Armorsmith, Alchemy, Leathersmith, and Tailor. A sixth, Enchanting, is planned, but it is not yet available. Each of these skills have a trainer around the hub world that will sell you recipes for what you can craft. You can also take the items you find in the dungeons and break them down into base items that you can use to create new items. While these skills seem great to have, at least at their early levels, you usually end up finding better gear in dungeons than you can create.
Kings and Heroes is Industry games first entry to the market. Overall the game is decent and enjoyable to play. It’s a smaller and more affordable option for those that want to scratch the ORPG itch. In its current state it functions, but any eager gamers should still wait until the next few updates go live before purchasing.
Kings and heroes is an online single or multi-player RPG dungeon crawler
Create a character from 5 classes and 6 races, all common fantasy fare
The game has procedurally generated dungeons.
Kings and Heroes has very little context beyond the hub town “Everdale”, and you have to scour the NPC’s in the main town to find anything else.
The combat is the best part of the game and the bosses are all relatively challenging, but all feel like rehashed assets
Nerdy Stuff: My Specs
CPU: AMD Ryzen 1700
- THE GOOD
- Graphics aren’t fancy
- Similar interface to WOW
- Lite crafting system
- THE BAD
- Very Glitchy
- Rushed feeling despite the development time.
A good alternative to those who can’t or won’t shell out for the real deal. Just don’t expect much perfection in its current state.