When I first sat down with Heroes of Loot, I absolutely despised the game; the whole quest for loot concept that has popped up in recent years with games like Borderlands had turned me off, and I thought that Heroes of Loot would be the same case. However, the longer I sat with it, the more the game grew on me.
As I said, the main drive behind Heroes of Loot is a loot system; with it dropping after you kill a monster – be it in the form of gold, blue gems or purple diamonds – and you have so many seconds to collect it before it disappears. All the dungeons are randomly generated, and within each level, you must hunt down the monster that has the key to the exit; however, you don’t know which that is.
There are four heroes you choose from, each with varying stat points allocated to strength, experience and magic. The “class” system the game has was one of the most enjoyable aspects I experienced during my time. I had messed around with two classes early on and thought the difference to be minimal, but as I expanded my horizons and played with the other two, I found that they weren’t just different skins – they all played differently and were for different play styles. The strength stat is pretty obvious (how strong you are), along with the experience (how quickly you level up), but the magic may not be as obvious. Magic isn’t very useful in the early levels, but as enemies become more numerous and tougher, it certainly is useful. Because of this, a character with a high magic stats isn’t necessary, because, when you’re going to need it, you’ll have reached a decent experience level; I would suggest going with a hero with more of a strength build, like the Warrior.
Combat in the game is very simple – something I feel conflicted by. Most enemies can be killed in one hit, and the other monsters – which are unlocked by raising the dungeon’s difficulty through playthroughs – are the more challenging, yet satisfying ones to kill. However, as you enter the later dungeons, it feels that instead of creating cooler, tougher “bosses” for you to fight, the game just throws hordes of monsters at you instead. It’s frustrating and feels like a lazy design.
The loot system in Heroes of Loot may be the biggest problem this game has. You’ll see monsters drop lots of gold, but once you walk over and collect it, it’s only worth one gold more than those measly single gold coins. It creates a disconnect from the nature and goal of the game, which is in the title. The whole point of these types of games is to collect as much loot as possible, and when you think you’re about to get a sizable amount and it isn’t, you are left with an empty feeling and unsatisfied. Furthermore, Heroes of Loot has two separate point values: one for your overall score value and the other for your gold count. The first score is impacted by the enemies you kill and the number of blue gems and purple diamonds picked up. The second score, is determined by, you guessed it, the gold you accrue. This system seems out of place, though. I felt that Heroes of Loot should have combined the two, the same way Spelunky does. Again, the point is to get as much loot as possible, but the divided scores create a weird state; you don’t know which you want to be the highest. Honestly, combine the two and make the price of items in the store reflect that change, and it would have been the perfect system.
While the loot system may be frustrating, the quest system really shines. To take one on, you enter a door marked with a “?” and a guy will give you a random objective to complete within a limited time period. If you do so, you get some random item. The quest system really changes up how you’ll play a dungeon. Instead of leaving as soon as you get the key, you’ll find yourself looking for certain enemies or trapped companions so you can have a better edge later on.
Lastly, Heroes of Loot may be hit or miss for most gamers; it will either appeal to you after your first playthrough or not. On that note, if it doesn’t sound like it would be for you, I wouldn’t suggest it. There is little in the game that will motivate you to continue playing after beating it. There are collectibles sprinkled throughout play that you can collect – each time you get six, it permanently increases that specific character’s starting experience level by one. All in all, once it’s done, you won’t miss the game.
In the end, I enjoyed my time with Heroes of Loot, despite its dissatisfying loot system. There are a few positives, like its quests. However, you’ll find your self finished when the game’s finally been beaten and ready to move on to something that is more fulfilling and rewarding.