Gods and Heroes for the PC is published and developed by Heatwave Interactive, best known for developing Mobile games and applications. They snatched up Gods and Heroes back in 2008 when Perpetual shut its doors and have been developing the game further ever since. They have been improving the game play along with the graphics and sound to become more of an up to date MMORPG. If you believe the name of the game rings a bell, then you are correct as you are probably thinking back to an E3 conference back in 2006 when it was originally announced. Whilst the original incarnation of the game only went as far as a Beta Version for various technical and business reasons, even back then the game earned raves, including nods from Best of Show from MMO sites Allakazam and TenTonHammer.
Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising is one of the full scale, action packed multi-player online adventure game, which gives the players the opportunity to immerse into Roman Mythology. Players step into a hero’s sandals to play as a Demi-God sent to complete quests and destroy a pantheon of gods in order to protect the original Roman God family (Zeus, Poseidon etc). You are also able to command minions while seeking favour from the gods, testing them in the great fight to save Rome once and for all. These Minions are gathered throughout the game play; they range from a priest type healer who willingly heals you throughout fights to ensure that you are not killed in battle to a huge behemoth who will have the ability to do some tanking. There are a total of 130 minions to collect from various destinations throughout the game. The amount of minions you can control at any one time is limited to a maximum of four, although the raiding parties would normally be limited to 5 in Gods and Heroes jumps to 25 AI and player controlled characters. These brave warriors are sent in to combat against their ancient enemy the Teaching gods, who have returned to collapse the empire and take vengeance on the Olympian gods to whom they were once conquered by.
One of the newer aspects of the game is that each player will receive an instance home kingdom. It will require a lot of fixing up to begin with, but the further you progress in the game over time you will be able to build it back up and customize your homestead to return it to the pristine state it was before the angry gods brought hell upon it. Not only will it be a show place where you can invite your friends to come look at your pad, but it will also give you different in-game advantages from using different structures.
Before you can play the game you will have to pick which character you would prefer to play as the choices are Gladiator, Mystic, Priest or Soldier. Once you have chosen your character class you need to choose which of the two associated Gods you wish to worship. For instance I chose to play as the soldier, this gave me the options to play as Mars or Minerva and I chose Mars. After the selection of your god you can then customise your character to the way you like, once you have completed the customisation you then go to the starting area of the game which will take you through the tutorial.
The game then sets off how you expect, as you’re taught the fine art of walking around the areas, talking to people and accepting quests. Like all other MMOs Gods and Heroes uses the typical number click combat system, but its how the game uses it and all elements surrounding it that makes it something different. Most of the attacks are fluid in relation to other attack carried out by enemies, mostly the humanoid ones. Your character progresses on its own in the beginning, as skills will improve and be learned over time through use or by reaching a specific level, and abilities will often appear on your list without you needing to do a thing. The skills are more gear oriented as they determine how efficient you are at using specific weaponry, or when you can learn to use certain weapons. Like if you choose to play as the Gladiator when you reach level 10 you will learn how to wield ropes. Abilities, meanwhile, are the actual moves you use to engage enemies in combat. It is a refreshing change not having to stop to go and find a trainer so that you can learn a new attack. Although if not checked often enough then you will find yourself spending time fighting and not using all of the moves that are available to you at the time. Beside the abilities being learned automatically without the involvement of the player, they will also automatically rank up and improve when you have reached the appropriate level.
Other than the skills and abilities there are options of using the Gods powers although these are different depending on which God you choose to worship. The Gods don’t mind helping you out through your quests and granting you the gift of accessing their powers, but they don’t want you to rely on them only. As you use the God powers, you will gradually be losing favour with your God and this will then prevent you from using the power again until you have appeased them. Appeasing the Gods can be done through questing and offering sacrifices to them. You are given your first God power during the early portion of the starting area, but all future powers have to be earned through the completion of special quests.
The most appealing system of all is the games minion system. The minions are all computer controlled companions, so they can be considered as a grouping system without needing an actual group. Although this is a MMORPG and you still have the option to team up with friends and join forces with other players, when it comes to tackling quests and generally going at it alone, the minion system is an astonishing addition.
Minions come in three categories infantry, skirmishers and spell casters and are a great way to help you with any weaknesses. As a soldier, my character was all about dealing damage, but if I underestimated an enemy I could find myself dying rather quickly because of my inability to heal myself, this was easily countered by using the minion system to equip myself with a spell caster healer, who had the job of providing me with much needed heals whenever I was in critical danger. However if you originally chose to play as the priest you would not require the extra heals and would require looking into minions like the skirmishers or infantry to keep the enemy busy and away from yourself as the priest can be a very vulnerable character to play.
The initial two minions you get are ideal to begin with as they are mainly there to help with your introduction into the system, but the more you explore the world and complete tasks the more advanced the minions you will be able to choose from become. An early quest has you collecting charms from the undead members of a family, which you are then required to use to cleanse the family’s altar. Once you have done this a spirit then appears before you to inform you that there is a survivor, upon finding the survivor they ask you to deal with the man and his goons who did this to their family. Once you have killed them and returned the proof, they will show you their gratitude by offering to join you as a minion. Not only are you gaining experience, money and items along the way but by being actively involved in the life of someone who ends up becoming one of your loyal minions you gain a instant attachment which makes you want to keep them with you and safe from harm at all times.
As you progress further into the game and minion system you see just how deep the system can become, there are quite a lot of things you can do to customize them and their actions. For example the healing minion has a slider to tell them when you would like them to heal; the more they heal you the more attention they get so I set it up so that they are only performing spells on you when your health is at 50% or below.
Each time you have a minion out on the field with you the more they level up but you have to remember to try and use them equally to ensure all minions are kept functional. Besides telling minions what spells to use and when, you can also command them to be as aggressive or passive as you would like and also which formation you would require them to use. During the early levels of the game you will only be able to have one minion helping you at one time but as your level gets higher so does the amount of minions available at any one time. This number can sometimes be limited depending on the zone you are in at the time. Sometimes you will be required to be on your own, although this is mainly for checking out your camp or one of the games main HUB cities.
Finally players will earn points to unlock new Feats, which are set up like a standard MMO progression tree. Besides helping your character improve, choosing certain Feats will also have an impact on your minions. You can access your minions at any given time in the game just by locating the nearest statue; this gives you the option to rearrange your minions to suit your needs. The statues are located in every area of the game.
The overall graphics of the game are extremely visually dynamic and fit in well with the theme. The detail in the areas is very thorough, which is what you would expect since the game is set in ancient Rome. During battles the graphics are very comprehensive with blood splatter that appears on certain animals throughout the game. The audio also fits in really well with the theme of the game. The animal sounds are incredibly realistic right down to the wolves howling.
Overall I myself am a first timer and I found that the game was very impressive and entertaining. I would recommend this game to all types of gamers from experienced MMORPG players to the first timers. The controls can seem complicated at first but if you take the time to find out the different controls before venturing off into the game you will find that they are straight forward. For experienced gamers if you have played World of Warcraft then you will find the controls are of the same layout. Although the target audience for this game is thirty plus, I would say the target audience will expand to the younger generations too.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.