Dubbed by its developers as a mix of Diablo and The Binding of Isaac, Hero Siege [$2.99] is a dual-stick shooter that immediately has big shoes to fill. With a simplified combat system combined with a load of randomization systems, Hero Siege may pick up some aspects from those titles in terms of theory, but not so much in terms of implementation. Still, while the action-RPG hybrid may not live up to the games that it’s inspired by, Hero Siege is still an enjoyable romp through a 16-bit styled randomized world with plenty of enemies to dispatch.
As an action-RPG with dual-stick controls, Hero Siege has your hero taking on a set wave of enemies before a boss which allows you to move on to the next arena map. In addition to taking on throngs of baddies, players can also explore secondary dungeons that include simplistic puzzles and platforming elements in addition to enemies. Players can earn gold to purchase in-game temporary power-ups and randomized potions can be found and quaffed that can do a wide variety of effects (both permanent and temporary). Despite all these nuances, combat is the name of the game, and Hero Siege is, at its core, a simple action-packed dual stick shooter.
While the combat system is pretty simplistic, there are a few things I really like about Hero Siege that make it a little more than a mindless dual-stick shooter. For starters, the game features a decent progression system for each character with a leveling system, stat upgrades and class-unique traits that persist beyond individual runs. In addition, a large collection of artifacts (that bestow assistance only for that run) as well as a decent randomization system meant that every game I fired up had some differences. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it as robust as Diablo (as the developers have made no qualms stating), but it’s certainly a welcome addition.
I’m also a big fan of the game’s visual system. With a style emulating the 16-bit games of old, Hero Siege ups the ante with loads of explosions, projectiles, and enemies on screen at the same time. Sure, the this sort graphical theme has been done before, but I think Hero Siege nails it pretty well. There were a few annoying occasions where there were so many explosions on screen that it would mask traps and enemies, but it wasn’t a game breaker.
A more significant issue with Hero Siege is the simple fact that combat has a tendency to become monotonous. Despite the traits, artifacts, puzzles and loads of different enemies, playing Hero Siege inevitably devolves into moving away from the throngs of enemy waves while launching projectiles (good luck if you want to play as the close-quarter combat Viking) to take them out. There’s very little strategy in actually taking on enemies and bosses, and the stat customizability is too limited to really adjust to a player’s style. That’s not to say that it isn’t fun, but it there’s tons of potential for Hero Siege to be more than what it is.
This is particularly true with the game’s current presentation issues. There’s little in terms of story and stat tutorials and, more importantly, Hero Siege currently lacks a ‘save state’ feature. I also encountered a few bugs indicative of a game still in development. Still, developer Panic Art Studios has been active in our forums and have already quashed the more significant issues. Another bright spot is the game’s IAP system, which is completely optional and mainly focused on appearance options that don’t really impact gameplay.
Hero Siege may be a bit rough around the edges, but it’s still a fun dual-stick shooter with plenty of RPG elements that give it more meat than your typical action game. Even with the concerns regarding the combat system, I think there’s still enough longevity in its RPG and Item systems to be worth an investment in both time and money. If you’re in the market for a new dual-stick shooter, definitely give Hero Siege a try.
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