Game: Heroes of Newerth
Genre: Action RTS
Platform: PC, Mac
Review By: Illmatic
Defense of the Ancients, or DotA as it’s known in the Warcraft 3 community, has changed the way we play PvP (Player vs Player) style games. Since its initial release we have seen a few of these PvP style games springing left and right. Two of the most popular of these types games are League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth. While very similar in gameplay, Heroes of Newerth has a lot more to offer, for a much fairer price.
Gameplay: Heroes of Newerth is a unique game in the sense that it is not played like most games. To describe the gameplay in Heroes of Newerth to someone who has never played this type of game is rather challenging, but I will try my best. Heroes of Newerth, or HoN as it is known by its large user-base, is PvP (Player vs Player) Action RTS (Real Time Strategy). The rules are simple, yet challenging to master. There are two teams at the beginning of the match, each composed of either 3 or 5 players a piece, depending on what mode you choose. Before each match you are given a choice of selecting a Hero, this will be your character for the current match. When the match begins, you have a few options:
*Purchase Items- When you start the game and when you die, you re-spawn at your camps spawn pool. This spawn pool is used for a few things. If you are low on health or mana, the spawn pool will replenish these for you at a slow but constant pace. The spawn pool is also the place where you upgrade your Hero. Upgrading your Hero costs in game currency. You can gain this currency a couple of ways; by slaying enemy creeps or enemy Hero’s or simply by standing still. Standing still grants you currency at a slow pace so it is recommended that you find other means of gaining currency. There are tons of items to choose from. These items improve your Hero’s agility, attack speed, attack damage, overall health etc. After playing for a while you will realize that not all items benefit every character the same way. Each character is unique and should have their own strategy when using them.
*Farm Creeps- When you start the match your character will be at Level 1. As you slay more and more Hero’s or creeps you gain XP (Experience Points), which allows you to level up, granting your character better overall stats. The act of “farming” is to play very defensively only attacking the enemy creeps, and trying to avoid the enemy Hero as much as possible. This tactic will help you level up quicker netting you some sweet coin that you can spend on items. Your character can only reach level 25, after that you will no longer level up, however you still gain currency.
*Feed The Other Team- If you are one of those types of players who rushes into a game and goes straight for kills, you might have a hard time accepting the fact that you will be having your ass handed to you…A LOT. Whats worse is that your team will eventually get pissed off at you for “feeding the other team”. Feeding is the act of allowing the enemy Hero to slay you, giving them XP and currency, allowing them to level up quicker, which in turn will end up costing you the match. Feeding is frowned upon in the HoN community and in some cases will end up getting you kicked from a match.
Of these three options, I choose to farm for a while so that my character is strong enough to enter battle against an enemy Hero. After you have leveled up your character so that he is pretty strong, you can start attacking the opposing team. There are always three pathways (lanes) in which you can take in order to get to your enemies base. Along these lanes there are turrets and enemy creeps that you will have to take out before you get to the actual base. Once you get passed all the turrets and you are inside the enemy base, you can start wreaking havoc. This is usually when the other team starts typing GG (good game) into the built in chat window, signifying that they realize they are getting PWND and acknowledging your skills. After the enemy base is destroyed a small cinematic will play and you will be greeted with a VICTORY.
Characters: One thing HoN definately has an advantage over League of Legends is its character selection. All of the characters in HoN are unlocked. This means that once you pay the small price for the game you can put your wallet away without the worry of having to fork out more money at a later time. There a lot of characters to choose from, each with their own class type and each requiring a strategy. You wont get very far playing a Tank character as a Ranged character. It is best to invest some time in one character and master that character. This will improve your overall skill and reward you with satisfying game play.
Graphics: The graphics in HoN are done really well. The theme of the game is dark so naturally the levels are bit darker when compared to similar games in the same category. The environments look nice and you can tell that the developers took their time when creating the map layouts. One thing I want to point out is map size. The size of the maps in HoN are HUGE. This is another area where HoN walks all over League of Legends, both graphically and map size.
Sound: The sounds in HoN really get you pumped. The sounds of the Hero’s voices are done well as are their attack sounds. Each character has their own personality and each character has their own voice work. The announcer in the game is also pleasing to listen to. There is nothing better to hear than “BLOODLUST”, as you are mowing down your enemies.
Controls: The game has your typical RTS controls. You navigate around the map with the mouse, pointing and clicking where you would like your character to move or attack. There are a few hot-keys in the game that you will use a lot. The QWER keys have all your Hero’s spells mapped to them.
Wishes: One thing I wish is that the items menu was a little more intuitive. When you open up the menu to buy items it is very intimidating and at times frustrating. I found myself not knowing what to buy for my character because of this. Another thing I would change are the characters. Most people who have played DotA have seen most of these characters, or at least very similar characters.
TQ Bottom Line: If you are looking for a fresh new game to spend countless hours in, then look no further than HoN. The game is simple to understand but very difficult to master. This is not a game for quitters or wussies. If you are used to easy to master games like League of Legends then look elsewhere, HoN is for big boys…and girls.
Final Score: 4 out of 5 Michelas!
Heroes of Newerth
Developer: S2 Games
Publisher: S2 Games