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Daily and weekly objectives should, in theory, encourage players to stick with Heroes of Ruin, but even with the promise of rare items exclusively available to those who complete these tasks, it might not be enough for seasoned gamers who would prefer a more substantial challenge. It’s more of a short-term investment than some might be expecting, then, but while you’re caught in its irresistible loot cycle, you’ll probably find it very hard to put down.
As it stands, it's a pity more thought wasn't given to creating a decent challenge that suits different approaches. But while it may be more short-lived that it could have been, it's excellent fun while it lasts. The true strength of Heroes of Ruin is in the pleasing flexibility of the online experience - and it's a model Nintendo itself could learn a few things from.
All-in-all, Heroes of Ruin is a good bit of fun, marred by a couple of serious problems. The combat is dynamic and fluid, loot collecting is as addictive as ever, and online and multiplayer is done right. If only dungeons suffered from less repetition, the campaign was longer, and the inventory had been thoughtfully designed, it could have really shined. As it stands, Heroes of Ruin is unlikely to deserve a place in your gaming library. It's accessible for newcomers, but probably less interesting for genre veterans. On a long term basis the game's appeal wears thin and it does nothing to stand out from the crowd. Maybe come back for another look once the price has dropped in years to come.
You’re going to have a better experience if you actually have three friends who are willing and able to sit down and play the game through with you. It’s in these rare scenarios that the game’s portability is going to come in handy, and it’s potentially going to prove a more interesting social experience than playing its better PC brethren. If you’re in the sort of position where you’re likely to play a portable game locally in co-op, Heroes of Ruin is a decent choice. If not, you’re likely to tire of it sooner than you’d like.
Heroes of Ruin is a functional lootfest, but its poor economics balancing, uninteresting weapons, and boring combat don’t do it any favors. It’s like listening to a terrible band cover your favorite song. All the musicians are holding the right instruments, but it just doesn’t quite come together.
It’s no accident that the ‘Heroes’ in the game’s title is plural. The game accommodates up to four players in local or online co-op with drop-in/dropout ease. Starting each new session by default in online multiplayer mode, it’s clear n-Space wants you to experience its action combat in this fashion – in a solo play session, you will never have AI companions to fill the roles. But Heroes Of Ruin is just too easy for multiplayer to feel absolutely necessary. Fortunately, however, despite its reheated fantasy trappings and formulaic design principles, it also remains surprisingly easy to get hooked on the steady dopamine hit of each fresh loot acquisition and the rhythm of the game’s combat pulse.
The big question of course though is it all worth the effort - and the price of admission? But that all depends on how much you value a social experience over a genuinely good game. Heroes Of Ruin is competently made but it doesn't excel in any particular area and many aspects - art and dungeon design especially - are so generic they could've come from just about any other dungeon crawler from the last decade.
The endless foraging for loot (the game apparently features 80,000 different items) is as addictive as it always is, and the online is an impressive technical achievement, but it's a shame the gameplay and setting isn't equally as ambitious.
From a multiplayer perspective, things fare better. The game uses both StreetPass and SpotPass. Furthermore, as well as support for four players both local and online, you can also trade loot using the ‘Trader’s Network’. The best way to enjoy Heroes Of Ruin is most definitely with three friends, but to highlight this as a selling point would be to assume there are going to be people out there with three friends who also own the game, and that will get together and plough hours at a time into it. Realistically, this will rarely happen, and as a single-player looter, Heroes Of Ruin, fairly enjoyable though it is, fails to show the invention necessary to justify its own existence.
Official Nintendo Magazine, 80%.
Swings between ugly and gorgeous feel jarring, but the aspects that matter mostly stay the same. All of the characters feel powerful and cool, the combat is fun and it's massively addictive. Heroes Of Ruin has far rougher edges than most Square-Enix fans will be used to, but the mechanics that actually matter are fantastic. Overlook the iffy execution, and Heroes Of Ruin is a treat.
Nintendo Life, 8/10.
Heroes of Ruin does have a few rough edges and areas where greater refinement would have been welcome, but they don’t detract from an accomplished effort on 3DS. A short campaign is offset by four separate characters to develop, and the experience feels entirely suitable for a fully-tooled handheld action RPG. It’s the online structure that truly raises the bar for the platform; crawling through dungeons is a lot more fun with others to share the glory, and the inclusion of voice chat in particular is a highlight. In many respects this is a by-the-numbers title, but the end result does bear the resemblance of a masterpiece, even if it can’t quite survive the closest of inspection.
If it was possible to exceed “10” for value, rest assured Heroes of Ruin would earn itself top score - no matter the theoretical maximum. If you like loot-em-ups, and you like the idea of having one in your pocket, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything better than this. Yes, there’s room for improvement (particularly in the presentation department), but Heroes of Ruin is more than just a building block towards whatever’s next; it’s a brilliant, addictive, compelling experience in its own right. Highly recommended.
Pocket Gamer, 9/10.
If you're into RPGs, Heroes of Ruin should be your very next purchase. Even if you're not, you should pick the game up to show publishers that this is the direction we want the 3DS to take. Magnificent and essential.