Back when Heroes Call first came out on Android in late June, it had the price tag of free. Before long, I knew it was ridden with IAPs. And terrible IAPs, mind you. At that time, Heroes Call was the worst implementation of IAPs – with exponentially growing wait times and three different in-game currencies.
I played a few levels, and then deleted it from both my device and mind. Now, a little less than two months later, Heroes Call is like a brand new game as those dreadful stuff have been removed. Now that I’m giving it a second shot, how does it fare? Read on to find out.
Heroes Call is by nature a dungeon-crawling, hack n’ slash RPG that is not too dissimilar to the hit PC game series Diablo. You play as a knight hired by the guild to get the dirty stuff done in the city, and are sent on quests to do this and that. Progress is explained by text based stories that are, well, hard to follow but decent nonetheless.
In the game, you use your standard weapon in tandem with four special abilities to ward off the bad guys. There’s loot to grab and barrels to smash as well. Being a freemium game, I can safely say that the game doesn’t have any spikes in difficulty to force you to buy an IAP. Yes, some levels are tough, but once you get the weapon with the right attributes and know the enemy’s weakness, progress can be easily made.
Speaking of weapons and armours, the game features a ton of ‘em. Each have their own attributes and are ranked by class. Then there are health and power potions, as well as health orbs. The health orbs in particular are abundant in the game and always come in handy when you’re surrounded by a horde of orcs or skeletons. One anomaly I see is that as the game progress and everything gets more expensive, the loot collected (gold coins) doesn’t increase proportionally (they don’t increase at all, in fact).
Obviously, what makes Heroes Call stand out from games of this similar genre on Android is its rich and highly-detailed graphics. The underground caves, sewers and hallways are all gorgeous looking, though they’re repeated most of the times. There are nice environmental touches such as dynamic lighting, flaming fires and flowing water that add to the atmosphere.
Heroes Call is no doubt among the top five mobile games in terms of graphics at least. The icing on the cake is the ragdoll physics (Tegra only), where you can send your adversaries flying backwards. Yes, there are some graphical bugs like bones floating in mid-air, and sometimes the camera doesn’t capture all of the action.
Heroes Call tries to implement touch gestures such as swipes for the special abilities, but while it’s a good endeavour, I feel tapping on the buttons at the side is faster and more accurate. For the standard attack, you tap on an enemy, and if you repeatedly tap after each swing, you get to unlock combo moves that deal more damage.
Interestingly, there is no d-pad for movement. You just tap where you want to go. One detail they looked into in this respect is that you can leave your finger on the screen to navigate your character, instead of waiting for your character to arrive and then tap again. The movement controls actually work pretty well and suits a touchscreen, and on the overall the game has good controls.
As mentioned above, the game has seen a massive overhaul in its IAP implementation. Now, you can actually play through the whole campaign without spending a dime of in-game cash. The IAPs are there to buy gold coins or unlock new characters. For the former, it can be used to buy weapons and unlock more slots in your inventory.
I don’t find buying new weapons necessary, as you get decent stuff in-game (a little bit of grinding may be needed if you’re unlucky with the loot, but it’s nothing major). Of course, paying for new characters is acceptable, and the price to do so is pretty cheap as well. The plus here is that you can sync your progress to Facebook, and then retrieve all your purchases should you change devices (it’s also compatible with iOS too).
Heroes Call is one of those games I would gladly pay a premium price for to play. There’s a lot of content (I’ve spent over 15 hours) that should keep you occupied for a long time. It’s an immersive gaming experience, and I’m amazed I’m getting this on my tablet. Complemented by good graphics, a nice score-based soundtrack, intuitive controls scheme, fluid gameplay mechanics and the asking price of free, this game is worth checking out right now if you haven’t already.
Overall rating: 4.5/5
PS: As of the time of this review, the game is marred by a gamesave bug which doesn’t store your progress anymore (it doesn’t happen to everyone though). The devs should be addressing this in a quick update soon enough hopefully.