Heroes Evolved Beta Review
Pros: Good graphics, +50 heroes, micro-client allows quick access to the game
Cons: Practically the same as League of Legends in every way
We were able to check out the new beta of R2 Games’ MOBA Heroes Evolved recently, a classic three lane MOBA with a bunch of fantasy heroes where players can battle it out in 5v5 matches trying to push their minion waves passed enemy turrets and into the opposing teams base to destroy their primary core building and win the game.
The graphics in the game are pretty good, well designed characters and out of game artwork is all pretty inspiring across the range of the 59 heroes currently available, boasting a realistic cartoony element that suits the fantasy setting. Gameplay is fairly standard and game matches last anywhere between 30 and 40 minutes, during which you will spend most of your time in a single lane trying to last hit minion waves to gain gold that you can return to base and spend in the shop.
Now we’ve played a few MOBA in our time, both to review and to play on our own time, in all honesty we find the laning element of MOBA to be quite boring and very long, which is why we never really took to League of Legends; Heroes Evolved is the same deal and other than heading out into the jungle every once in a while to try and pick off a camp, or do a quick lane switch to try and get a gank, to us it feels like doing the same thing for 30 minutes.
The game instantly puts you into a tutorial, which was fine for giving you the basics of movement and upgrading your QWER skills, avoiding towers and spending gold in the shop, but it left out so many details such as last hitting, how camps work and stuff outside the game like the Glyph system where you collect Jewels and put them into glyph slots; it’s essentially the League of Legends rune system. There really was so much overlooked and unexplained that it felt like the developers thought that either everyone already knows this stuff and has presumed knowledge or they’re going to convert people from another MOBA and have kept the systems and features relatively similar because of it.
For our couple of hours testing we played a few Co-op “Practice with Bots” games, which were terrible as three of our bots stayed in base the entire game and the enemy team only had one of their five heroes out on the field. We were a little confused as to whether it was a co-op with other players and they’d just gone AFK (as there’s no indication if it is a bot or a player), but no, it seems to be this is the standard setup; it loads in 5 characters but ends up being a 2 v 1 with some really shoddy AI that would consistently get in the way of the towers. We played a few bot games so we could take screenshots without throwing the game for players and then tried to quit the match… which still initiated a voting system even though there were no other players and wouldn’t allow us to just leave the game and forced to shut the game down entirely.
Wanting a better challenge and a chance to really experience the game, trying out the second “Valley of War” map, which is a single lane map, so we could get some screenshots proved unfruitful and after over five minutes of queuing we left. So we jumped into the Solo single player for the standard Altar of Strife three lane map to be matched with “players of our skill level”. Well the queue time was extremely quick for us finding a match… oddly quick, and then as soon as we selected our character the game started… because the system had matched us up with a 2v1 bot game. That’s not cool. If there’s no one playing then make a notice that there’s not enough players currently to fill a team, but don’t throw us into a bot game where we can’t even play a 5v5, especially not in a mode designated for solo PVP.
As far as the game goes it generally plays well and looks decent, as a MOBA on its own then it could be a great success, the only problem is that the developers have essentially just tried to remake League of Legends. The art style is too similar, the characters are too similar, the minions look too similar, the glyph system is too similar to the rune system, the game play is too similar, the map is too similar, the items in the shop are too similar. The word “clone” gets thrown out a lot by fans of one game when it’s against another that is too similar, well we’re not a fan of League of Legends and so we will freely say that Heroes Evolved is a clone but with fewer features, heroes and an awful business model.
The game has a VIP and a Recharge system, fairly standard for R2 Games, recharging gives you premium gems currency and you can buy heroes, skins and VIP status which grants you a different coloured name, VIP points (can also be spent on heroes, etc.), some VIP only heroes and also increases the cooldown on Resurrection stones. This is our problem. The game has resurrection stones that allow you to resurrect where you fell in a game, as standard it has a 1200s cooldown (20 minutes) so really you’re only going to use it twice in a game, but by paying real cash for VIP status you can decrease this cooldown to 240s (4 minutes), and if that isn’t pay to win in a MOBA then I don’t know what is.
The upside to Heroes Evolved? Well it has a 35MB mini client, yep that’s right, literally takes you a few seconds to download and install the game, a quick patch and you’re playing. Now not for nothing but that’s pretty impressive considering the quality of the game, and the game is (with a few glaring exceptions) very well done… it’s just already been done, and whether it’s a mini client or not what it feels like is R2 Games has made a quick way to “try before you buy” for League, where if you really enjoy Heroes Evolved then you can then go play the full version over at Riot Games.