The Myth Becomes a Legend,
Becomes a Game
A Hands-On Preview of Gods
and Heroes: Rome Rising
By Garrett Fuller
Before we had J.K. Rowling or George Lucas to spin tales of
epic heroes and grand adventure, the human race developed their own
“real” stories, what we now call ancient mythology.
This was the very beginning of mankind’s tales about gods,
monsters, quests, and heroes, and those ancient humans spared no
expense on the grandeur of their tales. I grew up on Greek and Roman
myths, my mom used to use them to get me to read. Hence, thirty years
later I still am fascinated by the ancient world. Enter Perpetual
Entertainment and their partnership with SOE to develop a MMOG using
just that fascination. Gods & Heroes looks to deliver a game
play experience that captures the player’s imagination of
ancient myths and subsequently allow them to play out their own hero
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Combat in Gods and Heroes is swift and epic; you won't
want to get a sandwich in the middle of the battle.
While at San Diego Comic-Con, the Ten Ton Hammer team got a
hands-on preview from the folks at Sony Online Entertainment and
Perpetual. Right away I noticed that more polish had been added to the
game from previous versions that I’ve seen, and the graphics
really popped with visual brilliance. The game keeps looking better and
better from month to month, and the developers at Perpetual are sparing
no expense on the artistic side of the coin. But graphics are only part
of the game; my biggest question, as always, is how does it play?
Combat in Gods & Heroes works very well with various
combos and attacks available in every demigod’s arsenal. The
combos are great to watch as players and monsters really get down and
dirty, while the animations between the characters put you in the midst
of the combat. The gameplay moves quickly and doesn’t leave
the player time to get coffee in between strikes or spells. In fact,
you’d better be on your toes or you’ll be facing
the reaper sooner rather than later. Plus, you’re not alone
in this world. You’ll always have your minions with you, and
while they may not talk they certainly provide you with ample back-up
on the battlefield.
The minion system in the game is probably one of the most well
executed ideas in Gods & Heroes. You don’t just have
a pet, you have a team; up to four personal companions travel with you
on this journey. If you decide casting and healing is your specialty,
then you can have your own tank (or two) to travel with you. You can
determine your own squad formation with a handy minion toolbar, so they
can run in front of you and draw aggro or behind you, whichever you
And it’s not just mortal warriors or casters that
can follow you around, but immortals as well. Sorry, not Gods, but
monsters. Minotaurs, cyclops, giant wolfen, if you do the right quests
they could be joining you on missions. This allows the player some
unique strategic decisions when playing the game. Certain combinations
of NPCs can really make the difference against foes and big raid
encounters. The Gods & Heroes minion system offers a lot to the
player in both strategy and customization.
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The minions in Gods and Heroes are a terrific way to
fight alone or in a group.
Another feature common in MMOs, but given a different twist in
Gods & Heroes, is player housing. In the battlefields of
ancient myth, players can build their own camps where they hang out and
relax. This camp is the spot where players will respawn upon death in
the game; don’t worry you’ll be able to get back to
the spot where you died fairly quickly. This camp will be customizable,
and you’ll see many of your NPCs and housing options that are
available to you. As you collect minions, you will be able to station
them in your camp. This way you can get a large selection of NPCs and
choose the best ones for each quest.
With “gods” prominently in the title, it
would be strange if the players didn’t have a chance to align
with the gods of Olympus. Players will be able to spec their skills
based on the gods they align with, having certain bonuses and/or
abilities pertaining to their affiliated god. As players progress they
will receive more gifts from their gods to continue the battle, ranging
from enhancements to minor abilities all the way to the extremely
explosive “God Powers”..
Gods & Heroes is currently in closed beta, but the
game looks very polished and plays well. The squad development system
adds a lot to player meta-gaming and the fighting is fast paced. These
two elements alone make me want to pick up Gods & Heroes just
like lifting a Gladius for battle. Comic Con was a very busy week, but
the demo of Gods & Heroes had me leaving the SOE booth with an
excitement to play and a sense of what to look forward too this fall.
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& Heroes community
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