TL;DR - Brilliant dungeon crawler, simple yet fairly strategic. Play with others if you can.
Choices with pernicious consequences call for sacrifices to be made from the very start of Hammerwatch
. It is a rich blend of HnS and RPG. Superbly it preserves the riot of strategic elements within role playing games while maintaining non-complex arcade-like features of any good hack and slash through making use of basic skill upgrades and combat, loot usage and simple story progression alike (the patch expansion, Temple of the Sun
is a bit more story orientated).
Choices must be made, and self-sacrifices be willing.
An openly avid indie game collector and player, my dirty little secret is an obsession with enjoying indie co-op and multiplayer games (online and local). It's dirty and a secret (well, up till now) because I'm a sporadic multiplayer and don't consistently play with other people. Hammerwatch
is of a select few which lure me out of the mole hole, blinking against the raging sun. And this is one furious Sol as people will curse you for your mistakes if not careful. Like I have mentioned, sacrifices and choices must be made and other than a secret puzzle in the game, Hammerwatch
should not be played reliant on chance (unless you want a quick but painful death). Nothing here is eternal (unless you cheese or cheat for some wild reason). Though Hammerwatch
has solid single player, and campaigns can be beaten at a similar difficulty level to that with any number of players in a team (2-4), it's a game which shines when you're fighting off the baddies together. It will also feel less tedious as being all alone in a dungeon can get mighty lonely, long and arduous. Co-op forces you to make choices that directly affect your teammates and may free or crush them. This makes it crucial to comprehend early on the definition of teamwork as you cannot just play as you please with friends and hope they'll clean up after you or that it won't matter as long as you keep eating fruit and meat and hoard lots of gold by cheesing between dungeon entrances (nooooo). You will literally get into altercations with friends if you do not pay attention to what you're doing and why. Gold is divided equally between each player but lives are pooled together. If you waste your lives or gold for selfish reasons your team will die. On the bright side, for such games reliant on skill, efficiency and the cost of your actions, Hammerwatch
is relatively forgiving. Had it not been made so forgiving and added procedural level generation and perma death* it undoubtedly would have made a flawless roguelike.
*Note: You can add challenges through the modifiers menu to make it seem similar to a roguelike with perma death at least. Crutches on the other hand aren't needed.
If you enjoy games like the Diablo
series and have a fond memory of the more classic action adventure games in The Legend of Zelda
series you will thoroughly enjoy Hammerwatch
. I play this smashing title with my SO and expect we'll get plenty more hours than we have so far at a measly 15. There are two separate main campaigns and survival/custom modes as well. It is fun to go through the different classes to compare play tactics as they differ for each level and boss. Although my SO is rarely sold on any game I bring up (I play some odd indie games...), the moment I described Hammerwatch
as dungeon crawling, he was on it in a heartbeat and never looked back. The mechanics are simple but by the end of a level, both hands will be aching like heck. This arises from the downside of this game where players are often required to press four keys together or in close succession and not much better variation from key binding to relieve this especially for some classes. Though I've only ever tried medium level so far and even on that the last level of the first campaign went a bit crazy because we had to press the bloomin' button
, hard mode still sounds like great fun and will definitely be played.
On the subject of balmy levels, the uniformity of blazing energy balls, poisonous spit, spike traps beneath your feet and arrows whizzing past your head every second as well as ever spawning ticks nipping at your ankles and minibosses that don't seem so mini when clumped to excess will frequently lead you to reminisce the non-stop craziness of shoot 'em up games with lasers blazing in all directions trying to kill you. Oh yes, the shooters we'd mastered so cleverly only for being an eight year old too poor to play much else at the arcade... ah no... wait, so deprived of pocket money (from spending it all on crisps?) that we'd honed our own expertise by ever watching the screen of the older children bashing the keys like maniacs with little skill. At least the knowledge will aid us in Hammerwatch
the bad guys focus all
their energy on you, all
at once. But soon enough you'll snap back from your nice little stroll down memory lane and WHAM, you'll be dead and your bodily remains will decorate the ground in a pile of fizzled heroic dungeon crawling, like a bomb blew inside you. The death reminds me of how vampires die in the HBO version of True Blood
, a neat pile of gore on the floor which is quite adorable in an 8-bit influenced game such as this. The zombie-like skeletons will literally surround you in a tight circle *shivers*
if your mind ever drifts and you will be mauled to death and ripped to shreds in the manner of season 5, episode 14 of The Walking Dead
(RIP Noah and Aiden). Leaving more popular culture references aside, with everything considered Hammerwatch
is delightfully difficult as you progress yet will never make you rage quit because it is merely too entertaining. The secret rooms and Easter eggs will also add to the fun so you can keep your eyes peeled for the walls and buttons as well, and not just kill, kill, KILLL. Extra Tips for Hammerwatch
- Rangers are great to start off and the most versatile against enemies and traps for beginners. Personally I like warlocks as their power increase is much more intense further on, helping make swifter and heavier attacks for large mobs and swarms which more combat based classes just cannot pull off. Obviously this depends on your style of play so test everything in single player. It is also fun to try many different combinations with friends as it will change gameplay extensively.
- If you're an experienced player, start off in co-op rather than flying solo. Proficient as a single player game, but with many games that have an excess of multiplayer excitement, Hammerwatch
is such an addictive co-op game that you'll likely prefer it as one if you have someone you'd like to play with. It's easy to get into and forgiving at the beginning so definitely a blast for players to jump in even without knowing a thing.
- Use port forwarding, Hamachi or Tunngle. Hammerwatch
has local multiplayer which means you or a friend may need to host a server or you'll need to join someone else's server (hosted by them) unless you're playing alone. This requires port forwarding, which if you can do you probably wouldn't have read this far. It is handy for a lot of fantastic multiplayer games which do not offer online multiplayer. But don't fret if Googling port forwarding and not getting too far hinders your progress in having some fantastic time with friends. I'd suggest trying LogMeIn Hamachi as it is quick and easy for tech dummies (you'll need to download and create an account), and clean and efficient as long as everyone legitimately owns the game and you're not stealing someone else's connection to begin with. Tunngle is also a great option as well as is just sticking to port forwarding.
Edited for format and note