Now guys let me tell you:
This game has more WARHAMMER QUEST feeling to it than even the Warhammer Quest mobile port. It's my opinion, not fact, but I really felt that WQ boardgame flavor when I played, and I can tell you it is a great feeling.
How can it be so?
It doesn't have random quests and although it seems to possibly have some random loot, Heroes of Steel has a real story to live, not a short theme for a quick mission.
I believe it comes from its top view and tactical combat system, but also thanks to the danger the game puts your heroes through. In WQ mobile port, you do not feel the threat. In Heroes of Steel, you do - you feel hunted, you want to survive until the next safe spot, and you'll do your best to get to it.
Now let's get deeper into this review.
Good points are that:
Heroes of Steel surprised me with quality tactical combat, interesting choices and great dialogues! Enough qualities to make you purchase it.
Read below to know more about the weak spots in the game, but if you want to enjoy nice boardgame tactical combat, well written dialogues, and a nice "party roleplaying" aspect, you may go for it.
The dialogues are very well written and make us feel like on a serious tabletop RPG. There are nice reactions between teammaters and we know something more is to discover here. We want to see the next steps. The game also feels like having a great duration to it. I only got to the first town here and there surely are a lot more hours to put into the game.
The choices themselves, though sometimes limited between two paths to get through, are interesting enough; the game makes you feel the danger, threats can get really oppressive (I so much wanted to get out of the caverns!) and the camp spots make sure you are always on your guard as you'll always be lacking healing options. In an atmosphere like this, even picking a path is great, especially as taking the dangerous one also triggers nice dialogues (see above :) ) between your characters.
As for the tactics, some combats are really tough, but moreover, the skill and AP system is very well implemented. With each character's progression you have to make some interesting decisions. After playing dozens of roguelikes and RPGs, I feel Heroes of Steel has a very nice system deserving to be at the top 10 of these games.
The art and UI were the two elements that really frustrated me at the beginning. The art is original but doesn't always have the "pro" touch. 2D indie games need great 2D art (at least a few pics of them) and here this is something that is a bit lacking. Some arts are "hit or miss". Still, the game is more than good enough to make you enjoy the rest. It's just an area that could have given me even more pleasure.
The UI especially made me uneasy. I wasn't used to it. I left first, but after coming back to the game and going through just a few fights, I began to like it more and now the UI is as good as the rest.
I really think the strengths of the game are:
- the quality of its writing and dialogue: a very good surprise here,
- the quality of its combat system: even though there are sometimes LOTS of fights, it still stands as a very good system.
- quality in character progression, I mean that with four characters to upgrade, most games fail here but this one still keeps interesting choices.
- and a strong Warhammer Quest boardgame flavor!
Heroes of Steel then ends as a very good indie RPG and a game to recommend.