Heroes of a Broken Land
is one part TBS -in the vain of games like Heroes of Might and Magic- and one part turn based first person dungeon crawler lootfest. It promises infinite replayability with its randomized content and highly customizable world generation settings. It suffers from a similar manner of issues as A Valley Without Wind. They're highly ambitious rpgs with quite a few shortcomings, sadly. So, why am I giving it a "Yes", you ask? Well, enjoying the game depends on what you're doing, and I enjoy it a lot. There IS a lot to discover (things you unlock through buildings and special map locations spice up the game quite a bit). I'll present the different aspects of the game that I consider good, bad and some which I feel do not have a positive or negative impact on my decision. Onward!
+ Randomized heroes, equipment, quests, dungeon objectives, dungeon events, etc. Increased replayability since every world's layout is different than the last's.
+ Greatly customizable heroes (Want to teach a warrior to heal? You can! Want to make your cleric tougher or more deadly in close combat, or even teach him elemental spells he wouldn't learn normally and have him play like a mage/cleric hybrid? You can! Want to teach your characters to sense monsters, making them appear on the minimap so you don't have to look for them and waste your time? You can! Just experiment a bit. ;) )
+ You choose what buildings to build and upgrade in your town, it's an importan decision what to build because building spots are limited.
+ You can "control" more towns by earning their favour (so you can have different buildings you couldn't fit in your starting town)
+ Contrary to popular belief, you CAN customize your characters (you need a specific building in town)
+ Options to speed up exploration and combat in the game settings
+ Fast-travel within dungeonsTo me, the last two are very important in games like this, since dungeons tend to drag on forever if combat and exploration are slow, I'm running at max speed on both. Fast-travel is also great for when you want to walk to a place you've been before within the same floor but would be quite tedious to go manually.
- Features a really small monster variety in contrast to the game's huge scope. This is the biggest issue at the moment, imho
- Wandering monster groups are a pain in the ♥♥♥, since you either have to run to them with your main group, or have a reserve party to dispatch of them, but they sometimes are too hard for your reserve party to defeat, so you need to train them too and that is something I really don't like, sadly. I wish they would add an option to disable wandering monsters. Also, monster strength estimates seem to be quite off, I beat a group of "impossible" wandering monsters with my group relatively easily, but I guess impossible doesn't mean IMPOSSIBLE, just very hard
- The world map doesn't feel lively, there's no competitors other than the aforementioned wandering monsters which are just an annoyance to me. Adding things like gods, civilizations/factions and hero dwellings where you can hire certain types of heroes could probably make the world map more fun.
- The game lacks a proper tutorial but then again I consider it to still be a work in progress, so a proper tutorial might be in order at some point, I guess
* Grindy gameplay. Some people swear by it, others hate it with a burning passion. Your pick.
* You have to run at least 2-3 parties to do some dungeons/bosses, some of which are mandatory to progress the main quest... :( That's really annoying to me, managing a group of 6 is a pain already, 3+ groups is just too much work to do for me atm.
Even though I love this game a lot, this is a tough recommendation. I'm going to give this game a YES due to the fact that recently the devs have taken initiative towards making gameplay more fun, with an increased enemy pool and more friendly UI updates. I really hope they keep making the gameplay less stale and convenient, because this game really is a flawed gem that deserves to become something better and I think a lot of people that like games like Eye of the Beholder, Dungeon Hack, Wizardry, Grimrock would be interested in it.P.S: I will probably return to this review to edit it in case there's new stuff to comment on.