by Marko Susimetsä
reviewed on PC
Five Second Learning Curve
That’s what the developers say in their marketing material and it holds true. There’s no background story of any importance; you and your friends are simply dropped into a building where you have to fight your way through a maze of rooms, picking up better weapons, health packages or other kinds of bonuses along the way. When one of you dies, the others can resurrect you, but if all of you die at the same time, it is Game Over and time to start again from the beginning. How much fun you have with this is entirely dependent on the people you play with.
For an old-time gamer like me, the game immediately took me back to 1980’s when various kinds of scroller games were popular: two ships, map scrolling and you and your friend keep shooting at enemies coming at you and picking up bonuses etc. until you die. They were never very memorable and the next similar game made you forget about the previous one.
Technology has developed since then, but NoReload Heroes is basically the same game in different context. Instead of an automatically scrolling map, you get rooms to travel and fight through and the enemies get harder and harder as you go. The graphics are colourful, the weapons silly (70+ magitech weapons, as the developer’s materials say) and the variety of enemies is great (43 plus 3 bosses).
Up to four players can play at the same time, either locally or online, and each of them gets a recoloured clone of the same character – no special abilities or skills here other than what you pick up along the way. This is perhaps the weakest aspect of the game, as it keeps it a very simple shooter instead of raising it up to a slightly more memorable Gauntlet experience.
As party games go, the enjoyment you get out of NoReload Heroes is entirely dependent on the people you play with. My gaming partner was a 9-year-old, who was immediately disappointed that she could not pick the colour of her character (she wanted the blue one) and soon got bored with the game and went back to her ever-ongoing Skyrim game – leaving me to write this review alone.
Overall, the game offers nothing that you have not seen before. What it does, it does pretty well, but when it comes down to it, NoReload Heroes doesn’t really aim to do that much. The pretty explosions, hectic action and the variety of explosions may entertain you for a while, but – like with my daughter – 20 minutes may be enough for you to get bored with it.
Pretty visuals, couch co-op
Nothing new here, lacking in features