Has Been Heroes
Top Critic Average
There are some good ideas in Has Been Heroes, such as the way it uses multi-lane battlefields to make us use strategies that involve switching between the strengths of three different heroes to achieve victory. It's a recipe for fun that manages to last for a while. Eventually, though, the heavy emphasis on the luck of level generation, the frustrations of enemy repetition, the poor tutorial, and the tendency to overrun you with tough enemies spoil the whole. Hard games are great, but there are limits.
A tedious trawl through the worst aspects of roguelikes, turn-based strategy, and bad interface design. Only somehow less fun than that sounds.
This roguelike’s cool combat system is held back by a terrible structure.
As a console game, I can't recommend it, but if you're the type of person who plays your Nintendo Switch on the go, it at least is something you can pick up and play for a bit without much thought. Has-Been Heroes would benefit greatly with touchscreen controls on a mobile device, as the gameplay seems tailor made for it, but alas it doesn't support the Switch's touch capabilities and isn't available on phones. But hey, at least it features HD Rumble, which is easily the most over-hyped and overrated feature of the Switch, so there is that.
Has-Been Heroes has a genuinely inviting and involving combat system that requires real strategic thought to master. However the rest of the game just doesn’t pull together to form a cohesive whole, with brutal difficulty, frustrating permadeath and an under-utilised premise all serving to taint the end product. It does at least benefit from the Nintendo Switch’s portability, and this is where it’s at its best, but at home you’ll likely be turning it off far quicker than Frozenbyte were hoping for.
Hard and unforgiving, Has Been Heroes has the potential to create the videogame equivalent of Jack Torrance in anyone who plays it.
The world of Has-Been Heroes is too frustrating due to the same type of enemies, random difficulty level and lack of motivation to run it more than once a week. The only exception is the version for the Nintendo Switch, which can be good for short sessions in buses, subways and trains, replacing no less monotonous games for tablets and mobile phones.
Review in Russian | Read full review
Has-Been Heroes is an initially appealing title that quickly becomes bogged down by a lack of good instructions, too much luck-based randomness, and permadeath that never quits.
Has-Been Heroes is as tough as nails and built for people that like to lose over and over again. The combat offers an interesting twist on a familiar mechanic, but never really evolves beyond that initial learning process. Some of the whimsy present in the Trine series has been carried over here, but not enough to balance out the punishing difficulty.