RG Takes on Heroes of the Storm

Last Friday the RG team played Heroes of the Storm, a MOBA by Blizzard Entertainment that merges multiple characters from their other games. Video of our trial is on YouTube now — WARNING: opinions expressed by individuals are his/hers alone, and in no way  represent Reactuate Games … except that they kind of do because we are the company. So, yeah.

Here’s our video of the Retrospective and Play & Learn:

And the summarized version of our pros and cons that we discussed after playing an hour or so of HOTS:

Pros:

  • The game provides a good walkthrough for beginners. Devs made sure that the players knew how to fire a weapon or call on their faithful steed before letting them flail around too much.
  • Animations are super detailed, and it’s apparent the artists dedicated some time to them. Even the extra animations on the sidelines, which weren’t even supposed to be noticed, tell a story of their own and complete the atmosphere.
  • HOTS made it simple to select items. A red outlining shows the player exactly what can be demolished or attacked, so you don’t have to wonder or waste ammo.
  • The music and sound effects work pretty well with the game. No unbelievable, out-of-place screams or horse-trampling sounds occur, which is a bit refreshing.

Cons: 

  • The AI for HOTS is a bit too predictable. Of course, we played on the easiest of easy levels, but still …
  • As one of our artists noticed, there is no racial diversity in this game. All humans are white, excluding one who is a witch doctor and completely covered anyway. What’s up with that, Blizzard?
  • Pop-up text, like the level-up signifiers, tend to show up over the action, causing some distraction.

Here are some issues we discussed that don’t necessarily fit into the pros or cons. Basically, we disagreed on these ideas.

  • The WASD keys are a hassle. Some of these same keys are used for powers, and the arrow keys are used to move the camera. This caused issue when someone had to either take his hand off the mouse or use his left hand to move the camera. In HOTS’ defense, one doesn’t necessarily have to move the camera if it is locked and they like it to be controlled.Screenshot 2015-07-16 12.04.32
  • On the beginning level, a small screen is visible in the top left corner that doesn’t match the UI theme. This screen has computer-ish text and lists what the controls do. Some believe this screen should match the rest of HOTS’ theme, but for new players, this screen stands out, helping them read and learn the controls quicker.
  • HOTS makes us want to play another game. Now this statement could be taken in two ways. The ongoing battle made Ron think of Blizzard’s other works. He said HOTS made him want to play those games. However, I wouldn’t want to make a game that someone leaves because it reminds them of a game they would rather play. I want to make a game that players would rather be playing or can’t quit– because it’s that good.

 

Overall, we know HOTS is a well-loved game, and thousands can watch it all day long on Twitch. It was fun to play, and we definitely learned a lot from it to implement in Guardian.

What do you guys think of HOTS? Agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments.

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