Dungeons & Dragons Heroes
Game Info
Platform(s)
Xbox
Publisher
Atari
Developer
Atari
Genre
RPG
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Blood, Violence
 
Grade
The Good

• Good multiplayer action
• Easy to pick up controls
• Nice CG scenes

The Bad

• Blocky character models
• Lots of fetching
• Repetitive areas

 
Grade
B

The Dungeons & Dragons name has been around for years, but rarely has it seen the light of day on a home console. Taking a page from Diablo, Gauntlet and Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, Atari has brought the D&D name to the Xbox. The story is your standard lot - years ago four heroes defeated an evil wizard. As the wizard was passing, he killed the heroes. Once grave robbers resurrected the wizard, the heroes were not far behind as they were needed to once again stop the evil. To defeat the evil, though, players would need to travel to many locations and defeat hordes of enemies.

If you've played any of the previously mentioned titles, then you'll fall into the gameplay behind Heroes with very little effort. Players have a choice of one of four heroes (Fighter, Cleric, Wizard and Rogue), each different by the weapons they can equip and the abilities and magic they can use. From the starting point, you'll crawl through dungeons, hacking your way through legions of enemies to complete objectives. The core of the gameplay is pretty basic and involves a lot of fetch quests.

Controls are pretty simple and easy to pick up. The A Button is for standard attack. By using the Right Trigger, players can adjust what the X, Y and B Buttons can. The B Button is used for throwing items that the player finds throughout the game, including Holy Water, Knives and even Fiery Oil bottles. The X and Y Buttons can be used for abilities/magic earned when you gain new levels. Some abilities and spells can be used right away, while others require the player to build up their combo gauge. The Black and White Buttons are for quickly using Health and Magic potions. Movement is done with the Left Analog Stick while players can control the camera (rotating and even how close or far it is) with the Right Analog Stick.

As with other RPGs, characters gain experience through defeating enemies and completing objectives. Once you gain a new level, you'll gain points to spend on skills and those familiar with the D&D rule set will recognize the attributes and modifiers inherent for leveling up each.

It's obvious that this title is meant for multiplayer co-op as the more players you get involved the more fun it is. As a single player experience, it can get a bit repetitive and even monotonous. Players have no need to jump, as there are no platforming elements and puzzles consist of finding a switch and hitting it. While you're given some leeway when developing your character, you can only equip specific items and there is no reason to level up attributes that won't directly aid your character's style of play.

The visual and audio packages are what you would expect from this type of title. The backgrounds show a nice level of detail and the CG-rendered cutscenes are a nice treat. Visual and lighting effects are a nice touch. The biggest liability to the graphics is that the character models, upon close inspection, are pretty blocky and lack good detail. Also, there is some repetitiveness in a lot of the way locations both look and are laid out. Musically, Heroes dips from the same pool that other titles in the genre have. Same goes for the sound effects. Both are good, but don't expect anything new. Voice acting is pretty sharp and delivers the simple story well.

If you're looking for a decent multiplayer hack-and-slash, check out D&D Heroes, even if just to rent it. The single player experience is good for a short while, but the repetitiveness of it all may tire on some gamers.

- - Vane

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