I had a look at the new free-to-play, first-person twitch shooter that just launched on Steam. The game is called Renaissance Heroes and it features six-on-six gameplay in various 16th century locales. The weapons of choice are the crossbow, the rifle, a super-buff gun, and a mace. While holding the mace, you can also hurl little spiky grenades.
- Fast-paced gameplay
- Small, beautifully designed levels with variety.
- Nice, clean interface.
- Weapon upgrade system is simultaneously fun and dangerous.
- Long distance assaults on rival players is great.
- Very difficult to spawn camp.
- Melee combat actually balances evenly with ranged, so neither is at a clear advantage.
- Dancing over the dead gives you bonuses.
- When my chick character picked up a super weapon, she orgasmed.
- The tutorial level is -- unpleasant -- and you have no choice but to suffer through it. Also, you can't access the graphics settings until you are done, which is a pain.
- The help menus are voice-over movies; just give me the information please.
- Alt+Tab during full screen mode gave me grief.
- Store and loadout screens are almost identical; confusing.
- You spawn with half-ammo and must find the rest.
The game runs in the Unreal 3 Engine -- which was literally built for these kinds of games -- and comes with a whole host of graphics settings and checkboxes that allow you to turn off practically everything and customize the look of the game to fit the abilities of your graphics card.
Most of the levels are beautiful; I wasn't a huge fan of the library, but the other two (Villa, Hamam) were fantastic.
The menus are great. They are clean, though it takes a couple of games to really get used to them all. You can upgrade your weapons and add pre-game buffs depending on how you like to play the game. There are also plenty of costumes and gear you can buy with real cash if you are so inclined.
Each of the characters has their own buffs and debuffs. Some are great with crossbows; others are melee masters. They each have special taunts that you can do when you slay an enemy and if you remember to do it in time, it grants you a buff to your combat skills.
The tutorial is a horrific assault on your manhood (or womanhood, as the case may be). The one thing that managed to save it is that it informed me about the dead taunt game mechanic.
I found the balance between melee and ranged attacks was good. I understand that some people prefer one or the other, but I played both and swapped in between them often and it was quite fluid.
This game is a twitch shooter (think Quake). It's all about reaction time. The levels are designed to be small and push combatants toward each other. You play to one hundred or until time runs out -- though the game never seems like it's long. There are areas where line of sight is broken up and then other areas where long hallways give you great chances to dual each other at fifty paces.
Outside of the tutorial level -- which is a shame because first impressions can kill a game -- this game is a ton of fun and I loved almost everything about it. Personally, I think I'm going to be playing this one for a while.