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Humble Indie Bundle 12 Review

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Hammerwatch Review:

Hacking and slashing are two pastimes best enjoyed in video games, thanks to loot drops. Also you will not be arrested for such behavior in a video game. Hammerwatch is a hack-and-slash action adventure that has you working to the top of Castle Hammerwatch, clearing away hordes of enemies on the way. To help keep things interesting, traps and secrets are sprinkled throughout, so be sure to keep your eyes open.

The gameplay of Hammerwatch is definitely fun and somewhat addicting, but it does have some design flaws (two I have noticed so far), and some choices I personally disagree with. The two flaws you encounter almost immediately. Like many other games, you are able to select the class you wish to play as in Hammerwatch, but unlike many others, there is nothing explaining the differences between them. Paladin, Wizard, Ranger, Warlock, Thief, and Priest are your options and there is no description of any of them available when you have to make your decision. Short of playing every type, or knowing someone who has, the only way you can learn what sets the classes apart is to look it up online.

The second design flaw is similar to the first, as it has to do with information not being presented to the player when it truly should be. For about half an hour I played aware of the fact that my character can have abilities (I looked at the control configuration), but I did not know that I actually already had one. Only because I bumped a button did I find out that I had an ability, and what it did. This is not how a player should learn a game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The primary choice I disagree with is how health works. There is no natural regeneration and the health pick-ups do not regenerate either. For me it actually got to the point multiple times that my best course of action would be to make a suicide charge and try to kill as many enemies as I could before being killed, respawning with full health. Dying should not be a legitimate strategy for regaining health.

Eventually I did unlock a means to regenerate health with a combo, which is activated by killing ten enemies in quick succession. By 'quick succession' I mean you will either need to actively kite enemies to get enough close together, or run into a gross number of enemies to actually get to ten kills. The timing is far too tight for this to be a viable strategy for regaining health or any other bonus, in my opinion, but at least it does work. There are checkpoints in the game and it would be nice if those restored even a percentage of your health.

Fortunately the health situation can be improved by setting up a custom game, as that allows you to activate modifiers, such as regenerating health and unlimited lives. Also, at least some of the classes do gain healing abilities, based on what I have read, but how exactly you find them in game, I am not sure.

 

Does Hammerwatch make the bundle worth getting? Despite the negative comments I have made, Hammerwatch is still a fun game, and I suspect that the multiplayer experience is even more fun. It does have issues, which make me glad it is not a BTA game, but where it is now, I think it is at least worth giving a chance. If you are looking for a pixel-art, hack-and-slash though, then go ahead and get the bundle for this.




  1. Humble Indie Bundle 12 Review - Introduction
  2. Gunpoint Review
  3. Hammerwatch Review
  4. SteamWorld Dig Review
  5. Gone Home (BTA) Review
  6. LUFTRAUSERS (BTA) Review
  7. Papers, Please (BTA) Review
  8. Prison Architect ($10.00+) Review
  9. Humble Indie Bundle 12 Review - Conclusion
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