First Impressions on Heroes Evolved

Heroes Evolved - Review thumpnail
TBD Overall Score

+50 heroes, good graphics, lightweight client download for each game access

Pretty much just League of Legends

We recently checked out Heroes Evolved from R2Games, a new fantasy MOBA in which players get to fight in team based 5 vs 5 matches, push waves of minions down a three land map, battle past enemy towers and smash the main core structure in the enemy base all whilst the rival team are trying to do the same thing.

Right now the game has in it 59 heroes, with more to be implemented, which is a pretty good start for a game in its western beta and gives a huge amount of choice, unfortunately whilst the game is a beta there was still restricted access to heroes as if it was already a release (which is fine, the developers are testing whatever they need to but are presumably fine with the way the heroes themselves play). Instead we had about a dozen accessible heroes on rotation, which is more than a wide enough selection to play from.

Jumping straight into the tutorial there was an instant familiarity with the mechanics, traditional mouse click movement with QWER abilities, earning XP from kills to level up and improve one of your skills at a time, last hitting minions to gain gold, extensive lane based gameplay leading to 30 to 40 minute matches. We’ve seen this game before, so much so that there were a few things we felt the tutorial missed out on, especially outside of the game with the Glyph system where you can attach Jewels in the Glyph slots; it was an unexplained but key feature to the game; it honestly feels like because the mechanics and features are so similar to another game it was almost a case of “we don’t need to explain this, they already know how to use it”.


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We jumped into some co-op games which allow you to “Practice with bots”, this was where things started to go badly because, as mentioned, it doesn’t explain things. It loaded up the hero select screen with two characters showing on our team vs one on the enemy (no idea why and we didn’t seem to be able to change this), but loading into the game there was us and 4 other characters on our team in the base, but three of them didn’t leave the base at all and the enemy team did indeed only ever have one hero on the field, which is ridiculous for a three lane map. At first we were confused as to whether these were AFK players as there is absolutely no indication as to whether they are bots or not, the bot names are confusingly designed to look like player names; it was only after a few matches that we saw the same inactive names that we started to realise that this was a 2v1. Now it’s a co-op so we’re guessing that maybe if you have more players then you get more enemies, but a 2v1 was completely pointless. Trying to quit one of our matches was kinda dumb as we couldn’t just leave, it wanted us to surrender and initiate a vote in 15minutes even though there were no other players, and there wasn’t an option to just quit out of the match so we actually had to close the game down…

So onto the Solo mode to be “matched against players of your skill level”, a little more exciting and the potential for some actual 5v5 gameplay. Nope. After a really quick loading time it just threw us into a 2v1 bot game without even an indication that it was going to do this, whether there’s no players of our skill level or just no one playing (which seems more accurate regardless of what time we checked the game out) throwing us into a game we didn’t want to play is just not a good idea. A notification to say that there’s not many people playing right now would be far better and allowing me to choose whether to play against bots (and at least 5 v 5…). This unfortunately wasn’t a one off and trying the game at different times resulted in the same lack of PVP, oddly the second single lane map “Valley of War” does let you sit in the queue endlessly with no one joining to play it.


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So right now the game suffers because there’s not enough people playing it, we can’t blame the game for that, and in the developers minds “let them play something instead of queuing forever” might seem like a good idea, but give us the option, don’t force us into a bot game when we’re queuing for Solo PVP.

The next big thing we really didn’t like was the business model, R2 Games have put their stamp all over this with a Recharge and VIP system; players pay cash to recharge which allows them to get gems so that they can buy heroes, skins, avatars, etc. which in itself is fine, we’ve nothing fundamentally against a recharge system. Players can also spend gems on VIP status, which gives various perks such as title colour, exclusive Heroes (dodgy but not the end of the world providing they’re not imbalanced), daily VIP points (an additional currency to buy heroes, etc.) and reduced cooldowns on some items. This last bit is the problem.

The game has an item called a Resurrection Stone, that when your hero dies in game allows them to use this item and instantly be resurrected on the spot; now for a MOBA pushing someone out of the lane is the whole point of trying to move the match forward, so being able to just resurrect in lane like it’s no big deal is already a bit of a no no. There is a 20min cooldown on the item, so at most you are only likely to use it twice in a match if you get an early death. The problem is that by PAYING (that’s the key point) to be a VIP you reduce the cooldown from 20mins to 4mins… You can essentially die every 4 mins, which rarely happens unless you are terrible, and other than giving the enemy XP you can pretty much stay in lane indefinitely. That is, in every way, pay to win, and essentially forces “competitive” players to spend cash to be a VIP solely for this use (there’s also another item that allows you to increase the armor of your buildings…)


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Aside from all of that the game does look great, the in game graphics are well designed, the map layout is good, the artwork for heroes outside the game is exceptionally well done, there are 59 heroes to choose from, it has all the hallmarks of being the biggest MOBA of all time. How can we make such a bold claim? Because this game is pretty much copying the biggest MOBA of all time; League of Legends. From the gameplay mechanics, the glyph system (rune system in LoL), items in the item shop, layout of the map, core characters, the graphical style and even the look of minions, there is nothing in this game that didn’t look like it was straight out of League of Legends (and we’re not some LoL fanboy trying to say “oh they copied LoL”, we don’t like LoL, but this game is undoubtedly a clone).

So what does Heroes Evolved offer that League of Legends doesn’t? Well surprisingly you can get this game with a 35MB client download and a small mini-patch, it is extremely light on your hard drive and still managed to pack in the same quality of other MOBA. The problem is that we have no idea what this game is trying to do, it’s the same as the most popular MOBA of all time, but has fewer features, fewer heroes and a terrible pay to win VIP system; it has a lightweight client so you can literally jump in the game in a few minutes which is great, but that almost makes it seem like a “try out this game without any hassle and if you like it then you can go and play the full version at Riot Games”.


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