Video Games

Has-Been Heroes—a game that will bring out your competitive edge

30 May , 2017  

Written by Jon Scarr
Have you been looking for a new game that will bring out your competitive edge? If so, I’ve got a game for you! Has-Been Heroes is a rogue-like strategy and action game from the Frozenbyte that is full of deep rich strategy and fast-paced action. Read more in our Has Been Heroes Review.
You’ll take control of three characters during your journey with a focus on coordinating melee attacks, managing cooldowns and combining hundreds of different spells. Can you create devastating combo effects to defeat an endless army of undead that you will meet on your journey?
With expanding world maps and an increasing level of difficulty, Has-Been Heroes will keep you on your toes forcing you to change your playstyle each time you start a new game. Let’s take a look to see if Frozenbyte has another winner on their hands.
Has Been Heroes Review

A quest of epic proportions filled with humour

Has-Been Heroes is full of humour and is evident from the very first time you boot up the game. The story behind the game revolves around a group of legendary champions once celebrated throughout the kingdom. With just one more adventure away from retirement, the two heroes are summoned by the King for their last epic quest.
Luckily, a young rogue joins the heroic Has-Been Heroes, and not a moment too soon. The heroes must escort the twin Princesses Avaline and Beatrix to a faraway school. However, the journey wont be easy as you will face an endless army of undead that will cross you path.
Has-Been Heroes is full of playful dialogue that pokes fun at fantasy storytelling and shines through nearly every element of both gameplay and presentation.
Has Been Heroes Review

Strategic gameplay with fast-paced action

As you escort the King’s daughters on their way to school, you’ll control three characters that will face hordes of skeletons and other undead enemies along the way to battle. Combat in Has-Been Heroes is row-based, as you control three lanes that the heroes stand on the left side of and attack enemies from the right.
You must coordinate attacks and spells to defeat your enemies and plan your route carefully on the randomly generated maps. Each map contains battles, merchants, spell vendors, treasure chests, and other crossroad locations to boost your character’s powers. You’ll earn gold coins as you defeat enemies and in turn gives you the ability to purchase much needed spells that will help you against level bosses.
Has Been Heroes Review
With over 300 spells, more than 200 items, 13 regions, 12 playable heroes, and 200 enemies—Has-Been Heroes will have you trying to uncover all these riches for hours upon end. The combination of turn-based and RTS game mechanics are easy enough to master and require fast decision making.
Navigating the game’s map is done with the right analog, and pressing the R button locks in movement. Switching between heroes amongst the lanes can be a bit tricky and confusing at first. However, after a few minutes of play it becomes second nature.
Luckily, after each hit against your enemy, you are given the opportunity to swap character positions and develop a strategy. The action does get frantic and there are many times where I was left wondering how I would be able to surpass what seemed like unsurmountable odds.
Has Been Heroes Review
Without a shadow of a doubt, Has-Been Heroes caters towards gamers with a competitive edge and those who love a good challenge. If you are easily frustrated, Has-Been Heroes might not be the game for you.
My first sit down with the game I went on a 0-20 streak where I didn’t even get out of the first area, whether it was an icy forest or a dark one. I was able to get as far as the second boss and manage to take about half of its health down before one of my heroes died. To add to the challenge, there’s no revival—so one death forces a restart.

Tips and tricks to help you on your journey

After spending countless hours with Has-Been Heroes, I’ve come up with some tips and tricks in three different categories that will help you along your journey and give you the upper hand on this fiercely competitive game.
Let’s talk fighting first, since it is very important in this game.

  • Pay attention to how many stamina bars your enemy has, and match your heroes’ melee hits to stun the enemy.
  • Once your enemy is stunned, maximize the damage by using a high-damage hero such as the Warrior
  • Backstabbing a stunned enemy will reset its stun time, keeping the enemy frozen for extra time!

Time to strategize with these helpful tips

  • Don’t waste time in battles, every millisecond counts! The pause button is the most important in the game.
  • Look over the map and plan your route carefully; sometimes you might want to do more battles to collect more gold for better items and spells, sometimes the shortest way to meet the final boss is the best
  • Know your heroes and their advantages and weaknesses, combine that with learning the items is the key to successful runs!

Has Been Heroes Review
Spells play an important role and with these tips you can use them more effectively.

  • Spell slots can make a huge difference. For instance, the Rogue’s “Buff all” spell slot will give the buff to the whole party, which comes in handy with spell buffs used on your hero characters.
  • Don’t be afraid to try different spell combinations. For example, try using a wind spell on a wet enemy—watch your enemy freeze.


A game that Dota2 and LoL players can get into

If you are into games with real-time strategy elements such as Dota 2 or LoL, then Has-Been Heroes just might be for you. In many ways, Has-Been Heroes can be seen as a scaled back version of the two games.
All three games share many similarities; they fall under the same ARTS genre of games using standard real-time strategy controls. Just like Dota 2 and LoL, Has-Been Heroes Looking for a vast selection of characters to play as each with their own design, benefits, and weaknesses. Leveling up your heroes, equipping them with spells and potions that they need in order to be successful, and uncovering loot is a delight.
Although Has-Been Heroes doesn’t have an online element at the time of this review, it’s very possible that this could be added via game updates and DLC—adding a whole new level of gameplay.
Has Been Heroes Review

Final Thoughts

Has-Been Heroes is a great budget title has a learning curve, which requires patience and a willingness to learn. There are times in the game where you will feel frustrated, and other times where you will feel joy after defeating a boss or a particularly tough battle.
The graphics are nothing to write home about, however each of the characters are well animated and there are enough little touches to distinguish them apart. The crunch of an enemy kill or the sizzling sound of an enemy after you cast a fireball spell is strangely satisfying.
There are a ton of items, spells, and characters to uncover—all of which will keep you fighting to unlock them. If you are like me and have a competitive side, Has-Been Heroes will surely appeal to you. How many items can you find? How many characters can you unlock? How far can you make it?
If you play Has-Been Heroes on the Nintendo Switch, like I did, you’ll find that this game will keep you busy on the go. While Has-Been Heroes is not a perfect game, it will keep you on your toes.

Game Details

Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Developer: Frozenbyte
Publisher:  GameTrust
Genre: Rogue-like Strategy and Action
Modes: Single-player
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)

Final Score: 70/100

About the Author: Jon Scarr
Based in Toronto, Jon is a proud Canadian who loves all things gaming. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry who has been in love with technology and gaming for over 20 years. Come say hi and join the conversation with Jon on Twitter.

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