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4 Reviews

Heroes of Ruin review: Diablo in the palm of your hands

Nintendo 3DS gets +3 to loot and a critical chance to increase enjoyment

Numbers are terrible things. They float around, pretending they're bigger than other numbers and getting tangled in maths equations, but doing nothing truly useful. Numbers alone serve no purpose.

But tie numbers to things, and suddenly they become interesting. Take Heroes Of Ruin's loot system: 105 on its own is a typical number, all uppity and arrogant and useless. But attach it to a set of shoulderpads, and suddenly that 105 becomes something useful: it becomes your attack damage.

And 105 is bigger than 103. Imagine an amazing world in which your previous attack score was that 103, and you had found a set of shoulderpads that increased it to 105.

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Heroes Of Ruin's characters are absolutely riddled with these kinds of statistics - from health regeneration to critical hit chance - and raising them tickles something at the base of your brain that makes you all tingly and happy.

That once-useless number, so intangible and punchable, suddenly becomes something you want, something your weak human brain says you need, something you'd kill your way through hours of enemies to get your covetous little shoulders in.

Loot Recital

Lucky that, because you'll have to do a lot of killing to get to Heroes Of Ruin's better loot. The action RPG lobs a menagerie of fantasy creatures at you from the off - starting off with ornery turtles and imps, moving into giant ice golems as the game progresses - and then when one menagerie is depleted, cracks open the seal on another and tosses it your way. Your primary means of interaction with said foes is hitting them soundly about the chops: best achieved by either a basic attack, or a special move.

Given just how much of it you'll be doing, it's just as well Heroes Of Ruin's combat feels good. Press B near a foe and you'll biff them. The biffing is as tangible and satisfying as a solid biffing should be, but Heroes Of Ruin's combat gets more fun with the injection of your chosen character's attack skills.

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Those characters each have very different applications. Heroes Of Ruin's four classes slot neatly into western RPG archetypes. The Vindicator is a tank, able to absorb damage and protect pals, all while swinging a big sword. He's also a lion, albeit one who walks around on his hind legs like he thinks he's people.

The Savage has less concern for his own welfare. Having stronger attacks at the expense of a smaller health bar, his skills focus on drawing enemies close and mauling them to death. Pleasant chap, that Savage.

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