The journey to becoming a great hero is a path that many have trodden. In ancient Greek mythology, the trials of Hercules or the adventures of Jason and the Argonauts normally consist of a number of trials or tests to partake in and overcome, to become the greatest hero on Earth.
This trial/mission quest line has been copied and utilised from the earliest adventure video game to the latest blockbuster. Heroes Trials doesn’t shy away from these roots and it basically does exactly what it says on the tin – delivers trials for heroes. But does it do a Hercules or is it more like that man who dressed up as Batman and fell down a manhole?
In terms of look and feel the gameplay in Heroes Trials is very much like an old school Zelda – and a hundred other games, for that matter – whereby you are in control of two little would-be heroes; a warrior type with a sword and shield, which is good for intense strong close combat attacks and a mage with long-range spells which include fire, ice and lighting attacks. You can switch between these different characters with a flick of the button depending on what you need for the situation in the game.
The story is quite basic really and doesn’t require a major understanding of narrative structure or exposition to get a handle on what they are trying to tell. It’s a basic ‘do these trials, in this amount of time’ and then after ten missions or so, you will be ready to face the final challenge. As you would expect, these missions will see you doing things like attempting to get a magical scroll from the northwest corner of the map, giving you just 8 minutes to do it.
Zelda-like, you will find yourself running across the map, pulling off a number of attacks depending on the character you are commanding. As a warrior these include sword hits, the throwing of bombs and deflecting of attacks thanks to the use of a shield. As the mage, you can fire your spells rapidly in all directions, gaining more as you progress through the missions.
On the route to your destination, you might well find little creatures to attack along the way, and bushes to hit to get some coinage. Reaching the destination will then normally provide you with another dungeon, requesting you to collect a number of keys to open doorways; these will only be found via exploration, killing creatures or taking down bosses. Take a hit or two and you’ll see your health bar whacked, and it’s hard to replenish this as only fruit can do the job, something which is surprisingly hard to find dotted across the map.
That really is the long and short of Heroes Trials on Xbox One and it’s good to see that everything plays out just fine. Nothing is seemingly broken, the world is a pleasant enough place to be in, the combat is what you would expect of a cheerful little game of this type and the whole experience is a very familiar experience to all those other adventures you would have previously taken in. The big difference here though is in regards the price, and it is great to see Heroes Trials come in at under a fiver; that is exactly the right price for this short, inoffensive and achievement glorious little adventure. It’s not a game that pushes the boundaries of what we know and love, nor will it ever leave you astounded in any way, but it’s not a bad little game. I had an afternoon of fun playing around in the world that Heroes Trials delivered and all for the price of a coffee and a biscuit in the expensive cafe down the road.
Much like mentioned in terms of the gameplay, Heroes Trials also looks very familiar, with its colourful lands and tiny characters and monsters dotted around. It’s a game that you might expect to find on your mobile phone, rather than your console, but I don’t mind that one little bit. That said though, there is one lava world section that made me want to burn my eyes, reminding me of the sad old days of years gone by, but other than that the old fashioned nature of the whole experience, completely fits with the package on offer. It is very much the same in terms of the audio; a very dramatic epic soundtrack that promises much more than is ever going to happen.
I have really enjoyed my time with Heroes Trials and it’s certainly a game in which you can’t really say there is anything wrong. It’s never going to win a game of the year award, as it’s a copy of many things that you would have played over the last 20 years, and it looks like a mobile phone game, but you won’t need any amazing gaming skills to enjoy what is on offer and get through to the end of the trials. Should you be after a very cheap afternoon of something bright, cheery and filled with tons of easy achievements, you can’t go wrong by strapping on your best adventuring hat and entering the world of Heroes Trials.