The latest game to cross our motherboard from Steam’s Early Access program is Hell Warders, an action RPG from Ares Games. As always, we won’t be giving the game a proper review since it hasn’t been fully released yet, but we’ll be happy to preview it for you so you can determine if this is something you want.
In Hell Warders, the demons of Hell are constantly rising up to take over the earth, and it is your job to push the suckers back through the gates they spawned from as a protector and seal them up for good. The game will set up you and other people playing in a system where you will battle against wave after wave of enemies that spawn out to challenge you, as you mow them down and proceed to the next area. Right now there aren’t a lot of people playing the game online, so running into fellow fighters may be tricky, but you can run a four-player co-op for these challenges.
Aside from the obvious skills and powers you have as you slash your way through the demonic bodies that hurl themselves at you, you also have the ability to build defenses at certain junction points marked on the map. For example, one area allowed me to build a small catapult that was manned by what appeared to be ghostly fighters. I got a few shots in before the ability went away, but they were crucial to getting some of the harder enemies out of the way. At another point, I was able to spawn a bunch of archers in the same fashion who could target a wide area or a specific chokepoint for me until they ran out of power.
There were two types of characters I gravitated toward. The first was an alchemist that has more ranged attacks and is able to do a lot of damage from a far without taking a ton of damage myself, but it also took longer for me to completely clear out areas. The other was a knight who is straight-up melee fighter with a couple special abilities that will make hack-n-slash fans happy. There really isn’t a wrong way to play the game, it just depends on how you choose to approach a situation.
As Hell Warders goes on, the levels will change up a bit. New enemies will spawn as you scurry to protect the area, while the level itself will create new hazards that will impede your progress. At one point I was swallowed up by lava and took a lot of damage in an area where lava is basically everywhere you go. Some of the bosses just won’t die as quickly as you hope as a few will split into smaller enemies and others will regenerate in front of you. There’s just no way to predict how things will go in your favor, so you’ll have to do a little trial-and-error fighting to see how everyone reacts and what they end up doing.
Hell Warders plays really well and looks great for Early Access, but there’s still some graphical and gameplay issues that show there’s a few more steps they need to take to making it complete. I would advise going into this game if you have three other people around who can play with you, because while finding the random person online was okay, this is the type of game that will work better with dedicated people who want to see it through and aren’t easily swayed by difficulty.