Deadbeat Heroes Review
Super Heroes are all the rage right now. It feels like there is a new Marvel film out every week at the minute so it’s only natural that the gaming industry tries to band onto the back of that popularity. Deadbeat Heroes is an action-brawler game, developed by Deadbeat Productions, and published by Square Enix. Releasing on PC and Xbox One on October 10 2017. Deadbeat Heroes may be a superhero game, but not in the same vein as most. This comical venture into the superhero genre tries to do things different from the norm, but let’s find out whether it is successful in doing so.
Set in London, England, you play one of the last super heroes around. All of London’s regular crime fighting heroes have vanished and only the worst of the worst heroes remain. Unfortunately, those heroes are you, and you must put an end to the evil-doers plan’s across London. Since you aren’t exactly a born and bred super hero, you have to make do with what you are given; a new prototype gauntlet that lets the holder steal the super powers of others. Deadbeat Heroes has plenty of personable characters, and very likeable ones at that. If you aren’t a fan of British humour then most of the dialog will just bounce right off you as every line is some sort of comical whip that had me giggling no end.
Due to the nature of the game however, you can entirely skip over the story if you so choose. Gameplay aims are simple to understand without a grasp of why you are doing it. The story does add to comical scene though. I for one enjoyed it immensely.
As with most brawlers, combat is quite simple to learn, but tricky to master. You start off with very basic attacks but as you progress through the game, you unlock new combos which are used to fend off more unique enemies. Enemies tend to be downed in a couple of hits, but some can only be damaged by special moves. With every hit on a foe, you can pick up a mana ball, collect enough of these mana ball’s and you can unleash your heroes special power. It’s these special powers that are used to damage bosses. The game’s regular enemies come in all different shapes and sizes, and I liked how they all have their own individual attacks, strengths and weaknesses. Whenever a new enemy is introduced, the game gives a brief overview of them, and how you should take them down.
Each level’s aim is to reach the end of the stage, killing enemies along the way. As it’s a brawler, you should also be paying attention to your combo meter. The more combos you hit, the higher your rank is at the end of a level. I am all for having ranks on levels, but what I don’t like about the way Deadbeat Heroes portrays it’s ranking, is how it is used as a gating mechanism for progressing to levels. I am all for including “star ratings” in mobile games that have micro-transactions and tempt players into paying for skipping these mechanics, it shouldn’t be part of games like this no matter what people say about “getting good”.
Not only does Deadbeat Heroes have this annoying gating feature, you are also forced to replay an entire chapter if you happen to die on the later stages of it. Not just the level you died on, the whole chapter. This was extremely annoying and at times made me want to stop playing as I was being forced to replay levels I had already completed. Don’t you think I was annoyed enough that I had died, the replaying already conquered stages was just adding salt into the wound.
Across 35 levels, you have the chance to come up against pretty nasty bosses that will challenge you sufficiently. After you take them down, you then gain their superpower, which you can use at your leisure in future levels. Some of my favorite include being able to freeze enemies, and turn invisible. However with 10 powers to unlock, you will easily find one that suites your play style.
Deadbeat Heroes has a unique art style, cell chased, colourful and vibrant, but I really wasn’t keen on the aesthetic used. A very pixelated, low quality graphic style very rarely comes off positively for me, and even though my game was running quite happily at 60 fps, the gameplay seemed to run slower. There was almost a stutter to the animations which made me feel a little motion sick. This slowdown may have been intentional, but for me it came across as a negative effect.
The voice acting is probably the best feature from Deadbeat Heroes. The British actors complement the banter and quips of dialog used throughout. If you aren’t from Britain, some of the lines may go over your head a bit, but that’s not to say you won’t be able to appreciate the jokes being told.
Deadbeat Heroes took me around 6 hours to complete. I am quite happy with that length, and with the inclusion of local co-op also being an option, it lends itself to being a very replayable game with friends.
- British Banter and Humour
- Voice acting
- Annoying and mobile gaming-esk progression gating mechanics
- Poor graphics
- Stuttering gameplay