Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms is the second part of the Heretic Kingdoms saga and is an Action RPG, Hack and Slash game much like the Diablo series. It has been developed by the Slovakian studio Games Farm and published by bitComposer Games.
Sadly I have never played the first instalment but i don’t think that should put anyone off this game, it starts with a dark intro involving demons and pacts in blood. The narrator is an old man named Krenze who later becomes the Hooded Man and is a big part of the forthcoming immersive story. You start as Carissa a high level character who acts as a back story, tutorial and introduction to the game.
Eventually with the tutorial out the way you start your own path with the hero of your choice, set three years after the beginning events. This is where the game had me hooked, you control a Demon through a fantastic graphical catacomb fighting off phantom spirits until you reach the Hooded Man standing vigil over three sarcophagus’s and your choice of mortal whose soul you must devour.
This is your chance to pick your hero. You are limited to three possibilities but hopefully as the game expands there’ll add a few more. There is Evia the daughter of fire whose a mage, Kalig the bandit king a dwarven warrior and my choice Jasker the wild boar who’s an archer. The second you take control of your character you are immersed in a great dungeon, shooting spiders, smashing urns to retrieve silver (the in game currency) opening Treasure Chests and sliding open coffins to reveal items and loot.
The games strong point is the ability of flicking between the mortal and spiritual realm. Pressing A puts you in control of the demon and then pressing S brings you back to the character you selected. Both worlds are different and it brings a real fresh, new and enjoyable aspect to the game. As you battle the tide of enemy’s your mortal can fall in combat pulling you instantly into the spiritual realm, revival comes by holding S but if your demon is slain then sadly this signifies Game Over. To overcome this i would recommend the games F5 Quick Save feature and use it often to save a lot of heartache when your death inevitably comes. As you progress you will level up which gives you the options to place skill points in both your characters. The enemy’s get considerably tougher so the Space Bar gets used a lot as pressing this depletes Mana in the exchange for Health.
Eventually you will make it to the main city, Thole (The City of Outcasts) a desert city with a medieval middle eastern feel. In the centre of this is the bazaar where traders/merchants selling weapons, armour, trinkets, jewellery and potions. If these do not turn up the items you require there are crafting areas that allow you (once collected the relevant items) to craft your own items to help you progress through your adventure.
This game is full of fantastic content, a great storyline with a plethora of side quests which will even unlock some extra members for your party. The gameplay is incredible and the controls are easy to use. The vivid graphics and the emotive soundtrack make it really shine and standout.
Giving this game 9/10 is easy, it’s everything and more you’ll want from the genre. The game does stuffer a few very minor glitches, a little bit of lag/slowed gameplay in places but the team behind this game seem to be proactive in releasing patches to sort everything out.
I can’t recommend this game enough and even getting to the end of this review i have racked up five hours of gameplay and I foresee many more hours slipping by.
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