IGN Review of Glory of Heracles
They say you can take a girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl. The same can be said about classic, turn-based role-playing games. Glory of Heracles teleports the player to ancient Greece for an adventure where the gods of Olympus are real and dangerous monsters lurk around every corner. It's a rather interesting setting for an RPG and one that hasn't been beaten to death the way high-fantasy or sci-fi has. In the end, however, Glory of Heracles feels like just another cookie cutter game, sorely lacking inspiration.
While all of the role-playing mechanics are completely functional, it is the pacing and storytelling that ultimately doom Glory of Heracles. You play as Heracles himself...or at least you're initially led to believe that's who you are. In classic cliché fashion, your character and most of the party members have no recollection of their past. This sets up the "tension" of the story. Are you Heracles or is this other guy? That yawn inspiring plot-line serves as both the introduction and the sole motivation for hours upon hours of the game.
It'll take you quite a while to actually get started on the trek to Mount Olympus to determine your ultimate destiny. Along the way, the party is side-tracked repeatedly and subjected to some seriously bad writing. My personal favorite was the line, "Don't be a heel, Achilles." Get it? You'll get a whole lot of that in Glory of Heracles, along with a whole lot of talk about fate, as you trek from bland dungeon to bland town and then on to the next bland dungeon in a far to linear and monotonous quest.
Glory of Heracles moves along in a rather stress free manner. None of the random encounters are very difficult and there is a suitable "auto" attack that does all of the work for you. The game warns you when the party is confronted by a particularly difficult battle, letting you know that it's time to wake up and pay attention or to run away. It will even prompt you to save before entering a new and challenging area. The only real stressor in the game is the fact that random battles occur far too often, forcing the player into fights as often as every few steps.
This lackadaisical approach to combat and gameplay quickly lulls you into a hazy experience where everything blends together and nothing is particularly memorable. To be sure, there is a whole slew of traditional RPG game mechanics tossed into Glory of Heracles, but it's hard to care about any of them. None stand out as original or impressive, and none feel all too important in the grand scheme of things.
Everything from crafting weapons to polishing rusty equipment to adding upgrades to weapons and armor is present here. Some of these traditional game elements have nifty hooks to them, such as praying at temples and statues devoted to the Grecian gods to learn new skills and spells. You can even upgrade the casting power of spells, performed during combat with little touch screen mini-games. Of course, when the game quickly breaks down to repeatedly hitting the auto-battle button to plow through random encounter after random encounter, none of this really matters.
Without a compelling story, interesting characters, or exciting combat to drive things along, there isn't much reason to keep going. Those looking for a functional RPG to pass the time will find exactly that here, but little more.
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