Robot Entertainment is best known for the Orcs Must Die! series. Now the Texas-based developer is back with a fast-paced multiplayer dungeon crawler called ReadySet Heroes. The game was shown as a playable demo at Gamescom recently, along with a new trailer.
Announced by publisher Sony Computer Entertainment back in March, it’s coming out on PlayStation 4 and Windows PC on October 1. The PC version is an Epic Store exclusive.
While many hack-and-slash dungeon crawlers are presented in a Diablo-style overhead view, ReadySet Heroes goes for a lower action-adventure perspective. This was a trick Robot pulled with Orcs Must Die!, which are tower defense games, also a traditionally top-down genre.
I play as one of a number of woodland creatures, with names like Tuck (a badger), Dixie (a rabbit) and Willow (a woodpecker). The animals aren’t really class-based, but they do have minor attributes and boosts, such as extra health or slightly more speed.
The multiplayer set-up – in split-screen local play or online – features two teams of two players, or four single-player competitors. I played the game in 2-v-2 mode. Once I’ve selected my character, I’m dropped into a series of colorful dungeons populated by enemies and traps. I begin with a wooden sword, but as I make my way through each room, I’m rewarded with a treasure chest, which yields either weapons or armor or magic spells and special moves. I can only carry one of each, so I make a choice each time.
Dead enemies also yield crystals of various colors, which boost my various stats, like maximum health and damage. The point here is to pick up as much treasure as possible, against a time deadline. The other team is doing the same thing, unseen in another part of the world, and soon we’re going to face-off.
The deeper my team travels into the dungeons, the better the loot, with special moves more likely to appear. Or, I can focus on boosting my stats by slaying each and every enemy I come across. After a few minutes of this collection frenzy, the timer runs out and my team are transported to an arena battle against the human enemy.
This comes in various modes including a good old-fashioned brawl, and an ice-rink hockey game (my favorite) in which both teams try to push pieces of sushi into the mouths of giant fish, while disrupting enemy players. Victory allows me to select snazzy new items of clothing or special poses.
ReadySet Heroes is a fun piece of multiplayer chaos that will find favor among young players and families, as well as hardened dungeon fans who feel like something a little lighter than the usual dark fantasy fare.