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Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Online Multiplayer
Publisher: Heatwave Interactive
Developer: Heatwave Interactive
Release Date: June 21, 2011

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PC Preview - 'Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising'

by Mark Crump on July 3, 2006 @ 2:11 a.m. PDT

Gods & Heroes is a massively multiplayer RPG of mythic adventure in the ancient world featuring epic God Powers, intense squad-based combat, and creatures drawn from the myths and legends of the ancient world.

Genre: MMORPG
Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment
Developer: Perpetual Entertainment
Release Date: TBA

What a difference a year makes. When I saw Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising at last year's E3, I thought it had some interesting ideas, but its presentation left much to be desired. This year, the game was one of the visual highlights for me — I'm not sure if it's money infused from new publisher Sony Online, or someone at Perpetual Entertainment hitting the lottery, but some serious funding has been injected into the graphics budget.

What struck me the most was how fluid the animations were, which really sells the combat. Most times, when you watch two creatures beating the snot out of each other, it looks like they're swinging at air, but not here. I saw a fight between two humanoids going at each other with hammers, and I got the feeling the hammers were actually connecting with something.

The irony here is the graphics may well be Gods and Heroes' downfall. Gods lets you control up to eight minions, even if you're grouped. Therefore, a party of eight can have 64 minions, and a raid's worth will reduce your video card to a simpering pile of silicon. They say it is squad combat; I say it's a potential framerate hell.

The minions won't be as stupid as the ones you can control in Guild Wars; Gods will let you tell them where to go and who to attack. They will be of the usual sorts — melee, spellcasters, healers, etc. You'll have a camp that you can plant to log out from, or change your squad.

The premise is interesting: Players will be the offspring of a mythical god. As you advance in levels, you'll gain core abilities from your parents, such as lighting from Thor. (Any takers on what Venus' ability will be?) You'll get the powers by completing quests offered to you by the gods.

The combat system is influenced by console fighting games, so it is very reactionary, with lots of hot-keyed abilities and the like. I'm a fan of combat systems that don't encourage you to wander off and make a snack while the fight resolves itself, so I'm hopeful about how this will play out. As you'd expect, you'll be fighting lots of mythical creatures like Hydras, Chimeras, and mothers-in-law — I mean medusas.

Gods and Heroes certainly looks interesting, with a back-story that at least takes a stab at explaining how you came to inhabit the world. The mythological setting has me intrigued, but I'm a little apprehensive about how all of these minions will affect framerates. You can easily end up with eight times the amount of characters on the screen if everyone is running around with their minions out.


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