Rogue Heroes: Ruins Of Tasos Review
Set in a world called Tasos that is beset by an ancient evil, your role is to delve into four ever-shifting dungeons in search of treasure, power, and the ability to save the world.
That’s basically the story of Rogue Heroes, and I can’t say that it ever gets much more complicated or interesting than that. Thankfully, it doesn’t really matter, though.
Part of that is because the story simply isn’t all that important, nor is it particularly engaging, but part of it is also because the gameplay is so good.
It’s not just the gameplay either, both the sound design and the visuals are also pretty incredible, and overall, the game is excellent.
I need a hero
In Ruins of Tasos, you and up to three friends get to explore a variety of different locations (all the classic, ice, fire, forests, spooky graveyard) and fight off monsters of all shapes and sizes as you try and save the world.
Combat is pretty simple, with each character having a sword to swing, a shield to raise, items to use, and a movement ability of some kind. Most of this never changes no matter which class you use, although a mage will generally deal more damage with a magical item than a soldier, but your movement ability is dictated by your class.
The class system is interesting but feels a little lacklustre at times. While each class does stats, and these do play into your attack power, defensive abilities, and magical prowess, it often feels more like the only thing that actually matters there are the movement abilities.
They’re good fun, and with the magician class teleporting and the reaper class able to turn into a skull and roll around, they’re pretty varied too. It’s fun, but I’d have loved to see different weapons or attacks or something. Of course, you only unlock these classes as you find new threads, and to do anything you need to go on a big old adventure first.
Your first step is to head east and follow a path until you reach the first dungeon. There’s a lot to see on the way, but as is the case with any self-respecting Zelda homage, you’ll need to unlock some items to see most of it.
Once you get there, you’re told you’ll need to give up all of your gems to enter. Gems are your upgrade currency basically. So, given that you have no gems, you’re going to go ahead and start your journey into the roguelike dungeons.
You’ll die at some point, likely long before the boss, and you wake up back in town. For the record, the boss fights and dungeons themselves are great fun, and feel very much like Zelda fights, which can only ever be a compliment. However, now that you’re back in town, the upgradey part of the game kicks off.
I’d like a new tunic
Now that you’re undead, but also you’re rich, you have to spend your gems. There are a few things to spend gems on, but they can be broadly split into buildings for your town, and upgrades.
The buildings are necessary to get the upgrades, so I bought all of those first. Then, each building will offer a specific kind of upgrade, and you can spend your gems however you like to fit your playstyle.
It’s a fun system that lets you get very granular with your preferred style of play. It can also be vastly overwhelming at first, but you’ll adjust.
All of this is good, but it’s generally much better in co-op. Fighting off the additional enemies and trying to make it through rooms filled with traps with friends is a joy.
I had a few issues while playing in multiplayer online though. For starters, some obstacles appeared to be instanced, so I would get stuck on bushes that my friend cut down, that I then had to cut down again despite them not existing in my world.
The camera can also get a little fiddly if your group is prone to behaving like toddlers. Which is to say everyone runs off in a cardinal direction screaming. Both of these issues were annoying, but the experience was entertaining enough that I pushed past them.
A link to some friends
I’m not surprised to have found myself thoroughly enjoying Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos. It’s a roguelike game with co-op that takes a lot of inspiration from one of my all-time favourite game series.
It’s a wonderfully charming and enticing experience that I will quite happily keep playing again and again. There are loads of secrets to be found, plenty more upgrades to unlock, and lots of monsters to yeet into the sea. It’s fun, but it’s not a perfect experience. The issue with the multiplayer and lacklustre story detract from the stellar gameplay, but I’m definitely a lot more positive on Rogue Heroes than I am negative.