Hell Warders by Ares Games is an action hack-and-slash game with tower defense elements currently on Steam. The game is currently in early access and already offers a rather polished experience. More maps and characters still need to be added. There is certainly some work to be done, but it is so far so good for Hell Warders.
You can purchase Hell Warders right now on Steam.
Hell Warders is not about the story. You are thrown into a room and told to kill the creepy monsters and not kill the people who are going to help you kill the creepy monsters. That is all you really need to know. This is certainly not a story focused game, but that is perfectly fine. What the game does offer, however, is fun gameplay with interesting maps.
Thankfully, the gameplay of Hell Warders is much stronger than the story. Hell Warders' main focus is the combat. For most of the five rounds of a match, you will be running around slashing, shooting, or bombing your way to victory. Or you will die.
When playing with a group of friends, Hell Warders can be great fun. Placing the many different tower defense pieces as you prepare for the next wave that constantly gets harder and harder as they progress. Where the gameplay is weak, however, is when playing solo. There is very little solo play available in Hell Warders. Considering that this game bills itself clearly as a co-op game, this isn't a huge idea. However, it would be nice that included in the full game.
In Hell Warders, you currently have the option to play as three different classes. You can currently play as Ash, Dead Eye, and Samson III. I'll let you guess which one has the guns.
Ash is your sword and shield character who runs around the battlefield slashing up the varied and interesting monsters and dying a lot since he is the one who takes most of the damage. He has the ability to block 50% of incoming damage so he can die less quickly, use a fire tornado because fire tornados are awesome, and slam the ground to deal massive damage and stun enemies because all melee characters need a ground pound.
If you didn't already guess, Dead Eye has the guns. Though, dual shotguns are an odd choice for someone with the name of Dead Eye. Dead Eye can throw his super secret special concoction at enemies, shoot his shotgun, and pull out another shotgun to go dual wield. I'm not convinced Dead Eye was an appropriate name for this character. Shotgun McShotgunface would have been a far more representative name for the character.
Last but not least is Samson III. Samson III is the character your friends pick when they want to be dicks. Yes, dropping bombs is fun, and setting bombs place bombs that explode when enemies are near can be quite useful, it is all undercut by his shockwave ability. This ability is used to throw you into the lava so you die instantly because your friends are jerks and you should probably start looking for new friends.
The three different characters all play very differently and have their strengths and weaknesses so playing with all of them is a blast. They certainly have me excited for the next five characters that have yet to be released.
The characters certainly make it pretty fun to go around and place your defenses with some strategy. You have to make sure your range characters are within range and healers are where you can get them but not where they will be killed by enemies. You can just put catapults wherever because they might as well be a nuclear bomb since they can just hit from anywhere to deal massive damage. It is all good fun.
The only real downside I have with the game is that it feels a bit slow and clunky at times. Trying to move around the battlefield isn't as fluid as it should be and be annoying as you try to navigate pitfalls so you don't fall into the lava below. It is annoying, but nothing game breaking for me.
Graphics And Sound
The game doesn't look too bad. It isn't going to blow any minds, but they are quite serviceable. They work well with the art style and the blood and gore are up front and center. It is dark, but pleasingly so. Like a hand-me-down car, it doesn't look great, but it is serviceable.
The sound is the same as graphics. The weapons attacks are fine and music is serviceable, but nothing great. It is not going to go down as a great masterpiece, but it isn't going to detract from the experience either. Sometimes that old car may sound like it is about to explode, but it usually returns to normal soon enough.
Hell Warders is a good time so long as you have some friends to play with. It doesn't offer much for those looking for a solo experience, unfortunately. The hack-and-slash combat and tower defense elements play well together to create an enjoyable experience. The different characters are fun to play as and they are different enough to give a different experience.
The graphics and sound are serviceable, but nothing great. They don't hurt the game at all, but it doesn't help it either. All in all, the different combinations work pretty well and the game manages to blend the two genres pretty well. The movement needs to move smoothed out and some solo activities would be appreciated.
|+ Hack-and-slash and tower defense works well together.||– Sluggish movement|
|+ Varied characters||– Lack of solo content|
|+ Good map design|