Hell Warders on PC
I love a good genre mashup in my games. While it doesn’t always pan out, it’s a truly beautiful thing when it does. I’m not yet completely sold that Hell Warders has pulled it off just yet, but this intriguing early title certainly shows some interesting promise. Coming from indie developer Ares Games, Hell Warders is a fusion of third-person action RPG and tower defense title with a hefty focus on multiplayer action and working as a team.
So far, Hell Warders offers three different character classes to choose from. Once you’ve selected your character, players are taken to their “home base” – a nexus from which the game’s title heroes prepare for their upcoming missions. If you’ve joined a multiplayer game, you can use this time to talk with your fellow Warders and develop strategies or, in my experience, ask each other repeatedly if you’re ready to play. It’s not the most thrilling innovation, but it’s a solid take on the traditional lobby used in many online games today.
Once the action starts, Hell Warders introduces its dual-phase gameplay. First up is the Build Phase; during this time, players can collect defensive units that can be placed around the field. Pathways of enemy travel are clearly outlined, showing the route that the vile demons will take from their points of origin to the nexus that you’re tasked with defending. During the Build Phase, placing defensive units is instantaneous and helps prepare for the coming waves of evil creatures.
The other side of Hell Warders is the Combat Phase. As you might expect, this is when the hordes of twisted, evil beings start pouring out of their dens and marching towards the Nexus. Completing each wave relies on the same two principles as any other tower-defense game: protect the Nexus from being destroyed, and kill all the baddies. You can still place defensive units during this time, but it requires some “build time” to deploy. Most of your time is better spent taking the fight directly to your foes, bringing the action elements of the game to the front.
Hell Warders does still feel, at the moment, like the early-access title it is. Character animations feel clunky at times, and the gameplay can take some getting used to. There’s not a lot of helpful in-game tutorials, either, so jumping in feet-first and toying around seems to be the only way to get the gist. Fortunately, despite the multiplayer focus, single-player games are also an option that allow you to play around with the game relatively freely.
All in all, Hell Warders still has a ways to go. The concept and framework is sound, and the plans detailed on the game’s ongoing Indiegogo page promise more polish, along with new features and character classes, to come. Chipping in $15 or more can get you access to the game’s Beta; otherwise, you can simply keep an eye on the recently-greenlit Steam page for the upcoming June release.