Alexander: Heroes Hour
When the mailman dropped a package in my box with the title “Alexander” I was hopefully thinking it was a reviewcopy of Ubisoft’s latest game which we previewed some time ago for you. When I hade gotten rid of the envelope, it became clear my hopes were not fulfulled. In the package was a reviewcopy of “Alexander: Heroes Hour”. Well, no problem I thought…
I put the shiny disc in my cd rom and install the thing without any problems which is a relief in itself already. After having started it up I quickly enter a butt-ugly menu with a minimum of options while Campaign and Arena are the only present game modes. In the latter you have to defeat wave after wave of enemies which doesn’t sound all too spectacular so I decide to try out Campaign.
Normally I’m not such a fan of tutorials but since Meridian39 described the game as a mixture of adventure, action, rpg and rts I thought the tutorial would be a good thing to check out. The mixture however, was limited to adding some rpg elements like an inventory and an experience system. During the tutorial a part of the goal of the game is explained. You control three heroes that are part of Alexander’s elite troops. There’s Megacles, who mostly work with brute force and terrible weapons, Ekhedem, the man who would even kick the butt of our very own Persian Prince with all his swords and moves and finally Bilikidi who fights with ranged attacks, seducive looks and sneaky moves.
The tutorial missie takes part in Alexander’s palace where the complete basics are taught. What immediately gets noticed is that it’s very difficult to control all three characters and have them do special attacks at the same time. After all, to do such an attack, you need to go through two menu’s while having your heroes attack the enemy. Also this isn’t evident as after having clicked an opponent, it often happens that one or more of your crew nicely walk towards the enemy while he’s chopping your other hero.
After having gone through the experience called “tutorial” I suddenly got an unexplained feeling of optimism and started the first level in the hopes that things would get better. Not so… Amongst other things you need to clear the city from all the scum that roams there. After having crossed the town completely and killed every foe I found the objective was still not given the status of “completed”. After having checked the website I found out that this is one of the many bugs the game has. The positive thing was that there was already a patch available to resolve this problem so after installing that I restarted the game to continue.
This patch did solve the problems with the missionbugs but changes in gameplay were not visible. So, I decided to continue going on and after a couple of levels I really started to get irritated on the lack of a difficulty level button. My heroes got killed more and more which as such isn’t so bad as when one of them survives a battle, the other two mysteriously resurrect, but the fact that they do not increase their experience after getting resurrected is. After a while, they’ll still walk around like novices while your enemies are getting tougher.
After having continued a couple more levels, I quit and I sadly have to inform you that this is the first game ever that I review but I didn’t play until the end.
Both graphically as on sound and gameplay, this game falls short. It was supposed to be in stores around the release of the Alexander movie and you can see that very clearly. Bad finishing and bugs, this game has them all. I can only suggest you stay far away from Alexander: Heroes Hour when you see it laying on story shelves.