Villagers & Heroes Reborn Review: One More Generic Free-to-Play MMORPG
Villagers & Heroes is a free-to-play MMORPG, released for Steam on 2014 and developed by Mad Otter Games, which is now available for Android devices. The title has evolved during the last two years until its current version, Villagers & Heroes Reborn. The game focuses on offering an open, cartoon style world to explore in a classic MMO style game play loop, which involves questing, crafting, gathering, and more.
However, it hasn't done anything special to separate itself from the vast majority of massive multiplayer games, which may not be enough to spend the time a game of its genre demands.
Heroes: A Day in the Battlefield
Villagers & Heroes Reborn offers a PvE experience with a heavy focus on crafting and gathering. You get to create a simple, customizable character and choose between four different classes, each one with two different specializations. You also have the chance to choose three out of ten crafting/gathering skills to improve, although you can become an expert in all of them. Finally, you get to decide the style of your house, which will grant various buffs, depending on the selection.
The game features a simple story of light vs. dark, an unknown person that becomes a hero by defeating a devil deity that threatens the world, as usual. From the first moment, you get incentives for playing every day, like special bonuses, items and quests. In addition to the ten crafting and gathering skills, you can take care of your home, your garden and your own pets.
Through a typical MMO interface, you engage into battle by clicking and using your different skills, with the possibility of joining up to six-player parties. The quests are as generic as you can think: going from place to place, talking to someone, gathering or killing something. Combat feels slow and slugish, because movement is very similar to tank controls like Resident Evil, which is not good for a MMO (although you can roll).
The lack of variety and unique mechanics is disappointing and ultimately, boring.
The lack of PvP is utterly concerning, especially since the late game experience does not offer enough content. Upon reaching maximum level, you will get into Elder form, which allows you to improve stats infinitely, as well as hunt Elder bosses for legendary gear. And that's it for the rest of the game; only special events like Halloween or Christmas can inject some additional content.
One of its unique features is gnogmenting, which allows the player to merge two different weapons or pieces of equipment to create a new, improved item; one of the few, interesting actions you can perform in the game. Another positive aspect of Villagers & Heroes is the lack of pay-to-win elements, but rather pay-to-advance-faster, as the title is playable throughout its entirety without paying for microtransactions.
One of the core aspects of Villagers & Heroes Reborn, and what could set it apart from other games, is the possibility of joining a village. This can be a public or private one, which depends on whether you are in a guild or not. There, you will form part of a community, creating buildings by donating resources that improve the stats of all the members. There is also the possibility of becoming the major, which has its own perks.
There are some minor features that are not included in the mobile version
Like I previously stated, you have the possibility of taking care of your own garden and pets, as well as crafting and gathering resources by fishing, mining, sewing, etc. The problem is that none of these activities are entertaining: they all work almost the same way, by clicking on objectives and collecting items, or by using such objects to create new ones. The lack of variety and unique mechanics is disappointing and ultimately, boring.
However, there is some fun in the game, and it is found in the community. Probably, that would not be enough for most of us, but there can be people that find it great for spending time with friends doing the simplest tasks in a free-to-play environment. The map is huge and, although most of the activities are monotonous, having people around to work with and managing your own village makes it more dynamic.
As you can see from the screenshots and the trailer, the graphics are pretty simplistic, with a cartoonish style that remains consistent throughout the game. It is not attractive, but it is understandable for a free-to-play indie MMO, and at least it is not ugly. Sound effects, as well as the soundtrack, are also pretty generic, in accordance with the majority of the aspects of the game. It includes occasional voice acting, which is appreciated.
Regarding the mobile version, the interface is properly adapted and it supports cross-platform play with PC (not with the Steam version, you have to download the client from their own page). However, there are some features that are not included, like some village activities, trading, a few lists, etc.
Villagers & Heroes Reborn is a simple MMO, with traditional mechanics and a standard, cartoonish style. Everything you can do in it feels outdated, basic or simply boring, and the lack of PvP can drive some of you away. However, there are still some of you who may find value in such a simplistic experience, getting involved in villages and becoming part of a community, where the strength of the game lies. Those who are interested in a deep, complex MMORPG, this is not your game.
If you want to play Villagers & Heroes Reborn on your PC, you can get it for free on Steam or download a client from their own webpage. If your platform of choice is Android, you can download it from Google Play.