Loop Hero Review
Announced last December, Four Quarters and Devolver Digital’s Loop Hero is right around the corner. Is this endless adventure one worth trying, or should you find a different roguelike? Check out our review and find out.
Loop Hero Review
Loop Hero kicks things off with a bombshell: the stars are going out, and a mysterious necromancer is spreading black goo throughout the universe. This goo consumes everything in its path, packing the power to make people forget. However, you manage to find a bastion of hope in a spot to rebuild. While the goo has made its way to this spot, you can remove it by building up your camp. Even here, there are signs like bags of clothes that hint that that people once lived there. The only way to figure out this mystery is to head out into the loop.
The loop is exactly what it sounds like: a loop. You start at your camp and then go around the loop back to your camp. Along the way, you fight, gather treasure, and build up the area. You don’t control the character as it moves through the loop. Rather, you place cards down that provide treasure, enemies, buffs, quests, and other things for the character. You are also in charge of the equipment the adventurer is using. Though simple at first, there is a good amount of strategy as you unlock more cards.
If you control the deck, then why not make the run easy? As it turns out, enemies drop cards and equipment that become vital as you keep the loop going. The enemies gradually get stronger, and you can quickly die if you don’t have the equipment to keep up the pace. On the flip side, you also don’t want to put down too much; as you get more cards and equipment, the boss meter increases. If the meter gets full before you are ready to take on the boss, you are in trouble. Figuring out the right balance for each class manages to be a fun challenge.
When you die, you are brought back to your base and lose 60% of the materials you found during the loop. The materials are used to build up your camp and eventually craft items. Building up the base is how you unlock new classes and cards, while also making yourself more powerful for the next loop. You can leave with 100% of your materials if you manage to make it back to the camp during your loop run. It proves to be another balancing act: should you stay for more loot, or leave with what you have?
As you unlock more cards, more options open up to you; the hero doesn’t even get EXP at the start. When you build up the camp and get the village card, you can then unlock quests. With that, you get an EXP bar and can pick up traits for each hero during a loop run. You will eventually unlock golden cards that give big buffs with debuffs as well. For instance, the Crypt will provide you will additional max HP for each creature you slay with a soul. The downside is that you lose all the HP you gain from armor. The fix? Play the Necromancer, who doesn’t even use armor, and the debuff is gone.
While the Necromancer is my favorite adventurer, there are a couple others. You start as a knight; easy to understand, and can take a lot of damage. The damage output is a downside, but it is the best class for a starter. The Rouge is for someone who wants to hit very hard, but also not be hit at all. You focus on critical hits and evasion to keep alive as this class. Meanwhile, the Necromancer summons skeletons to do their dirty work, where you concentrate on skeleton level and power with that hero. There may be one last class I have yet to unlock.
One last thing I want to hit on is the difficulty. This game is challenging, as completing a loop and killing the boss takes a lot of trial and error. It doesn’t help that sometimes the hero focuses on a target it shouldn’t in combat. You also have no idea of what card is coming next. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had wheat fields and no village to place, only to realize that you can’t use the fields without the village. Just be ready for a bit of frustration if you aren’t lucky.
Loop Hero does what it sets out to do, making for a fun and compelling roguelike that deck builder fans will love.
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