PS2 PC GameCube Contact Us DVD Search
Featured XBox GBA News Home Advertise

XBox Reviews: Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes


Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes Screenshots


The Final Say!


Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes - reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: December 2003
Review Score: 7.8/10 
Distributed By: Atari Australia

"Four heroes have been summoned in one of the most epic battles of all time... Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes!"

The Dungeons & Dragons genre returns on the XBox in Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes that once again thrusts gamers into this mythical world that has been going strong for over 25 years. Gamers have the choice of playing one of four "dead" heroes who have been returned to the land of the living to fight an insidious dark sorcerer. The hero archetypes that are available include the mischievous Halfling rogue, the powerful human fighter, the godly dwarven cleric and the lithe like elven wizard. The game also offers players a choice of difficulty levels that range from extremely easy to ridiculously difficult and most gamers will be adequately challenged by the medium setting.


The game starts with a beautiful pre-rendered CGI cut-scene that tells the tale of our four heroes and how they vanquished the nefarious sorcerer over 150 years ago. After being brought back by some human clerics, you find yourself in the ruins of Castle Baele that is basically a tutorial level and teaches you the basics of the game. Apart from searching out and destroying the sorcerer, players must also search for crystal shards that make up their ancestral weapon. Once these pieces have been linked with their ancestral weapon, they will then be able to wield the most powerful weapon on Faerun.


The gameplay of Heroes is a fairly standard stock standard console RPG that is basically a hack and slash with the use of spells. The characters use the d-pad to attack the enemy with the left analog stick used to control their character in the gaming environment. As you slowly progress through the game, you are awarded experience points that can be used to make your character even more powerful. Weapons, gold and various magic items are also littered throughout the game in chests and of course freshly slain monsters. Although Heroes does not offer an in-game save ability, the game contains a variety of save points littered throughout your game, thus you don't have to worry too much about not finding a save point.


Graphically, Heroes is a mixed bag that ranges from amazing to mediocre. Generally, the gaming environments are quite amazing from the first few levels of the catacombs that really gives the gamer a depth with bottomless cliffs and hundreds of tunnels that lead to gold and monsters. The developers have also included a variety of lighting effects from the way torches reflect on cavern walls to the powerful spells that are at your beckon call.

The characters themselves contain a fairly high polygon count but the texture details look a little bland on all characters and is no way the same quality as the characters from Baldur's Gate. The frame rate of Heroes remains at a constant frame rate but when something big happens like a powerful trap being sprung or too many monsters are attacking your characters, the game does chug but it's nothing too major. The game is also laced with some beautiful pre-rendered CGI scenes that help move the story along quite nicely.  Another issue I had with the title were the strange camera angles that had me zooming in, zooming out and twisting the camera angle in order to get something that was comfortable. I finally found that if the camera was zoomed out just a little bit and you had the map on, the game was quite playable.


Heroes contains the traditional RPG soundtrack that is laced with a variety of adventure style tunes to help portray a variety of feelings from death to danger and majestic grace. The background sounds  greatly help with the ambience of this title from the sounds of nature in the beautiful outside worlds to the scary sounds of dungeons that almost make the hairs on the back of your neck stand to attention. The sounds of battle are made known through the use of in-game Dolby Digital that makes the battles sound more urgent and dangerous that is done through the sounds of swords, spells and creatures dying. The voice acting of Heroes has also been professionally done and nothing sounds too forced or contrived.


Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes is a competent game that once again takes gamers into the vast and wondrous world of Dungeons & Dragons that is filled with sword and sorcery, good versus evil and a variety of monsters from orcs to deadly dragons, this game has it all. The storyline of the game is a little clichéd but it did help immerse me into the world that got me hooked from start to finish. With some beautiful graphics, a sturdy gaming engine and some great RPG moments, Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes is the perfect title for RPG fans. Before I go, Heroes also offers a thoroughly entertaining multiplayer option that allows up to 4 gamers to play cooperative in the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Highly Recommended!

- Andrew B

Copyright ©2003 www.impulsegamer.com