Video Game Hammerwatch (PC) (2013)

Overview: Hammerwatch is a dungeon-crawler, hack-and-slash adventure.

20150603:
Originally waiting to play the game with friends, today I decided I would first try out the single-player mode.


Setup:
Playing on my laptop, I couldn't play at fullscreen due to a problem with how my laptop deals with screen resolution. Otherwise I started the game on all the default settings (Castle Hammerwatch, Paladin, medium difficulty, etc.).

Comments/Tips:
1) Press Space to remain facing in the same direction. This is critical to attacking while moving away from the enemy.
2) On a related note, always move away from the enemy, as moving towards them can cause damage to be taken via contact.
3) The Paladin's shield will block the maggots' projectiles, but only if they are coming from the proper angle. Ensure their projectiles hit your shield by kiting the maggots into a line or around obstacles.


4) While the Paladin's dash will deal damage, it's better to use it to quickly back away. One exception is when the only enemies present can be one-shot. Otherwise, saving your dash can mean the difference between life and death in a last-ditch escape scenario.
5) When the player dies, the progress make up to the point of death is saved, the player loses a 1-Up, and the player restarts at the last Checkpoint.
6) (AFAIK) Spikes are insta-death.
7) Press Tab to see the map.

Thoughts:
Pros:
+ Excellent soundtrack.


+ Simple, yet addicting. There's something to be said about a game that's simple and yet enjoyable.

Cons:
- Little instruction (fortunately the game has a low learning curve: go to the menu, go to Help, and then to Controls)
- (AFAIK) No story.
- Occasionally boring/repetitive.

Unknown:
? While I haven't played with friends yet, I could imagine that this game is much more fun in multiplayer.


Recommendation:
After playing Hammerwatch for an hour, I found the game enjoyable, but mechanically boring: as the Paladin, I kept repeating the same strategy over and over: aggro enemies, kite them, and slash away at them.

Additionally, exploring every nook and cranny of the dungeon and collecting every possible piece of gold can make the game feel slow.

Overall, I would only recommend Hammerwatch to players who enjoy hack-and-slash adventures. With that being said, I have yet to play the multiplayer mode so stay tuned.



20150905:
Today I returned to this game for the first time. However, this time I would be trying out the cooperative mode with friends.

Setup on the Multiplayer:
I hooked my laptop up to my friend's television via a VGA cable (for video) and a 3.5 mm cable (for audio). For controls I played on the keyboard while two other players used Logitech controllers (one which belonged to me) and the fourth player used a USB-connected SNES controller (which belonged to Michael).

Thoughts on the Multiplayer:
Pros:
+ Fun multiplayer hack and slash.


Cons:
- Lives are shared. When the party has no more lives, players can be revived one by one, but the wait can be long and the game essentially becomes a single-player game. A recommended workaround is to apply Infinite Lives in the game setup.
- The game is hard because everybody learns at a different rate.

Recommendation on the multiplayer:
While we only played for about half an hour, I realized in hindsight that I should have adjusted the options and turned on Infinite Lives. This would give the game more of an arcade feel where players can continue infinitely as long as he/she had enough quarters to feed the machine.


With this option checked, the game most likely would have been a more enjoyable co-op experience. But until I can gather some friends back up to test this hypothesis, I'd say the multiplayer is better than the single player experience, but not by much.

General Game Tip: Kiting is foremost.

Multiplayer Game Tip: Team work is helpful, but hard.

Steam Game Time: 106 minutes (total game time as of 20150905)

20151031:
While checking out the options menu, I stumbled upon a silly discovery: binding all players to the keyboard with the same key bindings allows a single player to control all the characters. However, sometimes the characters will get separated and I'll need to use obstacles to regroup them.


While regrouping can be easy, I came up with a simple way to make it a bit more interesting: I required myself to focus on a specific character (for example the red Paladin) and not allow him to touch any obstacles.

Steam Game Time: 2.1 hours (total game time as of 20151031)

Hammerwatch (PC) (2013)


Relevant Links:
Hammerwatch Website
Hammerwatch (Wikipedia.org)
Hammerwatch (Steam Store Page)
Hammerwatch (PC) (MetaCritic.com)
Hammerwatch Wiki (hammerwatch.wikia.com)

No comments:

Let me know what you think!