Heroes of Newerth

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Heroes of Newerth Overview

Originally based on the Warcraft 3 custom map Defense of the Ancients, Heroes of Newerth has its ties divided between its map predecessor, and S2 Games’ previous series of games called Savage who’s universe Heroes of Newerth is set in. Extremely competitive and community oriented, Heroes of Newerth provides a refined and polished experience destined to keep players entertained for many a sleepless nights. With a great diversity of characters spread over two factions (Legion & Hellbourne) and three categories (Strength, Agility & Intelligence), many of which require different play styles and skill sets, this is a game that ultimately rewards a player’s mastery over his character, and his capacity to use this character in conjunction with his team mates’.  If you enjoy a bit of challenge, you should not miss this one.

Heroes of Newerth Screenshots

Heroes of Newerth Featured Video


Full Review

Heroes of Newerth Review

In ye ole’ days when “free to play” was more likely referring to newgrounds flash games than fully developed products, Warcraft 3 held one of the top seats on the most-played games list, partly due to this little mini-game called DotA. Most likely you’ve heard of this, but if you haven’t, the principle is simple; two bases send equal amounts of warriors at each other in an automated manner, and the players pick one of many heroes, killing these warriors, gaining experience, buying items and essentially powering up until one team is strong enough to break the status quo, and push all the way to the other team’s base in order to destroy it and thus win. The concept was fun, simple, and most importantly, extremely popular. However, it wasn’t until Heroes of Newerth that this idea reached the game market in any successful manner. Released at first for the meager sum of 30$, Heroes of Newerth at last turned free to play in summer 2011. The question is; does it manage to keep the experience entertaining through the free-to-play transition?

This Looks Familiar

Heroes of Newerth lets you enter the role of a member of the alliance of the previous games two opposing forces (Legion and Beasts), or as the Hellbourne, an invading force of demonic and other fellows of doubtable repute as you duke  it out over a handful of maps, but most likely, Forest of Caldavar, the traditional DotA style, community favorite map. It all functions exactly like the Defense of the Ancients described above, albeit with a bit more of complexity. You start out in the very complete menu interface, where you either get to play through matchmaking or by joining a custom, listed game. This is also the place where you get to check your stats, the Herodex and the store, but more on that later. Custom games have up to 4 playable maps, while matchmaking only has two. Most games turn out to be 5v5, but 3v3 is the second most popular, usually played on Grimm’s Crossing. There is a fair amount of modes, such as All Pick, All Random, Single Draft, Banning Draft, etc. most of which are centered on which hero you pick. This is a fairly important phase too, as which characters your team picks and how they synergize can very easily make the difference between victory and defeat, and let me tell you, the hero selection is not only huge, but also constantly growing. The downside however, is that unless you’ve purchased the heroes for use, only a limited amount of them are unlocked on a rotation each week. Once that’s done however, the fun starts.

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Roll The Dice!

Games generally play out over anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, informally divided as early game, mid-game and late game. This is fairly important, as some heroes are specifically designed to excel in one of those over the others. For an example, intelligence heroes will excel in early and mid-game, using powerful non-scaling spells to slam their opponents into submission, while agility heroes specialize in late-game, and whose role is specifically to carry their team to victory after the 30 minutes mark, which they could not do earlier due to their fragility. Gameplay can generally get quite complex, and most players can expect to lose the majority of their early games. Those who do not enjoy this style of play will find out very quickly whether this is for them, as they are immediately put face to face with the learning curve and simultaneously the pressure to perform. Your performance depends directly on what kind of items you build, and your capacity to use your abilities at the right time, and the right place. Thankfully, Heroes of Newerth comes with a fairly complete tutorial geared at explaining the basics, like denying (killing your own creeps to deny the enemy money) and last hitting (in order to get money). Even more helpful is the presence of in-game character and item guides, written and approved by the community. A quick trip to the game’s forums can also explain more advanced concepts like juking, creep pulling and backdooring.

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What’s Better Than Two Barrels? FOUR!

In the end however, the learning curve remains, and this is partly what contributes to Heroes of Newerth being such a competitive experience. Team members are constantly pressured to succeed, and indeed the presence of a weak link can drag an entire team down. Kills and victories are thrilling and rewarding, with buyable announcer packs sending a variety of taunting one-liners, including one voiced by Duke Nukem voice actor Jon St. John. After every game, you earn a certain amount of experience (mostly used as a measure of gameplay time), PSR (Skill rating, for bragging and matchmaking) and most importantly; silver coins, which lets you buy from the in-game store. The after-game screen lets you see just about everything you’d want to know; ranging from kill rate, to gold acquired, and even the amount of actions you did per minute. It also makes your replay available to be downloaded by yourself and the public for a certain amount of time afterwards. You can also check out your own long-term statistics! There is most definitely a lot of information that can be checked concerning game details and performance.  Unfortunately, you might notice at this point that a few important features are restricted to verified accounts (Level 5 or higher, or has purchased something from the store), such as the ability to report griefing players. Similarly, you’ll find out that there are game modes you cannot play unless you have purchased a special access pass from the store. This is a very small downside, though it does lead us to…

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The Goblin Store

The money store. Yes, it’s chock full of very neat stuff. And the best part is that to get the majority of it, you don’t even need to spend real money, you can use your silver coins. That said, purchasing in-game currency (gold coins) is more time efficient and lets you get more stuff than you would otherwise. The store contains a truckload of vanity goodies, ranging from name colors, name icons, stat resets, to new models for heroes, new voice sets, new couriers and even new in-game announcers. There are some amazingly hilarious buys, with famous ones such as pimp Witch Hunter, leprechaun Blacksmith, or even a flying pig to courier your items around. You’ll also find a bundle section with a fair amount of rotating deals available, including holiday deals, when special skins are unlocked for purchase (Giant easter bearwolf with carrots for claws anyone?). This is also the section where you can unlock individual heroes to add to your collection. The downside with it all is that it does not come cheap if you are using gold. At the time of writing this, 10$ is about 450 gold pieces, which lets you unlock two heroes, one skin, or a cheap name color. Announcers range from 560 to 980 gold pieces, whereas bundles are more likely to hang around the 1,300ish price tag. Few things in this store come cheap, but the advantage is the selection available to you. Is it a deal breaker? Not at all, and players can fortunately not acquire any sort of in-game advantage through the store (Unless you consider Duke Nuken’s voice a tactical advantage).

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Final Verdict: Great

Heroes of Newerth is great, and just one tip-toe away from being excellent. All that holds it back is its learning curve, limited maps and the occasional glitch. That said, it’s an amazing experience that successfully combines RPG and Strategy elements into a successful, addicting product. It has created around it a solid, competitive community, and as a Savage fan, I am proud to see Heroes of Newerth carry the series forward. If you have not tried it yet, there never was a better time!


Heroes of Newerth Screenshots


Heroes of Newerth Videos

Heroes of Newerth 2.0 Official Trailer


Heroes of Newerth Gameplay [ReMo] P1


Heroes of Newerth Gameplay [ReMo] P2



Heroes of Newerth Links

Heroes of Newerth Official Site

System Requirements

Heroes of Newerth System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:
OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7
CPU: 2.2GHz Pentium 4 / AMD 2400+
HDD: 1  GB free
Graphics Card: GeForce 5 / ATI 9800

Recommended Specifications:
OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7
CPU: 2.0GHz Core 2 Duo / AMD 3500+ or better
RAM: 1.5 GB or more
HDD: 2 GB Free or more
Graphics Card: 256MB Geforce 7800+ / Radeon X1900+ or better

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