Friday, 01 February 2019 14:21

REVIEW: 8-Bit Hordes (Playstation 4)

Written by Melekharn
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Real-Time Strategy is one of those games styles that gravitates towards PC. I’ve played a few different styles on various consoles, the first of which was Star Craft on the Nintendo 64. It wasn’t particularly easy to control and to be honest, completely put me off playing the style on consoles all together.

I tried dabbling once again when Halo Wars was released and found myself quickly trading it in for something else. I had given up completely. That was until I was given 8-Bit Hordes to play.

Coming from the same company that brought you Star Wars: Empire at war, 8-Bit Hordes by PetroGlyphs is part of the 8-Bit trilogy, a series of games inspired by the 8-bit systems from yesteryear. Unlike most games that are ported from PC to console, 8-Bit Hordes plays incredibly well with the limited number of buttons at your fingertips. Unlike most console RTS, selecting units is incredibly simply as you can set a hotkey as you build them. Simply pressing the desired button on your controller will then select every model you assigned that key to. No longer will you have to click this button, hold that one, and then drag across the screen to select your army. One button! Base and army building is a breeze as well; just a tap of the bumper will have you easily selecting your next building or combat unit.

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Predominantly focused more on multiplayer battles, 8- Bit Hordes pits two armies against each other in parallel campaigns. Fighting your way through two mirrored storylines, you’ll learn how to build your forces most efficiently to crush the opposition. Players can then test their wits in skirmish mode against AI, or jump onto a multiplayer game and test yourself against another person. If that’s still not enough, you can play games with up to 6 armies on any given map. Want more still? If you or your friends have other games in the Trilogy, players can control forces from the games they own. Unfortunately, only the people who have the games can pick these armies so you may be forced to admire from afar.

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8-bit Hordes is true to its name, with a graphical style reminiscent of the older games titles. Younger players will think it follows in the likes of Minecraft, but the older generation will see it for what it truly is. Characters, buildings and even the various details dotted about the finely crafted maps are all built with simple blocked shapes in mind. But don’t let how plain that sounds fool you. Combined with Over-exaggerated pixels for the finer details, they have been expertly placed together to create truly unique game pieces. Whether you play as the Lightbringers, an alliance of Humans, Dwarves and Elves, or you play as the Evil Dark Orcs and their Deathsworn undead allies, there are plenty of models to admire.

Sound effects that remind me of my childhood and a musical score composed by Frank Klepacki of Command and Conquer fame, 8-Bit Hordes continues the theme in every aspect. Older players will fondly remember games they played growing up as long forgotten sounds caress their ears. More modern music provides temporary relief from the 8-bit score than can become overwhelming and monotonous to listen to, while simple but amusing voice acting provides a bit of comedic relief.

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While not an expansion for the 8-Bit series, 8-Bit Hordes does feel as though it could have just been DLC. Only being able to choose one of two armies, while teasing players with the choice of more in skirmish mode left a bit to be desired. But between expertly crafted 8-bit style graphics; a soundtrack that will have you feeling nostalgic, and a control system that rivals the simplicity of the SNES console, Petroglyph have created an incredibly series of games that are easy to pick up and enjoy.

PROS: 
Fun Art Style 
Easy to play/control
Well executed gameplay

CONS:
Limited choice of playable armies
Single player campaign offers little challenge
Campaign feels repetitive

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 3.5 / 5.0
  • Platform: PC, PS4, XBOX ONE
  • Age Rating: E10+
  • Developer: Petroglyph
  • Publisher: Petroglyph
  • Genre: Strategy, RTS