Magic Design Studios draws heavily from Journey to the West, a classic of Chinese literature, to tell us about an adventure with a classic flavor but decidedly original in its realization. Unruly Heroes certainly fits into the platform genre, managing to stand out in the sea of similar video games thanks to a high artistic accuracy (visible from the first images that will appear on the screen) and well-functioning gameplay solutions in the context of the title and engaging.
Already published in PC version on Steam, Unruly Heroes is ready to entertain players who are passionate about platform games also on consoles, introducing some new features such as the ability to select the difficulty, the skins for the characters, the photo mode and some general improvements to the gameplay and controls. Someone will certainly notice the similarities from the point of view of design and storytelling with Rayman, one of the undisputed kings of the platform world. In Unruly Heroes in fact we find the same refinement and mastery of the artistic sector that contributed to the success of the Ubisoft series and it is no coincidence: some of the members of Magic Design Studios they worked in the team responsible for Rayman and the experience gained on that occasion is palpable in the title that we are about to review you.
As we told you, Unruly Heroes draws inspiration from Journey to the West and, although it does not tell the same story, in this game we find the same protagonists: the monkey Wukong, the monk Sanzang, pork Kihong e Sandmok, a strong and agile demon. Ours will have to prevent the forces of evil, unleashed following the destruction of a sacred parchment, from taking over. To do this, they will have to use their different skills over 29 levels divided into four worlds.
Wukong is extremely agile and has a extendable stick useful for crossing the most diverse obstacles and is able to perform a double jump. Sanzang and Kihong can glide after jumping, and where the former fights by throwing spheres of magical energy, the latter tackles the enemy with a rake and on occasion can inflate like a hot air balloon and soar through the air to reach a high point. Finally, the demon Sandmok (also able to double jump) is endowed with incredible physical strength, thanks to which he breaks the walls that block him. Of course it will be up to the player to alternate the use of the four protagonists in order to continue in the mission.
During the levels you will have to face numerous enemies: the fights will be very frequent and not always easy to complete. We will find opponents of all sorts from warrior reptiles to fire-breathing bats, minotaurs, demons, ghosts and of course powerful end-level bosses. Although in Unruly Heroes the patterns of common opponents are easy to recognize and deal with, often the number of enemies that will attack us simultaneously will require strong nerves and quick reflexes.
However, the real threat will come from the game world itself. The greatest difficulty encountered during the test was precisely in overcoming the platform challenges, in some cases extremely demanding. These situations (based on a concept of try and fail and increasingly frequent as you progress with the game) significantly raise the level of the challenge, even suddenly, guaranteeing the player various and unpredictable rhythms, but sometimes decidedly punitive and unbalanced with respect to the general difficulty of the game. rest of the scheme. Add to this numerous collectibles for each level and you'll have over 9 hours of gameplay for the first run.
Experience pays off
Playing at Unruly Heroes you understand that the boys of Magic Design Studios of videogames platform they understand. At first glance, one is fascinated by the artistic realization and the high quality of the drawings. The gaming experience is no less satisfying: trying the PlayStation 4 version, the commands respond very well, except for some sporadic imperfections due to the excessive sensitivity of the movement lever (potentially fatal defect for any protagonist of a platform game).
In addition to the aforementioned "platform" sector, we were also satisfied by the combat system, usually not very varied in games of this genre. Basically we will be able to launch two types of attack, one basic and one more powerful, but it is possible to combine the moves on the ground or in the air to create different combos, even more varied considering the different fighting styles of the characters. In addition, eliminating opponents fills an energy bar that will allow the character to unleash a special attack capable of inflicting greater damage giving him a momentary invulnerability.
In this skilful amalgamation of action and adventure, the competitive aspect in both single and multiplayer has not been left aside. Alone we can have fun beating our personal records of time spent completing a scheme, while in company we can collaborate together with three other players locally at the same time in story mode, or face challenges in teams or all against all online.
On balance Unruly Heroes it is (of its kind) a little gem that can be enjoyed both by newbies and by the most passionate platformers. Design and gameplay make the title of Magic Design Studios a quality and surprisingly original product, almost completely free of defects. The game will be available on the PlayStation store starting May 28 at a cost of € 19,99, with a special 20% discount reserved for PS Plus subscribers.