The Stranglers once sang about there being no more heroes. A rather dark song, it tells the tale of how once-charismatic figures dominated the world only to be replaced with those who barely deserve the title of 'human being'. This is not true of course, as in reality we're all heroes really and No Heroes Here exemplifies this premise. A co-op game by Mad Mimic Interactive that has players mount a defence against a rampaging horde with only the court jester and cook to lend a hand to arm the cannons!
Noob Land is a bad state. All of the heroes that once protected the land have gone and the only people remaining to defend the realm are the very people the heroes swore to protect. But rather than accept their fate the mundane rose up to meet the challenge of taking on the enemies of Noob Land and decided the band together to defend their land and themselves from the rampaging enemy that seeks nothing but their demise.
I played No Heroes Here at PAX West and could not help but be utterly charmed by it. Presented as a cross section through a fort, players are required to build ammunition for cannons, prime them, fire them at attacking armies and then clean them.
I played with three others and a lot of arguing ensued as we tried to manage each task to make sure the cannons were constantly primed and firing else we were doomed. The tension is great when playing as you don't want to let your team down, nor do you want to be on the wrong end of one of the weapons the horde wants to use to eviscerate you with.
While No Heroes Here does bear a striking resemblance to Lovers in a Dangerous Space Time in terms of gameplay, it is a lot more involved and of course the fort remains stationary. It just gets relentlessly attacked by wave after wave of army units that get tougher and tougher. The way in which everyone is relying on those doing what is required to ensure the defences of the fort are working is really clever and does much to bring the players together towards a common goal.
The use of 16 bit like visuals helps thanks to the ease with which people can see what they are supposed to be doing. The developers could have opted for something more realistic, but the use of pixel-based sprites is a smart one as the stark contrast in colours helps with understanding what is happening at any given time. Directional spot effects also help with this as they concentrate players' attention to what matters at any given time.
No Heroes Here is out now for Windows PC platform and is due to release on consoles this year.