At some point in the future every review about a DotA type game won’t have to start off by explaining what DotA was or what a hero based strategy game is; that time has not come. DotA was a multiplayer mod for Warcraft 3 that had the minions constantly spawning and running at the enemy base while players only controlled the hero class characters. The game got itself a pretty sizeable niche following and has since caused the original team to break apart and make three different games. Heroes of Newerth being the newest and possibly most balanced of them.
The one thing that makes Newerth different from the other two games is that tournament play seems to be the end goal. The game has well over 50 heroes, a number that is normally far too large to be balanced out, but also has an interesting mechanic that allows players to blacklist/ban choices that they feel are unbalanced. Normally, most strategy games evolve over time as different tactics start to surface that weaken older ones. This means that with time, banning a hero is the same as telling the other players that their method of play style is not allowed on this server.
Subtle hints like that are fantastic for higher level play among like minded, civil, mature players. Those are three things that Newerth lacks almost entirely. I have played many other multiplayer games for large chunks of time, and I have encountered plenty of people who seem to make it their goal that I never play that game again. Newerth has two of those people in every match that I have played (save one where no one talked, which at the time seemed like a win for me).
For a game that has no single player element at all, not even bots that people can play against to get better with before going online, community is pretty much all Newerth has to fall back on. It is really too bad that a game that has so much going for it manages to make every single aspect mean nothing. Playing in ranked matches has people complaining that noobs should be playing in unranked games, playing in unranked games will make people either insist the need of watching YouTube videos or just plain become reduced to stupid name calling.
Graphically the game seems to borrow a lot from its Warcraft 3 origins, and in some cases almost seems to borrow entire units. Newerth ends up looking like a higher resolution version of the DotA, which for some people is exactly what they wanted. Everything is really focuses on that Blizzard like art style though and doesn’t really seem to find anything new or interesting to do beyond it.
Thirty dollars is a rather reasonable price for a game that is supported rather well – there are new heroes coming almost all the time—and a tournament level DotA game. What is kind of bothersome is that players are able to reset their stats whenever they want, good for people like me who has 1 win against a series of massive loses, as this is exactly the practice that Blizzard has been trying to stamp out with Battle.net as experienced players will make new accounts to simply play against newer players for a better win/lose ratio. Newerth even has a built in function that allows players to buy a sub-account, so advanced players jumping into “New Noobs Only!” unranked matches with new accounts are pretty much a certainty.
Heroes of Newerth is a really good game, but it is just plagued by the jerks within the online community. Mix in the only people who chat during the game are the ones throwing out insults and the game quickly becomes almost impossible to learn. For anyone who is a super advanced DotA player, Newerth is a must buy, if only to keep up with the tournaments. Everyone else really should stay away due to the terrible community.
Not As Good As: Not having people constantly yelling at you
Also Try: League of Legends or Demigod
Wait For It: Single player bots
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