Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hammerfight Review

Platform(s): PC
Developer(s): Konstantin Koshutin (aka Gkosh)
Publisher(s): Kranx Production
Genre: Action/Combat/Hack-and-Slash
I recently discovered one of the most addicting and deep games I’ve ever played for Mac and PC; and it seems to have a genre all of its own. In my best words, it’s a 2D Physics-based, Hack and Slash fighting game, with RPG elements. On top of that, 80% of the controls is in the way you move the mouse.

As you can see…this game is insane. You’re constantly swinging a huge weapon, around a flying machine that you pilot around the screen with your mouse. It sounds easy, and learning the controls is simple, but to master the physics of the vast array of weapons (whether it be a Hammer, Chain Mace, Pickaxe, Scimitar, etc.) takes a lot of experience. Once you land your first “Crushing blow” to an opponent’s pod, you’ll have a hard time quitting.

The main storyline takes place about a thousand years ago in a made up Egyptian-themed land. You start off as a guard in a small village. In the first few levels you smash your way through several waves of attackers with a limited variety of cheaply forged weaponry. You are then captured by a rich warlord and enslaved to fight in an arena for glory and for a shot at freedom. You fight intense one on one battles with single more skillful foe, capturing the opponent’s weapon upon certain victories. After you gain your freedom you are sent on several and they differ vastly: from slicing your way through massive flying worms and hornets, to raiding a village and breaking down walls and structures with the movement of your mouse.

Once you play a few levels of each different type of challenge, you unlock an arena version of each game mode. So, if you prefer quick thinking and dodging, there is the 1 on 1 arena battle. You can play arena mode from the game menu and fight a tougher opponent every time you win and earn coins to be spent on your character’s machine.

As you play, you can lead a path for honor and glory: showing mercy on other fighters that beg for their lives, or trashed their machine’s health to a point where it can’t fly... or you can ignore their pleas and smash the disabled machine anyway, resulting in more loot, but less honor from the crowd. As your honor goes up you gain access to new weapons and armor and you gain new flags for your machine with each title you are given. As I mentioned, this game is very dynamic.

Personally my favorite part about Hammerfight is the range of combat skill that you can potentially reach and how many different weapons you can become skilled at using. Swinging a fixed Iron hammer at an opponent is pretty easy to learn, and with practice, you can get a deadly good whack at the opponent every time.

And if using one weapon at a time doesn’t satisfy your hunger for destruction, you can combine two different swords together; all of a sudden you’re Kratos. S winging two fixed swords around your character scrapping up every beast and opponent around you. It’s not an easy fighting style to play, but when mastered your offensive and defensive abilities are dangerous.

Complete with legendary weapons, gem sockets for weapons, throwing knives, mortars, poison, and several different game modes, it’s shocking that Hammerfight hasn’t made it to consoles yet. No fear though, if you want to play against a friend, plug in up to 4 mice on your computer for a battle royal.

I give this game 4 stars out of 5, only because it demands you have a mouse with a right click and scroll wheel to enjoy the full range of controls. I highly recommend it.

Here’s a link to start playing Hammerfight. Supported on Mac and PC.

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