Ever since the dawn of the gaming era, people have been given the chance to explore new worlds and go on adventures without ever leaving the comfort of their computer desk (or living room couch). And while escapism through living vicariously in the shoes of heroes is certainly a tantalizing game experience, there is always the wondrous concept of seeing the world through the eyes of the villains.
Kill the Heroes is certainly not a unique game – not in terms of gameplay, and not in terms of plot. But it is most definitely enjoyable, it is most certainly challenging, and for those of you who have yet to play a game that places you in the position of the villain, this game is certainly going to provide a very innovative experience.
Okay, those of you seeking to do some maliciously evil and nefarious acts might want to pass this game up; because from the beginning to end, this is more of a super villain lair protection game than anything else. You do not get to actually take an entire school bus full of kindergarten kids hostage, you cannot attack Santa Claus, you cannot steal from banks, and basically, you do not actively attempt to take over the world. You are only evil in the technical sense that you have a super villain lair, and all this game is about is you having to defend it.
Yes, the plot starts with you, the lead character, waking up from what is apparently an artificially induced sleep without any memories of who you are and what you are doing. You then discover a massive printout of the dungeon like facility you are in and simply assume that you own this giant lair. While you are still trying to get your act together, you are alerted to the sounds of intruders –apparently, some oddly-grouped government agency bent on tacking over your facility.
So yeah, there really is nothing here about you doing anything along the lines of being bad. If anything, you are protecting your (technologically superior) home from armed intruders. The concept is still there, but we certainly wish there was a lot more sense of irony about you being the bad guy and having to kill heroes. And yes, since you are not being showy about being evil, the good guys are not doing anything heroic either. They are simply attacking your base. They not rescuing hostages, nor are they even trying to negotiate with you. Well within a few minutes of the game, you actually start to wonder who is on which side.
Active Tower Defending
Kill the Heroes falls under the tower defense genre for its gameplay: you have the heroes running around a set path and you need to assemble defenses that will eliminate them. Unlike the traditional type of tower defense games however, you have to actively control your character around the map, teleporting yourself to designated panels in order to avoid being killed by the intruders. In the meanwhile, you passively generate money, allowing you to fun the costs of creating turrets, drones, gas traps, and more security devices.
You do get a nice moment at the very start of each stage to set up your passive upgrades and to create towers with your starting funds. But once you un pause, expect to keep glued to the screen as fighting off the intruders is anything but easy. The initial five or ten stages are designed to get players getting into the hang of the game –how each tower type works, which traps work well with each other, how various enemy units will behave. But as you get nearer the halfway point, expect to meet some solid competition as enemies start getting upgraded with better armor and specialty equipment like long range sniper rifles and flight capable jetpacks.
To counteract these new abilities, you will need to employ a variety of defensive structures, ranging from upgrading your turrets with rocket launchers to turning your drones into powerful heavyweight combatants that can take some serious punishment.
In the end, it all boils down to some pretty fantastic gameplay. There is a great need for strategy here, as well as the ability to adapt your strategies on the fly. Since the later stage will also feature multiple enemy waves, players have to plan their strategies for the long term –not blindly rushing at enemies and wasting precious shield energy. The only drawback here is that the later stages may prove to be a trite too frustrating for the more casual of players. And while that is hardly something to scoff at, it does tend to alienate some players.
Very Dark Lairs
This game tends to use a lot of dark colored elements –not only does it add to the whole super villain theme, but it also gives a dose of paranoia and neurosis to the feel of the game. Factor in the fact that you have no clue why this government agency wants to kill you, and the whole boxed-in scenario completes the feel of the game.
The smaller graphic details of the game are quite easy to figure out at a glance; the menus stand out easily from the actual game while the characters all move around visibly. While it is possible that you lose track of a couple or so enemies in a busy stage (like one you filled with well over a dozen traps), staying on top of the situation is a matter of being observant. Basically, the graphics is able to keep up with the game’s performance needs and it delivers a solid dose of fun for anyone who tries it.
The audio could use a bit of help however, and the unnecessarily fake sound effects could also use a bit of tweaking. By itself, the game is already pretty good, so whether you decide to enable the audio or not is entirely up to you. If you decide to leave it mute, know that you are not missing anything at all.
Kill the Heroes is a great attempt at showing players what it is like to fight off against the good guys, however, that giant moral conflict is heavily downplayed (if not downright avoided) in this game. And while the game misses the main point of the title, you still get to have a very enjoyable playing experience at the end. So the big question is, is the message really that important? Had this been a hardcore console title, then yes, getting the point across is also a crucial thing. But with a browser game, Kill the Heroes is off the hook for its quick-fire style of playing and sensible game structure.
If you would like to play a truly evil game that is much more sinister than Kill the Heroes we would recommend Villainous more.