In October of 2006 I went out and picked up a copy of the now defunct Massive magazine (a short-lived publication from my one-time colleagues at Computer Games Magazine, nee Strategy Plus). Why? Because it had a code to get into the Gods & Heroes beta. G&H was an in-development MMO coming from Perpetual Publishing.
It took until August 2007, but I finally got into the beta. Along the way Sony Online Entertainment announced they’d be a “co-publisher” of the game. Then they backed away and said they’d be a marketer for it. Meanwhile Perpetual kept laying people off. Then in October of 2007, they canceled the game to focus on the other MMO they were working on: Star Trek Online. Needless to say, Perpetual never published STO: they went bankrupt and faded from existence.
Fast forward to February 2010, when Heatwave Interactive announced that they’d acquired the rights and assets for Gods & Heroes and were going to publish it in 2011.
Today I once again entered the beta of G&H, and what a strange experience it was. After a few minutes of playing I started recognizing areas I’d been to 4 years ago. The graphics feel kind of old (though they aren’t bad) and the gameplay feels a bit like a throwback. Quest NPCs have markers over their heads, but you have to read quest texts to know where to go to complete a task. There’re no “Go here to complete the quest” markers or anything like that.
I liked it, even if things felt kind of rough to me. One of the big draws of G&H is that you eventually form squads of yourself and NPC minions. I didn’t get too far into that now or in 2007. I got one minion and she’s essentially a DoT so far. A pet. We’ll see what things feel like when I have a few minions.
I can’t see G&H being a mainstream hit; it just doesn’t feel modern enough. But for us old-timers who were playing MMOs way before WoW came out (or who fondly remember Vanilla WoW), it might offer some nostalgic fun. I only played for about an hour so I can’t give any deep insight into the game yet. But I can’t help but hope that Heatwave carves out a niche for themselves. I was really disappointed when G&H was canceled and I’m delighted to see it getting a 2nd chance.