Legends: Rise of a Hero is a new action-adventure RPG published by Zynga. It begins with the back story of a fallen kingdom and a kidnapped princess. So, you guessed it, you are the hero they need getting the princess back from the monsters and rebuilding the kingdom on the wasted land. Pick up your weapon, and it’s time for adventure.
You can embark on the journey as a physically strong Warrior with sword-and-board, nimble Ranger with bows, or intelligent Wizard with magical wand. Based on your choice, you will experience your own unique fight style, equip with class-dependent gear and excise special skills.
Before exploring afar, you need to build a base first to support the adventure. To build a building, you buy it in the store and complete construction with materials like wood, stone and ore gathered by chopping down trees or clearing stones in the homestead (and in the wild during adventure later). Firstly the castle, then weapon smith, tavern and armor smith, and then a series of other buildings in the following. Different structures serve different roles with generating gold, crafting weapons, armors and helmets, creating and refining raw materials taking the center stage. You can’t have all of them at once, but have to level up unlocking them one after another gradually. You will know the time to construct a building, which is always heralded by the arrival of a new in-game character.
Don’t worry. The construction of a kingdom won’t hold you back for the longed adventure. You can travel to the exploration map via the portal at your homestead. Wherever you haven’t set foot in on the map, there is covered by fog. You need to move on cautiously dismissing the mysterious cover and defeating the revealed monsters. Searching for the princess is the plot threading the main quests (generally from the King), but many side-missions will also pop up for you to finish. You will run into other NPCs who ask for your help giving missions such as getting an old lady out of the farm or rescuing a treeman. And you will also get coins, energy, XP and a lot of materials such as fur, meat, oil, rock, sapphire, fabrics and hair, etc. which are used in crafting items, construction or completing other missions.
The fog that covers the map won’t show again after you’ve cleared that area. But the monsters, treasure boxes and other designs will regenerate every time you enter allowing replay. You can also discover and explore in hidden places such as ruins and caves that usually need certain material to open. Like the level-locked structures, a series of exploration maps can be activated with upgrading.
During adventure, you will have a lot fights and inevitably receive damage which reduces your HP. If HP hits zero, you will be dead and need to wait for recovery at home village if you don’t want to spend Gems (the premium currency) to recover at the spot with half/full HP. In addition to HP, you need to pay attention to Energy, which is cost mainly by searching treasure boxes and other environmental objects in adventure and construction at home. At most of the time, you explore by yourself. But you can invite friends in the Tavern and then ask them to join your adventure once per day. Or, you have the alternative option, which is to hire NPC mercenaries with Loyalty (earned by posting ‘achievements’ on Facebook) or Gem.
One the whole, Legends: Rise of a Hero is beautifully depicted and animatedly presented. It doesn’t offer brand-new experience, but it renders what we are familiar with well enough to be fun.