So I decided to give this game a try after reading a bit about it, and after seeing the ridiculously cool box art (pictured on the right).But anyway, besides my infatuation with the box art, lets get down to the game.
Starting, there's 8 heros, split into Generals and Assassins, four on each side, each with a unique, deep skill tree, and their own pros and cons. (Yes the bad ass giant on the cover is playable).
After picking the arena and map, you get into a game, in which you start at level 1, with one skill point, and you start. Besides the fact of multiple maps, and in depth character bios and skill trees, there's also base upgrade, creep upgrade and strategic points on the map to capture.
Every character can be played in different ways, depending on how you spec them while leveling up, and depending on what type of items you equip them with throughout the game, and yes there's quite a few, along with a nice little kick. The game implements "achievements", which yes, are as you think, just like Microsofts achievement system, although they aren't linked and in this time they actually have meaning and value. Each achievement (separate set for single and multi player) is tagged with "favor points" to buy "favor items". Favor items are items that are linked to your profile/account and carry through each game...which is awesome and can make your style of play and your character building even more unique and bad ass.
Along with equipment, you can buy various other things such as potions, scrolls, and other one time use assortments. There's also "Idols", which only Generals can buy/use, and they are items that have unlimited use (accompanied with a cooldown and mana use) but summon 2 "minions", which are different depending on which idol you buy(you can have three, so six minions at once).
Speaking of Generals, the difference between Generals and assassins have been coming more clear the more I play. Assassins are more damage dealers, but that's not to say Generals can't dish it out. Generals usually have a sort of summon spell, or something that can raise minions (which is apart from the idols and can be used with the idols). Assassins have talents that are more focused on attacks and damage. As of writing, that's about as basic as I can get in trying to differeniate the two, although I'm sure as time goes on, I'll figure out more differences, but there's a start.
So anyway, the object of the game is to either destroy the other teams citadel, which can be upgraded, and reinforced, etc., or to destroy the other teams fortresses, depending on the game mode (there may be more, I haven't delved that far into the different modes yet, i've been too addicted with these two already). It sounds simple, but wow, is it addicting. Matches can last, depending on the skill of the player(s), anywhere from 20 to upwards of 60 minutes. And trust me, the longer it goes, the more intense it is, since your "hero" only gets more powerful.
I'm sure there's just so much I haven't said on this game, and if you have any questions, I'll answer them, but really, this is a game you should give a try. There is no campaign, but there's a skirmish and tournament mode. There isn't a need for a campaign, because a full fledged story wouldn't really fit in with this type of game play. Every character does have a lengthy back story, which is included in the character selection screen, and they are actually pretty interesting.
It's only $40, which isn't a bad deal for a game that will give you many, many, many, countless days upon days of fun and excitement. It's just that addicting, and when you get a good game going, it's really just a god damn blast.
The devs. got off to a rocky start, and yes they did get screwed by gamestop and weren't anticipating the mass appeal the game got, but they are acquiring more servers and putting out a patch within the next two-three days to solve all the gears-like matchmatching issues. Get a friend to get it with you, it'll make it that much better, because with teamwork, the game is just that much more fun. Just whatever you do, try it. It's worth a shot, and the developers really deserve some recognition, and deserve your respect for a job well done on this fine piece of work.