PS4 version tested
Review code provided
8-Bit Hordes is a console released real-time strategy game that takes its lead from the classic examples of the ’90s. It is reminiscent of the original Warcraft and Starcraft offerings but adds it’s own spin and then runs wild with it. The game feels very much like you are playing a Command & Conquer game, albeit set in a fantasy realm opposed to the stark reality of the aforementioned. During my youth, C&C was a mainstay spending hundreds of hours playing through all the games and their expansions multiple times. Can 8-bit Hordes recapture that same feeling or will nostalgia kick in? Let’s find out more.
There are two main factions in the game, the Lightbringers and the Deathsworn, and you can play full campaigns based around each. The gameplay is relatively simplistic and I think that works in 8-Bit Hordes benefit. Each mission starts the same way, adding a level of familiarity, as you are tasked to find somewhere to build new bases before gradually expanding your territory. This is a fairly straightforward ask for anyone who has played a game in this genre. At the point where you have fortified the area enough its time to set off on the offensive, attacking the other factions around, taking over their farms and local amenities in a bid to keep your troops fully supplied.
Each unit feels very distinct and provides a unique set of benefits for your army. You acquire and unlock the new units by freeing them from capture as you explore the terrain. Campaign levels are set up with multiple difficulties which in turn bring new challenges depending on the option taken. There is also a hidden character in every level called Bob that you have to find for an added challenge. In the first level, Bob was extremely easy to find but in subsequent levels he becomes much harder! 8-Bit Hordes also features a number of other modes which include: co-op campaign, skirmish and multiplayer which are all staples of the RTS genre.
The RTS genre has died off a little in recent years, besides a few bite-sized mobile offerings looking to kick start a resurgence. We’ll reserve judgment on the mobile C&C for now so it’s great to see games like this release helping the cause. Visually 8-Bit Hordes is very stylised but I think this brings renewed interest as a ‘Minecraft’ vibe draws the eye in instantly. It’s crisp and clear appearance makes it easy to focus on the beauty of the game. The music is also great, it is very fantastical almost chiptune from yesteryear taking me back to playing games on my Amiga and early consoles.
8-Bit Hordes is a really great game, it may just be nostalgia kicking in but I cannot recommend this enough simply because it’s endlessly fun. The gameplay loop is perfectly balanced as you make your way through the campaigns to unlock all the units needed to progress. The price is perfect, the artwork is beautiful and the music is great. Overall I give this a solid 8 out of 10 and definitely one I will keep on my PlayStation hard drive so I can dip in and out as and when I feel the need to get my RTS fix.
TBG Score 8/10
Platform: Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: 01/02/2019
No. of Players: 1-6
Developer: Petroglyph Games
Publisher: SOEDESCO PUBLISHING
Download link: PSN