Ride Out Heroes is the (still fairly)new multi-class battle royale for mobile. Released back in May of 2019 by developer NetEase, the game has gained a significant following that includes me in it’s ranks. Haven’t heard of this wonderful game yet? Well read on!
Ride Out Heroes is not like other battle royale games. While the basic premise is in place — 100 competing players are dropped into an environment to fight to the death, while the safe zone becomes smaller, forcing characters into closer proximity and a final confrontation — the theme is completely unique. ROH is about the characters.
Each character is unique. So far there are 11 heroes, ranging from Lilith, a female demon who flies and flings eldritch blasts from great range, to White Earp, a bounty hunting cowboy with twin revolvers and a shotgun who specializes in hunting down characters trying to run and hide.
This is a huge change from the normal battle royale formula. You never know who you’ll run into and you have to be ready to change you strategies on the fly. Tesla can build fortifications, changing the terrain (ala Fortnite). John Wright controls the skies and can attack from completely unique angles. It’s a far cry from the basic cookie cutter avatars with guns in every other game.
Each character has multiple points of customization. They have 3 base abilities, 1 of which is permanent and 2 that can be swapped with 2 other unlockable abilities. Each match renders up experience used to upgrade existing abilities or unlock others. For instance, White Earp’s rate of fire and maximum ammo capacity can be upgraded 3 times. This means you never know what exactly his DPS will be or how many shots before he needs to reload.
The characters each have two class weapons that benefit from their abilities, but they can choose to use any of the weapons scattered across the map instead. These are the usual sorts of weapons: rifles, Uzis, pistols, and sniper rifles, and they are very effective. Over the course of a match, weapons can be upgraded from common up to legendary, and this makes a tremendous difference. The same is true of armor in the game. Each piece can be be maxed out at legendary, and will confer special benefits like decreased reload time or faster respawn.
Speaking of respawn, another cool feature is what happens when you’re downed. Instead of instant death, or slowly bleeding out, you instead are transformed into a cute little dragon. That’s right, a dragon. In this form you are not very fast and just a few shots will finish you off, but you have a special ability that allows you to transform into an object from the environment. If you’re good, you can run, jump, and hide long enough to return to your normal form.
There are also relics that can be found at random, or prayed for at shrines, that provide crazy power ups. My favorite is probably the Ring of Ouroboros. With it, you can level up your weapons and armor each time you find the same one again. This means you can max your gear at legendary before everyone else, giving you a tremendous advantage.
If that wasn’t enough, every character has a mount that they can summon at will for fast travel. You’ll make use of it often, because the map is huge. Even after a few months of play, I’m still running across areas I hadn’t seen.
Graphically, ROH is a delight. Bright and colorful, the style is more Overwatch than PUBG. Everything is well animated, and the sound effects are spot on. Listening to the metallic clicking of White Earp reloading two revolvers in less than 2 seconds flat is a joy every time. Moreover, you can aurally identify when characters trigger abilities out of sight, which gives you key clues to the identity of your enemies and what they are up to.
Personally, I have no complaints about this game. However, it’s worth noting that there is no 1st person play, only 3rd person. I know that may be a deal breaker for some. Additionally, while characters are unlocked on weekly rotation to try for free, to unlock them permanently requires collecting crystals, the in game currency.
This is hardly a challenge when you start. At low ranking each match yields a hundred crystals or more, and starter characters like Lilith are fairly inexpensive. But once you reach the status of Lord and King, collecting crystals becomes a grind.
This is the nature of nearly all mobile games, however. If you don’t want to grind your way through it, you can always spend money to buy characters and various cosmetic items. I’ve bought a few things myself, but that’s because I feel the game deserves the profit.
Hopefully you’ll feel that way when you try it. If you enjoy 3rd person shooters and other battle royale games, you should definitely give Ride Out Heroes a shot. It’s a truly unique experience on mobile and in the genre.
Graduated from MIT with 2nd class honours. I play games during my free time to de-stress. I also do some writing here and there. Hope you enjoy my articles!