Multiplayer twin stick shooter Square Heroes hits PS4 next month

Chaotic multiplayer mayhem from the team at Gnomic Studios

Fans of shooters, brawlers and multiplayer mayhem should circle Tuesday, 1st March on their calendars: that’s when you can finally download Square Heroes on PS4! It’s been a long journey and the Gnomic Studios team can’t wait to see it in the hands of PS4 gamers.

Everyone loves multiplayer!

There’s nothing more satisfying than mowing down your buddy, hearing them curse, and then doing it again just to rub it in. All of us at Gnomic Studios grew up playing games like that, and the design of Square Heroes has been driven by a desire to recapture that feeling and share it with others. It’s a great party game: easy to pick up, but hard to master and most fun when played with friends.

Ideally you’d be sitting close enough to your friends to punch them in the arm when they frag you for the fourth time in a row. If that’s not possible, PS Plus members can play online. You can even combine with a local friend and join online or LAN matches together, enabling couch vs couch battles with no split screen.

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Square Heroes was designed to work in high-ping conditions. Lag is rarely a problem and playing against people in different continents is entirely possible… no mean feat for a fast-paced realtime action game.

Cross-platform multiplayer, anyone?

No doubt all of us here agree that PS4 is the best gaming platform, but there are still those not lucky enough to own one. You may even be friends with some of these unfortunates, which is why we’ve made sure that you’ll be able to go up against PC players in online Square Heroes matches.

The game is a twin-stick shooter with no insta-bullets, bringing a level playing field to controller vs. keyboard and mouse. If you’re worried about griefers and cheaters, players can be kicked, matches can be password protected and there is an option to restrict matches to PS4 players only.

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How does it work?

Matches begin by choosing your loadout from the 30 weapons:

  1. Melee weapon such as baseball bat, battle axe or chicken.
  2. Light weapon such as pistol or crossbow.
  3. Medium weapon such as shotgun or flamethrower.
  4. Explosive weapon such as grenade launcher or sticky bomb, and
  5. Special item such as: nuke bomb or health bag

Initially, only the 1st tier melee weapon is available. Hunting (or “farming”) aliens and collecting their bounties pays for the next weapon you chose, culminating in destructive explosive guns in tier 4 and bag weapons in tier 5. This unique mechanic causes a mini arms-race in each round and ensures gameplay changes throughout the match.

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Square Heroes features a levelling system where you earn XP to level up and unlock 15 new guns and 15 melee weapons. Earning any of the 30 Trophies also earns you a bonus hat, which buffs certain stats and de-buffs others to balance. You can strategically choose your hat, melee and loadout to suit your play style and cause maximum carnage.

Got Mode?

A variety of game modes are supported:

  • Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch are classics that need no explaining.
  • Last Alive and Team Last Alive change up the gameplay by limiting your lives and making strategy more important. These modes were inspired by Counterstrike and encourage you to hang back and upgrade your weapons before striking.
  • Gnome Hunt and Team Gnome Hunt are similar to King of the Hill, where you must first find, and then hold the gnome to capture it. In team games, grouping up is vital to defend the gnome and capture it more quickly.
  • Survival is a cooperative mode and a nod to the prequel Square Off: try not to die for a period of time whilst a horde of aliens tries to achieve the opposite.
  • Kingslayer is a cooperative mode where the alien horde is aided by a single brutally difficult bot. Teamwork is essential if you’re to kill the king and win the day.

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Some history

Square Heroes is the sequel to Square Off, an alien-survival-shooter released in 2009. The premise of the game is that in the distant past, the human race was nearly wiped out by swarms of invading aliens. A mad professor managed to blend alien DNA with his own to create our heroes and saviours: the Square Avengers.

After repelling and subduing the invaders, a period of intergalactic peace reigned. The Heroes however lacked an outlet for their awesome killing power. They grew bored and turned to fighting amongst themselves. The galaxy’s most deadly fighters were invited to participate in a Tournament to finally determine the most awesome warrior. They brought with them rumours of a malevolent presence in the far reaches of the galaxy. Can the Heroes win the Tournament before it arrives?

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3 Comments
2 Author replies

Absolutely no single player?

Aranda Morrison 26 February, 2016 @ 12:52
1.1

Good question, I really should have covered this in the blog post!. Whilst Square Heroes is definitely a multiplayer focused game, there is a single player Tournament mode with a story to progress through 19 levels. It’s a bit reminiscent of Unreal Tournament where you face progressively harder bots with some Survival mode (vs aliens) thrown in.

Carnivius_Prime 25 February, 2016 @ 17:12
2

“Ideally you’d be sitting close enough to your friends to punch them in the arm when they frag you for the fourth time in a row. If that’s not possible, PS Plus members can play online.” Thank you! As someone who grew up with multiplayer games before internet I do appreciate how much fun it is to play with folks in the same room but at my age and current situation I have very little in the way of local gamer friends so being able to take it online is a welcome feature and one some multiplayer games I might have enjoyed did not include for some strange reason.

Aranda Morrison 26 February, 2016 @ 12:54
2.1

I can say with some confidence that the reason these games did not include online modes is simply cost. It’s a pretty challenging feature to add, and a lot of work to get right in realtime games. Also smaller indie companies have a lot of trouble justifying this cost because it’s very hard to get and retain a player base… we did it anyway for some reason :)

Carnivius_Prime 26 February, 2016 @ 17:09
2.2

Thing is they may have sold more games if they did include the feature as I know many PlayStation gamers like myself who get put off when a great looking multiplayer game does not
Am still bitter about the very fun Double Dragon Neon by Wayforward lacking online on PS3 even though it was stated it would be patched to have it (and the Steam version did but I don’t play PC) so that felt like a bit of a broken promise on a game I otherwise very much enjoyed.

Anyways you guys are cool cos you did it so I’m definitely interested in checking out the game for frantic silly shooty fun online. :)

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