Review – Asterix & Obelix: Heroes

Nacon is no stranger to publishing Asterix games, with Asterix & Obelix: Heroes being the third one we’re tackling at WTMG after deliberately skipping on a handful. Between remasters of old PS2-era platformers and gorgeous-looking arcade beat ’em ups, those titles have, for the most part, been quite good. At the very least, you could notice the love and care put into those outings, not just being mere cash-ins to capitalize on the franchise’s surprisingly neverending popularity. With this brand new Asterix outing, in a completely different genre, did Nacon manage to deliver yet another banger for fans of the franchise?

Asterix & Obelix: Heroes

It’s Slay the Spire, but easier. And Asterix-themed. And lame.

Asterix & Obelix: Heroes is, in essence, Slay the Spire with a Gaulish coat of paint. Yes, yet another card-based, turn-based RPG with deckbuilding elements, which has since become a borderline joke in the gaming industry, due to the sheer ludicrous amount of games in the same genre being released at a weekly basis. Heroes does not share the same roguelite sensibilities of those titles, instead focusing on a linear, story-based fare, separated by chapters, and where every single battle can be seen in advance due to the inclusion of a board-like overworld, where you can plan your next move.

In theory, an interesting concept. Asterix & Obelix: Heroes might want to be Slay the Spire, but it’s not trying to be punitive. If you want to skip a non-mandatory fight against a centurion, so be it. You will miss out on experience points, extra cards, and currency, but given how the game is not particularly hard, one less fight won’t be a big deal. Considering how bland the combat is as well, it’s not like you’ll constantly feel motivated to tackle non-essential objectives anyway.

The combat is simplistic, with uncreative cards and effects. For the most part, just picking up offensive moves for the three “primary” characters on your party is more than enough to get rid of enemies on the other side of the screen. Furthermore, you can also bring in a support character, with a different deck comprised of more passive skills, such as healing or inflicting status conditions onto enemies. Rinse and repeat until either team is completely erradicated. Just make sure to keep an eye on your “motivation” meter, which acts as some kind of unncessary stamina bar. You can fill it up on bonfires.

Asterix & Obelix: Heroes

The game made me chuckle on very rare occasions.

So, explore this linear map, kill some foes, earn money, buy new cards, recruit a new character, and so on. That is the gameplay loop Asterix & Obelix: Heroes has to offer. In no moment does it feel broken or glitchy, but it felt joyless throughout most of the time. There were slight instances of a funny dialogue exchange making me chuckle for a second, as well as the occasional hand giving me a stupidly overpowered set of cards for me to deliver a ludicrous combo, but this game is just bland. The basic presentation did not help at all in this regard.

Going from a gorgeous, hand-drawn art style, seen in Slap Them All, to this obscenely cheap, mobile-esque presentation, was shocking, to say the least. Disappointing, most certainly. Cards do not trigger specific animations, characters barely move onscreen, particle effects are nonexistent, environments are bland. It feels so cheap, so devoid of care. It is just barely salvaged by the fact that, at the end of the day, Asterix & Obelix: Heroes is still an Asterix game, so having cheap cardboard Asterix visuals still gives it the slightest morsel of personality.

The biggest offender is the sound department, or lack thereof. There’s nearly nothing to hear in this game as a whole. The soundtrack is mixed at a staggering low volume, and sound effects are cheap and basic. For the most part, I would only remember I wasn’t playing the game on mute after defeating a centurion, when I’d be greeted with a minuscule flinching sound effect, as well as a small victory fanfare.

Asterix & Obelix: Heroes map

You can “strategize” before advance through the map. Just remember that you are not able to backtrack.

Asterix & Obelix: Heroes isn’t technically broken, glitchy, or even aggressively bad, but it’s completely devoid of life or joy. It’s a soulless attempt at making an Asterix-themed Slay the Spire clone, without any of the challenge or roguelite aspects that made that game so appealing in the first place. What we have instead is a linear take on the formula, with uninteresting cards, boring visuals, nearly no sound to speak of, and little to no incentive for you to play it for more than maybe ten minutes at a time.

Graphics: 5.0

Being an Asterix-tied product helps with the art style, but the game is beyond basic with its visuals.

Gameplay: 5.5

It plays just like Slay the Spire, being a card-based RPG, but without the roguelite elements that made that game replayable and appealing. It’s not insultingly broken, just basic.

Sound: 3.5

You will barely notice there’s any semblance of sound in Asterix & Obelix: Heroes. The soundtrack is mixed at a very low volume, and sound effects are cheap and basic.

Fun Factor: 5.0

It’s a blatant carbon copy of an indie that has been replicated to exhaustion. It manages to be somewhat appealing for a few minutes due to the franchise’s charm, but it’s really shallow, though not exactly broken.

Final Verdict: 5.0

Asterix & Obelix: Heroes is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC and Switch.

Reviewed on Xbox Series S.

A copy of Asterix & Obelix: Heroes was provided by the publisher.