Legendary Hoplite feature image

Legendary Hoplite review: Greek vs Mythology

Not for you if:

  • You are looking for an easy game.
  • Hate grinding and RNG.
  • Aren't flexible in your gameplay style and like changing things up.
7

Legendary Hoplite is an indie game by Triple Bricks Games and published by Ravenage. Triple Bricks Games’s first full game is an attempt to merge the Tower Defense genre with Action RPG elements. An enticing gameplay package set in ancient Greece with all its mythological stories come to life.

TL;DR

Legendary Hoplite, its unique art and mix of gameplay elements are a fresh take on the Tower Defense genre. The art of the enemies is so well done I loved every enemy encounter. The story is filled with some mystery that slowly unravels, the writing is not the best but we’ve seen worse.

The difficulty ramps up pretty fast and has you on the edge of your seat at all times, free respecs of your units and character make switching tactics a breeze. Grinding for more gold or gear for your build can be cumbersome in the long run. But once you figure out the puzzle and complete a level, that satisfying feeling makes up for it.

Story at the start of the game that quickly goes over past events and sets up Dio his story.

Legendary Hoplite – Rinse and repeat until you reach perfection

Triple Bricks Games is an indie developer from Vietnam with a passion for Greek mythology and games. Those two passions became the baby that we had the luxury to preview; Legendary Hoplite. A cunning action packed Tower Defense game that had us at the edge of our seat and theorycrafting builds to overcome the next level. Looking for the pieces that could get us victory and beat the challenges each level presented. Taking A-RPG elements to spice up the package and make the Tower Defense genre more interactive was a win, at least for some of the mechanics.

The map of Legendary Hoplite, three seperate zones and chapters for you to conquer and defend.

Ancient Greece story-time

In Legendary Hoplite you play as Dio, a lowly commander suddenly besieged by skeletons of the Underworld. Has Hades begun attacking the overworld? As you progress through each level more of the mystery becomes unveiled, while opening up new doors to even more mystery. You quickly find out that skeletons aren’t the only things coming to take Ithaca. Cyclops join the fray and pose a bigger threat than mere skeletons. Your commanding skills are put to the test as this mystery unravels and deepens.

The main focus of Legendary Hoplite isn’t really the story, you won’t be compelled to progress to unravel why the Underworld is attacking Ithaca. It’s the gameplay and combination of several elements that will have you coming to Legendary Hoplite, that grit that won’t let a game beat you.

Build your defense and your character

You aren’t a commander watching from afar, Dio is a commander on the field with his troops. Facing the horrors the Underworld throws at them together. He is your last line of defense and can change the tide of battle.

Defend with a versatile army

Legendary Hoplite has two separate mechanics going one, the most obvious one is the Tower Defense. Enemies attack in lanes and you place troops in said lanes to stop them from entering town. You can take up to four troop types with you from the eight you unlock. Each of these troops has their strengths and weaknesses and its own upgrade tree with diverging paths.

Each of these units and upgrades counter specific threats. You will not be building just one army, but constantly changing your troop layout and even their upgrade trees to fit the encounter you are doing or enemy you are facing. Upgrading troops costs gold and each upgrade gets more expensive the further you get, with some significant passive skills unlocking at the fourth node and on. Respeccing your troops is completely free without any loss of gold and this is godsend for Legendary Hoplite.

You can theorycraft a certain army, spend your gold on upgrades, get them ready for a level and try it out without any consequences. If you are not feeling it and fail the level, you gain any collected gold and items and go back to the drawing board. You can respec every troop for free and make something totally different. You will do this a lot, Legendary Hoplite it not easy.

A gif showing several army setups and battles.
Gif by Triple Brick Games from Steam.

Lots of action, some rpg

The second aspect of Legendary Hoplite is the Action – RPG element. This comes in the form of Dio the commander being an active unit controlled by you. Supporting lanes by attacking with his spear or sword and using powerful abilities that can give the upper hand. The Tower Defense Side of the game runs on combat points that you start with and earn throughout the level, you get these by killing enemies or sending the next wave earlier and gaining a big chunk of combat points. But risk overwhelming yourself.

Dio on the other hand runs on stamina, each attack and ability costs stamina and running has Dio collapses on his knees until you are unable to move him. Building and reinforcing your lines is still possible, but managing your stamina is as crucial as deciding what and where to build. There are strategic choices that are crucial for success, so that you are constantly weighing then off against each other.

As you kill enemies you will collect gear for Dio, this gear improves a plethora of stats and your skills are tied to what gear you have equipped. This is where Legendary Hoplite fell off a bit for me. I like A-RPG’s as you can read in my Diablo 4 review, but in Legendary Hoplite I didn’t think the gear progression was as satisfying as it should be or even can be in this mix of two genres. Getting a better piece was good but it was outleveled so fast that I ended up playing with skills that felt less useful but I couldn’t do without the stats that increased my combat point generation or extra damage.

Grinding for a piece of gear was just too random at times, the amount of skills and different stats that can roll on gear is also too wide. Leaving you stuck with a weaker piece but a skill that really complements your own play-style. An option to keep a skill or craft more selected gear would be a very welcome addition, getting stuck on a certain level because you feel too weak due to gear and lack of gold was fine for two or three runs. But having to grind the same level over and over for gear and gold; that just feels out of place here.

Legendary Boss fights

The boss fights in Legendary Hoplite are simply amazing, their huge models and stomping sounds as they arrive hype up the fight immensely. Add in some heavy metal music that starts playing and everything turns epic. Enemies flood your defenses and Dio is popping skills like a Greek downing Ouzo shots. Suddenly a dialogue triggers and the fight changes, a new mechanic is added on top of the list, Dio falls as the denizens of the Underworld break through. There are so many mechanics and things going on at these fights.

A bit too much if you ask me, you are reinforcing your defenses, choosing your position, managing stamina, casting abilities, looking out for AOE attacks and extra mechanics that can instantly down Dio unless you avoid them. At times it’s a bit much and requires replaying these fights multiple times to perfect your positioning and army composition.

And there you have it, restart boss level, this button was heaven sent as it drops you straight into the last wave with all acquired combat points so far. You can rebuild your defenses and give the fight another shot. Your newly acquired knowledge of the mechanics and how to counter them gives you an edge this time. While the boss fights really push you to try out new strategies when it comes to unit placement and defense, upgrade paths and skills. The line can be drawn throughout all of Legendary Hoplite.

Taking on certain challenges will require you to rethink the composition of your army and their skills or talents. Each fight is a puzzle tugging at your strategic thinking and build-crafting for your army. This was a ton of fun for me personally. Unlocking more skills, testing them out and seeing what units work well together, diving in the compendium looking for weaknesses for certain enemy types and building an army composition around that to get a challenge done.

Legendary Hoplite – Conclusion

Legendary Hoplite is an excellent first step for Triple Brick Games, it looks beautiful with its unique art and has some mechanics that really work well, but also some grinding that gets in the way. The price on release should be $14,99 and you will get your bang for your buck if you like a difficult but satisfying Tower Defense game with A-RPG elements. Do be prepared to do some grinding and pray to the RNG gods that you get what you need.

Legendary Hoplite releases on 02/02/24 on Steam (link here if you want to wish-list it).

Thank you Ravenage and Triple Brick Games for this preview key.

Stijn Ginneberge

Posts published: 120

Gaming for me is about experiencing their stories, overcoming challenges, living in fantasy worlds and exploring alien planets. You can also find me in the local game store or on an airsoft field.