Linux Gaming: Heroes of Newerth

July 23, 2009

It’s no secret that one of the areas that Windows has the advantage of Linux, is gaming. It’s not that Linux as an OS isn’t capable of running quality games, it’s just that game manufacterers don’t think the Linux gamers can make them any money. For that reason, it’s always nice when a game is released with a native Linux version, like World of Goo a couple of months ago, and Savage 2. Now, the same people who are responsible for the latter are working on a game called Heroes of Newerth. It’s being beta tested at the moment, and yes, the good people of S2 Games provide Windows, Mac and Linux version (both 32-bit and 64!).

Even better, one of the communities it’s reaching out to for the beta test is the Linux community, by providing Phoronix 400 beta keys they could hand out. And as could be expected, 400 won’t be nearly enough. The interest in this was huge. When I asked for a beta key yesterday, the reply forum was on its third page, which means I was one of the first. I then left for a walk, and when I came back the page count had reached 12. A few hours later when I went to sleap it was 31, now it’s 38 and the 400 invites are pretty much gone. And that’s not even counting the people who misunderstood and requested their key by mail or in the wrong thread. Phoronix has already asked for, and received, new keys, and they guarantee that if you’re using Linux and you’re interested in testing this, there will be a key for you.

Now, because the beta is closed, I can’t tell you that much about the game and I certainly can’t show you any screenshots or videos, but if you have a Facebook account you can become a fan. There’s some content there that give you a pretty good idea of what the game is about. In any case, if you ever played DotA, which is a Warcraft 3 mod, you’ll know exactly how the game plays. If you haven’t, but you have played Warcraft 3, just imagine a bunch of Heroes who decided to drop all the building and raising armoes and just kick the crap out of eachother instead. It’s a little more complicated than that, but the gameplay is definitely faster than in Warcraft 3, and strategy is still present but very different.

I can also reveal that I suck at this game 😀 I played one and a half game and managed to kill absolutely no one. Getting killed, on the other hand, was incredibly easy. I set all kinds of records, but not the good ones. I had a lot of fun though, and my teammates were understood the sheer noobness of my endeavors, though some did go “What in the name of all that’s good and holy are you doing?”

But the best part of this game? Fast, because I didn’t have to run it in wine. Beautiful, because I didn’t have to run it in wine. At the correct screen resolution, because I didn’t have to run it in wine. And it worked as good as the Windows version, because I didn’t have to run it in wine.

If you manage to get your hands on a beta key, go and try it out. It’s well worth it.