After eight months in Early Access, Chinese martial arts RPG Hero's Adventure: Road to Passion will release on November 16 with a full English translation. The tactical marital arts combat, combined with open world gameplay, make this an interesting and unique one for people who're fans of the genre or who really love the world of wuxia battles.
It's the zero to hero story of your protagonist, a guy who starts out the game getting their butt whooped by chickens and can only go up from there. It's the kind of old school structure of a story-driven yet open world RPG—like Morrowind—that I love to see, letting you sequence break and figure out how to proceed on your own. There are a ton of unique techniques to learn and sects to join, as well as characters to recruit, leaving you with a ton of combinations.
What's best about the game, really, is that you can have varied relationships with everyone you meet. That's a genre staple for wuxia or jianghu "martial world" stories, but the games rarely go so far as to let you do stuff like offend people and gain their eternal enmity just because they were rude to you—or even kill them and become kill-on-sight for their entire martial sect.
The full release will also come with a complete English translation funded by the success of the game in Early Access. The current English translation is a community-driven effort that will be replaced on release—though as always with one of the hardest languages in the world to translate to English, I'd expect some imperfections when that does come. There's a reason that even classic Wuxia novels have taken decades to come to the English-speaking world.
As for its open world cred, this excellent quote from the Steam forums of someone else asking for help sums up my experience nicely: "After donating 100 guan to Lai Toudian at Shifa Temple, he talks about the bronze men fight, how do I trigger it? And is it possible to do so if I'm part of the Lewd Old Man Sect?"
Suffice to say there's lots of weird things to get up to in a very, very detailed world.
You can find Hero's Adventure on Steam for $18 US. I'll close out the article with a lovely pixel art town square and a gallery of screenshots.
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Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.