One True Hero review for Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, Xbox One

Platform: Switch
Also on: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Publisher: No Gravity Games
Developer: Rat Cliff Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

One True Hero manages to feel both very modern and very retro at the same time.

On the one hand, it feels very much like a 3D platformer from a few decades ago. You run around collecting gems, you hack and slash your way through enemies, and you do it all dressed like your standard fantasy hero. There?s really nothing in One True Hero that we haven?t seen countless times before.

On the other hand, however, it has some commentary here and there to show it knows how tired a lot of these tropes are. There are one-liners about how the game is borrowing from Zelda from the villagers you encounter, plus a narrator who interjects a bit of humour into the proceedings at regular intervals.

Of course, that raises the question: if you?re doing the same thing that?s been done a million times before, does it matter if you show some self-awareness while doing it? Personally, I don?t think it does ? being slavishly devoted to a formula is the same whether you?re doing it knowingly or not. Just because One True Hero throws in a few jokes about it doesn?t make it any more original.

The game?s real problem, though, is that it?s not very well-made. There are bugs all over the place, with items popping in and out of existence, cameras going through scenery, slowdowns, freezes, and all the other annoyances you?d expect from a game that seems half-baked.

On top of that, even when it functions, it?s not very fun. The combat is pretty basic, and you?ll spend lots of time button-mashing to kill the enemies that occasionally swarm you. There?s also platforming, but the combination of sluggish controls and a camera that can?t decide if it?s fixed or moveable make that whole aspect of the game a never-ending chore.

What you?re left with, then, is a mediocre game full of clich?s and bugs. Everything in One True Hero has been done before ? and much, much better ? and you?d be wise to play one of the games it?s borrowing instead.

No Gravity Games provided us with a One True Hero Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: C-