While much of Heads Will Roll: Reforged is “average at best” and at times appears to be an automated translation from the original Russian, there are some lines of dialogue which are truly awful, with certain characters talking almost entirely in “edgy pub speak”, in one early conversation an npc refers to a character being so unfamiliar with training that they “called the gym James”, apart from being a terrible pun, the word gym would not have been used to refer to a gymnasium in the English language until the 1800s, over 400 years after the start of Heads Will Roll: Reforged.
Cringe aside, Heads Will Roll: Reforged features a lot of “crass dialogue”, which, while not outright offensive, gets old very quickly when it seems that no one can go for more than a sentence without cussing, being vulgar or referring to bodily functions in an unsavoury manner.
Heads Will Roll: Reforged’s combat system is, at its core, very decent, with each weapon type having a specialised purpose and players being allowed to target specific body parts on their opponents in part of a risk-reward system that allows players to deal increased damage by scoring a direct hit on an enemy players neck (2x), while attacks on limbs reduce the enemy stamina at while doing less damage (0.75x) than an attack on their body (1x).
Unfortunately, the system has a fatal flaw, and that is battles go on far too long, with both player and npc characters being forced to pause to recover stamina roughly 50% of the time, resulting in multiple turns where players do nothing at all but “recover”, especially if the recover dice role fails and players recover over a minute amount of stamina.
Stamina issues aside, npc character models often do not match their skill set or inventory, which is strange considering that the player character correctly displays the exact items they are wearing. As a result, an attack to “split a shield” can fail on an NPC very clearly carrying a shield when an error message is displayed that the enemy topic does not have a shield equipped.
While it’s not game-breaking, it is immersion-breaking, especially when you are likely to be facing the same character for several minutes (with bad dice rolls) and seeing a character with very visible neck armour and a shield being listed as having no neck armour (100% hit chance) and no shield distracts from would otherwise be an excellent (albeit a bit drawn out) combat system.
While the dialogue is terrible, and combat is often repetitive and at times nonsensical, player choices play an important role in the narrative, and players who wish to purely play as the “hero” or heel many find themselves facing a swift and brutal end.
While facing off against a tough enemy earlier in the game may reward important reputation points with key characters, it may also end your run very quickly, and adversely playing the coward too often may help you to live longer but also alienate you from your peers and important characters, resulting in troubles down the line.
All in all a great system, let down by lacklustre combat, terrible dialogue and a perverse focus on fetish content.
Romancing various RPGs is a staple of the RPG genre, and many of the best role-playing games in history have leaned heavily on this aspect of the genre; however, there is no happily ever after for the player character in Heads Will Roll: Reforged, players who win the heart of their maiden fair will be treated to a cringe-inducing semi-naked (or naked with DLC) pinup of their lover, reducing even the strongest female character to sexual conquest.
While there is room for tasteful intimacy, do we really need to see a character naked and posed provocatively for no other reason than titillation when the developers could have dedicated resources towards systems and encounters that would have allowed the player character to marry and possibly start a family, you know actual love instead of unbridled lust.
In addition, it is also very immersion-breaking to see a character from the 14th century wearing a Victoria’s Secret-esque lacy swimsuit when such items would not have been worn publically if they were even available at all, because of those and other cringe-inducing aspects of romancing npc, I opted to stop pursuing a “romance” altogether, as Heads Will Roll: Reforged forces players to view romance interests as sexual objects and not people, making every conversation feel like the character is thinking “yes yes, now get naked already”, disappointing indeed!
While the developers say that Heads Will Roll: Reforged is an RPG and not an adult game, the fact that bedding various scantily glad (and at times fully nude) young women is essentially the end goal of every relationship and a free nude DLC was released by the developer to make the girls “even more spicy”, is all the evidence I need that the developers spent more resources on ensuring that players were aroused than entertained in any other fashion, which could explain why the combat system is so rough, and why the vast majority of gameplay is navigating various menus for little or no reward.
If you still need convincing, here is an official screenshot for the game, clearly catering to gamers with a foot fetish, something that does not belong in a serious role-playing game, especially one that claims to be more than an “adult game”.
While some dismiss all this as innocent, causing others to lust, and in fact, lusting after even fictional women is not only unhealthy but is damaging spiritually, with Jesus Christ having this to say on the matter.
When faced with making an excellent game that appealed to a wide audience of adults (that could still include tasteful mature content) and making a game for horny gamers and perverts, the developers, unfortunately, chose the latter. Honestly, that’s a shame, as under all the filth, Heads Will Roll: Reforged has potential, but without a complete refactor of the relationship system and a drastic pivot away from portraying women as little more than sexual objects, it will never be more than “just another game for weirdos”.
Heads Will Roll: Reforged is a role playing game video game developed by 1917 Studios and published by Heads Will Roll: Reforged, it was released on 4 October, 2023 and retails for $14.99.
Heads Will Roll: Reforged is available exclusively on PC.
The following peripherals are officially supported:
Heads Will Roll: Reforged is unrated and contains the following:
Heads Will Roll: Reforged has the potential to be a good game, but as long as the developer places more emphasis on being edgy and including fetish content than developing core gameplay mechanics, Heads Will Roll: Reforged will never live up to that potential.
Overall a decent game, let down by the developer’s insistence on including indecent content for no reason.
Please understand me: I am not opposed to nudity. Rather, I am opposed to nudity in video games when it purely exists to arouse players and cause them to lust after a bunch of pixels.
I have no problem saying I take issue with that, as would most mature gamers with a maturity level above that of a 12-year-old boy.