Evercore Heroes will make League of Legends players take notice as it enters beta

Patrick Dane
Four heroes from Evercore Heroes jump into battle.

Evercore Heroes is the debut title from Vela Games, a studio founded by Riot Games alumni. Trying to muscle in on the top-down hero arena space is a mighty task on your first try, but does the game’s unique take on the genre help it stand out?

Trying to break into the MOBA space in 2023 is a tough ask. While we’ve seen some recent success from Pokemon Unite, on PC, any new challenger is going to find itself going up against two behemoths in League of Legends and Dota 2. Their presence in the space has been all-encompassing thus far, suffocating all previous challengers of air.

That’s the unenviable position that Evercore Heroes finds itself in. However, the game, which is being put together by many ex-Rioters, has an interesting gambit. It’s decided not to actually be a MOBA.

Or, at least, kind of. If you look at an image of Evercore Heroes, it sure will look like a MOBA. If you touch Evercore Heroes, it sure will feel like a MOBA too. However, the title doesn’t play anything like a MOBA, at least in the macro.

Travis “Volibar” George, who is co-founder and CEO of Vela Games said to us during a presentation, “it’s not PvP”. And it’s not – though it is still competitive. Throughout a match, you’re not fighting other players, trying to use your abilities to tear apart and gank opponents. That said, you are still competing against other teams.

What is Evercore Heroes?

I realize none of this is painting a particularly great picture for you. Let me explain: Evercore Heroes is a competitive PvE game. The game will task four teams of four with running around one of the title’s maps and completing various objectives and killing AI enemies. This will help your team net points which help when you charge your Evercore. This becomes important as the game progresses, as, after a few minutes, the game will call all players to the middle of the map to defend their Evercore from an onslaught of enemies.

During this phase, insurmountable waves of enemies will begin spawning and attacking your Evercore. If you’ve ever seen the end of a game of League or Dota 2, where your base is getting overrun with powerful mobs, it’s pretty much like that. However, the teams who have prepared the best will have the most health on their core. You try to hold off the enemies as long as possible, but if your core reaches zero, you and your team are out.

If you survive though, you return to your business of killing enemies in the world and performing various tasks against other teams. This knockout will happen again, but once only two teams remain, the game will change. Depending on what map you are on, the final encounter will be different. In the game where I won, we had to face off against an enormous troll in a multi-tiered battle.

Think fighting Roshan from Dota 2, if he had an enormous lair as well as many different complex moves, and mechanics. That should give you an idea of how this plays. In the end, we had a massive comeback win, and in those moments, I could begin to see the promise of what Evercore offers.

Welcome to the jungle

Evercore is all of the PvE elements in a classic MOBA, but blown up and expanded upon to be the core focus. The heroes, of which there are currently 16, are all designed to be about destroying, corralling, and surviving mobs and bosses rather than players. This means that their powers can be blown out a little bigger, a little more powerful, and even, a little more unfair.

Evercore heroes fight against a big bossOne of the final bosses has you facing off against a powerful troll.

It’s hard to say where exactly Evercore will land ultimately, as it’s something unique. That from a developer on its first time out is commendable. It’s more approachable than its spiritual cousins as you don’t battle directly with opposing players, making it hard to know if this concept can make a dent into this space, or if it can even transcend outside of the MOBA realm.

What I can say is that there’s something here. I had fun in the three or so games I played, and there was a sense that something awesome could be mined out of this slab of marble. It’s still early days for the game, but I can see a world where this team hones what makes this experience great, finding itself a strong audience in the process.

Evercore Closed Beta

If you’re curious to try Evercore Heroes, the game will be running in Closed beta on PC from June 20. You need to buy one of the Founders packs from the game’s website (from $19.99/€19.99 to $79.99/€79.99 depending on which version you get), but when the title finally goes live, your progress and purchases will carry over. You will also get keys to share with friends in the packs, so you won’t have to go it alone.

If you’re curious and want to try something that feels like a MOBA but with a brand new spin, I say give it a shot. There’s a lot of room for Evercore to grow here, and I hope it does find its footing. It’s rare to see unique spins like this, and that, mixed with the strong execution make for something that should be on your radar.