Hammerwatch has many flaws, it gets boring and repetitive after a while, it's brutally difficult and worse of all, it's not randomly generated. I thought this was going to be a roguelike, based loosely on Gauntlet with deeper RPG elements. I was wrong on the roguelike part, this is more of a hack-and-slash with a tendency for traps and ridiculously high number of enemies.
No matter how many times you've restarted Hammerwatch (trying new classes, playing with different people online, adding infinite lives) you always start at the same spot. Enemies are always in the same rooms, treasures and secret passages are the same, even the puzzles and switches you need to activate to progress forward are identical in their locations. The map is huge, the puzzles are multi-tiered and there are more than plenty of enemies to go around; Why not make it smaller and randomly generated? I understand that the quality of the layouts and the puzzles might suffer, but you'd get through so many of them that restarting the game wouldn't seem like the worst thing ever.
Basically, you move around with your hero, attack enemies and use a mana-consuming spell (bombs for the archer, dash for the paladin, chain lightning for the warlock and a cone of fire for the mage) to defeat hordes of enemies, collect keys, get potions and gold, buy upgrades that vary per class (arrow penetration, shields, poison damage, etc.) and combo upgrade, allowing you to power-up for a while after you kill enough monsters in a row. These upgrades are all fun, but I wish there was a way to see what your 'stats' were. You gather keys, step on switches, defeat bosses, and move forward, you also can do this with up to four players. You eat food, respawn a certain number of times on checkpoints, and then it's game over.
The enemies start simple enough; swarms of bats that just fly at you, huge bugs and the like, then you start fighting maggots that spit acid, worms that hit you from underground, archers, turrets that shoot everywhere and other increasingly difficult enemies. Often, they come in packs of 30-40, coalescing to your position in a huge blob. Area of effect spells work great, but sometimes you just want to kill everything with your basic attacks and it takes time. I don't mind that enemies take 2-3 hits to kill each, but at least make the character attack non-stop if you hold down the attack button, I don't want to mash it repeatedly just to shoot a billion arrows.
I also wish the map was smaller, sometimes you respawn on a checkpoint and you need to walk a long way around to get back to where you were, and that's not fun. The game gates progress with keys (gold, silver and bronze) opening different doors, switches that lower spikes or open walls, leaving you with paths to come back with if you die and a bunch of stairwells to go between floors. Other than that, there's stuff to break and treasure, not much else.
Bosses are interesting but a bit broken right now, I was able to defeat the first boss with the archer by just standing outside of its attack range and shoot in the edges of the screen, with my other characters I had to buy 3 invincibility potion, drink them, hit the boss for around 1/3 of his life, rinse, repeat. Whatver pattern the game wanted me to learn, whatever trick there is to defeat this boss - which was just decimating me otherwise - I didn't have to learn because I could just cheese it, I thought it was something to do with raising pillars to dodge attacks? I'm not sure.
I didn't like Hammerwatch, it felt like a slog through too much enemies for not enough reward. How about experience points? Maybe that would've made it more fun? The upgrade system, although few and far in-between the occasions to upgrade, is interesting and the game sure looks and sounds good, but I couldn't care much for the way it played.