This Free MMO Shooter brought to you by EA in June of 2009, Battlefield Heroes is a game changer that is the most recent addition to a series of Battlefield games by DICE. Rated Best of 2009 by IGN, Battlefield Heroes gives a unique twist on the 3rd person free to play shooter MMOs. The cel-shaded style combined with an amazingly vibrant color palette gives Heroes a Saturday morning cartoon feel that stretches the demographic to reach younger gamers. The text and images emit the feel of the Sunday morning funnies. The light hearted approach to a war game is a welcome reprieve from the blood, guts, grit and gore that is seen on a regular basis in today’s gaming market. However, I fear that at any moment I will bust out singing the Rescue Heroes theme song. It’s just inevitable.
Battlefield Heroes’ game play is smooth, comical and offers a light hearted approach to a WWII free to play 3rd person shooter MMO. Similar to Free Realms, Heroes requires users to log in on their official web site. There are no desktop applications; however browser add-ons can be downloaded to expedite game downloads and updates. Most MMO interfaces are complete with a lobby system and from there you enter into game play. Heroes has absolutely no lobby; you are simply launched into game play with the click of a button. This is definitely a minus in my book; I suppose because I’m more old school. Team gaming, as seen in Heroes, lends itself to matchmaking with friends. Unfortunately with the current server configuration, that is almost impossible. However, you can rent a server from EA and make that connection. A move on EA’s part that seems quite unfair, but everybody’s got to make a buck.
Missing in Action
Another downside is the lack of accessories. As far as I’m concerned, if you’re going to create a MMO, finish it up with a nice selection of accessories. In this case, the gun selection is terrible with a measly few guns from which each class can choose. Game play is limited to 3 maps; which is quite disappointing and can cause game play to become monotonous. Also, most clothes and novelties must be bought with real money.
Be Smart with those Skills
In character development, you are given the option of what side you will serve. In Battlefield Heroes you may choose between the Royal Army and the National Army. Both Armies have the same three classes from which to choose; Gunner, Soldier and Commando. One thing to note though is that you will not be allowed to switch Army’s or classes during war. There is a text bar where you can enter your character’s name. Then you may choose his hair and skin color as well as his hairstyle. That shouldn’t take you long because, as I mentioned before, your choices are few.
It’s battle time! You’ve created your character; chosen your side, picked your class and now you’re ready for some action. What’s next? The game controls are the standard W, A, S, D, for walking and your mouse is used to direct your camera. Heroes offers a short tutorial that is definitely worth a look, especially since it won’t cost you but a few minutes of time and an ‘at a boy.
I most definitely give the game play an A+! Your characters are able to pull of silly antics in keeping with the game’s style; and yet the developers were able to maintain the fast paced, high intensity gaming experience one comes to expect with a war game, MMO or otherwise. A few shenanigans include standing on the wing of an airplane in flight whilst shooting and then parachuting down into enemy territory for a surprise attack. One thing I like about this game is the lack of background music. Many times background music can be just plain annoying and really steal the thunder of the sound effects (no pun intended, really). Heroes offers good ole sound effects such as honks, whirs, booms and whistles. I find it refreshing and enjoy a good explosion.
Honestly, it’s hard to be overly critical of a game that you haven’t paid for. Especially when that game is just as good or even better than the ones you did pay for. When I weigh in with my personal opinion, and it’s a negative one at that; my reviews are balanced against my views of other games of equal content. I suppose that sometimes, as gamers, we should judge based on the ideal. How will game creators and producers ever know how to improve if we don’t say what we want; free or otherwise?
The Final Word
That being said, would I recommend Battlefield Heroes? Absolutely! For some the graphics won’t be their thing. The lack of female gender could turn some people off (pun intended!). Overall, and despite multiple downfalls or the shortcomings of ideals, depending on your view, Heroes is a game that I enjoy playing. Cruising around in a Tank, sniping from a far, the missions all add to the charm of this Free to Play MMO Shooter. If you really enjoy the Battlefield Series this game is a nice addition to the stable.