Battlefield Heroes: wacky, fun, online wargame

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Battlefield Heroes is a third person, online only action game. It’s free-to-play, supported by optional micro transactions, and can only be launched through your web browser. It’s created by EA DICE, the developer behind the famous Battlefield series.

War is an ugly, bloodstained affair. When two nations engage in it, lives are ruined, families forever destroyed, and generations of nationalistic tension are usually the most defining outcome. But reality is depressing, and very often completely lacking in bright colors and comical mishaps. For those of us who like our wars a little more cute and cuddly, Battlefield Heroes comes to the rescue. In this free-to-play 3rd person shooter, its all about the laughs. Set in a happier version of World War 2, this multiplayer, online only game breaks free of more than a few industry trends. With its cartoon graphics, rapid fire action, and generally upbeat presentation, it looks like a welcome relief from the surplus of grim action titles we’ve been seeing. So does Battlefield Heroes deliver the goods, or is it all flash and no bang?

Battlefield Heroes Screenshot1Battlefield Heroes Screenshot2

  • Graphics: The first thing any player will notice is the pleasing Saturday morning cartoon feel. The sky is a cheery blue, the buildings look like the work of Walt Disney’s contractor, and the vehicles like a child’s idea of their real world counterparts. Of course that’s a good thing in this context. All in all, the whole game world fits together well. The only real complaint is that the lack of rag doll death animations is painfully obvious, especially given the seamless fluidity of everything else here.
  • Sound: The folks who did the audio did a good job. Weapon noises are well done, emotes are accompanied by recognizable gibberish, and the theme music is catchy. Point in fact, I can hear the music even now. Still, sound effects do repeat quite a bit, and more attention to ambient noise is definitely in order.
  • Gameplay: Battlefield Heroes is an action arcade game through and through. Players choose from one side, three classes, then find a match, and jump into the action. It plays like a cross between team deathmatch and king of the hill, with various strategic hotspots up for grabs scattered around the map. The classes break down into: soldier, commando, and gunner. With the soldier being your utility grunt, the commando your sneaky sniper, and the gunner a slower moving heavy. Each class can use any vehicle, and has a unique set of upgradable abilities, all of which play to their strengths.
  • Controls: have clearly been designed to be efficient and intuitive, and are never an issue. Even piloting planes is straightforward and newbie friendly. The game’s mandatory match finder is also worth a mention. It takes stock of your character level and recent performance, and drops you into a server it thinks will work with you. It does a decent job.
  • Character Customization: You have the ability to customize your character’s appearance, gear, and skills, and most everybody takes advantage of this. It’s not all that unusual to see a parrot shouldered commando bedecked in an Admiralty uniform, ducking for cover. Gamers gain game money by playing, and can buy a more potent form of game cash from the item store using a credit/debit card. Cash can then be used to purchase new clothes, weapons, experience point bonuses, and even emotes. The better merchandise generally requires you to spend a little real world money. Fortunately for cheap gamers (like myself), the game is enjoyable without having to whip out your bank card. But you will occasionally be playing at a disadvantage.
  • Replayability: I got addicted to Battlefield Heroes. Its joyously callous cartoon violence appeals to me (confirming that I’ve got the mind of a child). While the combat lacks the depth of most modern shooters, the upgrades for each class do a lot to make up for it. Unfortunately, those upgrade paths are fairly short. All in all, gamers should be able to get some good play time in before things become stale. Hopefully the near future will see the addition of more maps, vehicles, and weapons. As it stands, you’ll like this title, but there isn’t enough here to keep you playing forever.

The verdict: Battlefield Heroes does a good job. With its match finder, well balanced classes, and lack of friendly fire, its the sort of game that could appeal to a wide audience. While you can indirectly buy yourself into the higher levels, the game does a good job keeping the sharks out the of kiddie pool. For those who want a break from serious titles, Battlefield Heroes is a breath of fairly fresh air.

 

Compatibility: Windows XP or Vista. Requires a graphics card with 64mb of dedicated video memory, a broadband internet connection, and one of the major web browsers.

Go to the Battlefield Heroes page.