Battlefield is a series which a lot of PC gamers hold dear to their hearts, 1942 is still played by a ton of people but when D.I.C.E. decided to turn their attention to our low brow cousin the console gamer we were a little ticked off. But D.I.C.E. has made good on us by giving us this first of its kind third person shooter in the grand Battlefield universe.
Battlefield Heroes is a brand new addition to the series in pretty much every way. The biggest change is that the game has changed from a box item that you install on your computer, into a browser based game, that lets you quickly log on and start playing. This is easily the best change to the series, since it follows in the footsteps of Quake live, bringing the idea and movement of full games that are played from the browser another step forward. The next big change is the graphics, instead of a gritty and realistic art style, the developers opted for a WW2 propaganda poster looking art style, characters are very stylized and the environments have a great charm to them. For reference imagine Team Fortress 2 mixed with WW2 art.
The biggest advantage to this is that the game requires very little to actually play and it looks great on pretty much every setting, which is a huge plus for the game since it looks like it’s going to age nicely. Our second last major change is the switch from the series standard first person view, to a behind the back third person view, which I am sure is going to get the ire of a few diehard fans, but let me assure you fella’s it works just fine. The last change is the price, Battlefield heroes is completely free to get and to play, the only time you have to pay is when you want to make your hero look cool, the game runs on micro-transactions for only flash items, like getting a monocle or scarf for your guy.
However you aren’t reading this because you want to know what’s changed, you want to know how it plays. Well for starters you’re going to start off by making an account on the main websites and downloading a small client. All of this takes only a few minutes and while you’re waiting you can make your first hero. Your hero is the character you’ll be using every time you play, you can choose between the two sides, which are pretty much the allies and Nazi’s. You can choose between three classes, a soldier which is your jack of all trade class, they can use shotguns and machine guns, which are good but don’t deal the same damage as say the massive guns the gunners have or the snipers that the spy has.
A spy which is your rogue like class, they can stealth, stab, and snipe people, they have the least amount of health, but their job is not to take damage. The last is the gunner, who carries around a mini gun and tears people to pieces, on top of that he has the most health, but is the least mobile meaning if you keep your distance you’ll be ok. Once you choose your class that will be your character that you will take into battle every time, and as you play he’ll level up allowing you get new abilities and weapons. This doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with just one character you can have multiple characters so you can try every class out, but your skills and money don’t move over.
The game functions on a pretty basic premise. There are multiple flags scattered on the map that your team needs to capture, at the start of every round each team has 50 points, if you killed someone you take away a point, if you capture flags it increases the amount of points that are taken away when you kill someone. So if you control four flags, then each kill takes away four points. There are three maps right now, with a forth coming out, Victory Village is a sea side town that is all person vs. person fighting, lots of alleys and streets that you can zig zag through to reach the flags.
Seaside Battle is a small town built near a cliff near the sea, this one is more heavily focused on vehicle combat, which the game has three different weapons of war to chose from, A jeep good for transporting you and your buddies around the map, a tank, which is the king on the ground and a beast to take down, and finally planes. The last one is Buccaneer Bay, which features a pretty big town in the center and a crashed pirate ship. This level is easily the perfect mix of both person on person fighting and vehicle combat. Lots of skirmishes will be fought at the town and the pirate ship, while dog fights are not uncommon and tanks tip the tide of battle for their team. Battles in Heroes are also smaller then they are in other Battlefield games, opting for an 8 vs. 8 battles instead of the series standard 36 to 100.
Now as I said before you use the same character for every fight, and as you kill you gain experience that will allow you to level up, and you will also gain valour points, valour points allow you to buy new weapons, grenades, cloths, and mini powerups. However the main way to get this currency is by doing missions, you can chose to attempt three missions at a time that range from doing 10,000 damage to kill 15 people while only dying 4 times. The missions will get harder as you complete them, but the reward rises as well. So there is always a carrot on a stick keeping you going for that next round as you strive to get the next shotgun.
I have enjoyed Battlefield heroes a lot in the time that I have played it, the look is great, and there is nothing better than stopping a raid on a flag single handily because you pumped your points into grenade spam and threw half a dozen grenades at your enemy. The game doesn’t have any real glitches or server problems, so performance is almost always smooth. I found myself having a blast with the dog fights, nothing made me feel more like a master of the sky then chasing an enemy plane through a tree line, following their spins and loops. I will say this however, this may look more like a casual battlefield game, but you would be sorely mistaken, do not invite your girlfriend to try this game out, there is depth and skill here that will see her taking a dirt nap every 30 seconds. However for the gamer with less time on their hands or someone who just likes more bang in a shorter time, then this is a game that you’re going to love, matches only last 10 minutes max most of the time, so it’s easy to jump in play a few rounds, feel like you’ve had some fun, and then hop off and do whatever you need to do next.
For a beta, the game is in great condition, and with the upcoming patch my only complaint is about to go out the window, which is the terrible way that you have to try and play with friends, right now you can only play with friends if their already in the game and there is a spot open. There is no way to party and get into a game, so for now that part is rough, but it’s an aspect that is about to be fixed. Heck I am sure if you’re smart you’ll figure out a way to put this on your computer at work.