Battlefield Heroes Review

Our guild has been waiting awhile for a new team-based FPS and we had much fun playing the popular Battlefield 2. When we first heard that EA were going to kick-start a whole series of free games labelled “Play 4 Free” and that a new Battlefield game would be one of the flagship products, we got pretty excited. Now there was no excuse for guildies in acquiring a Battlefield game since (1) it didn’t cost a cent and (2) it was easily available online. D.I.C.E. took their time in developing Battlefield Heroes though and it came out much later than expected, so the question is, was it worth the wait?

Sound (3/5)
Since the game is intentionally a cartoony game, the audio follows suit. Tank cannons sound like pop-guns and the players make vroom-vroom noises when they want a lift. It can grate on the nerves sometimes and it’s especially annoying when several people are on fire in the same area (but I guess it's potentially funny for the instigator ;)).

Music (4/5)
Marc Canham has offered an excellent theme song which you'll be sure to whistle when you least expect it :). Unfortunately that's about the only song in the game, besides the music you hear around the flags (which is a nice aural queue as to who is in possession).

Then again it is a multiplayer FPS so it's not like you'd expect too much music anyway :).

Battlefield Heroes Player Setup Screen

Graphics (4/5)
You’re either going to love or hate the cartoony graphics, as Battlefield Heroes has taken a leaf out of TF2's book. I personally like the graphical style, it's simple, bright and colourful and by adopting this approach you only need modest system requirements to play the game.

Plot (3/5)
No real plot except it’s a thinly veiled WWII scenario with the British "Royals" fighting off the Nazi "Nationals". Some story is made up that the Royals decide to declare war on the Nationals because they think they cheated in the last Olympics, so the plot is appropriately hare-brained. Some WWII vehicles can be spotted in the game as well(e.g. Jeeps, Shermans and Spitfires for the "Royals").

Battlefield Heroes is like Battlefield 1942 Lite. You've basically got a cut-down simplified version of the game since you've got less weapons, less vehicles and only three classes to pick from: the Commando, the Gunner and the Soldier. Each has its pros and cons. The Commando is the sniper class in the game and can take enemies out from afar. They also get a nasty knife and stealth abilities for close range combat. At the other end of the spectrum you have the Gunner who specialises at close range, dealing heavy damage with their machine gun. They also get abilities that increase their armour, give them speed boosts or throw kick explosive barrels. In the middle you've got the Soldier which is basically the support class since they get party healing abilities and a whole bunch of other random abilities (Grenade Spam, Burning Bullets, etc.).

The game also has a nifty friends system where you can play with your friends - which is a good thing (although not sure how they get around you recruiting your high level mates to join a low level game - that'd be kind of unbalanced)!

There are some considerable drawbacks to this game. Firstly I miss how you could play as a squad in Battlefield 2 - the ability to have a squad leader that acted as a spawn point and who relayed orders from a Commander really tried to emphasise the importance of teamwork, which is slightly lacking in this game (although they try to encourage it with the party abilities). It's also annoying to disconnect from the server in order to change class (since your character is tied to one class). In most FPSes you're given the ability to change class within the game but I suppose they've designed it this way so the clothing options you've bought for a particular character stay on it.

Yet another drawback to the game is due to it trying to be a jack of all trades. Since the game is a casual game, you don't feel like you're rewarded for being skilled. Provided you bring the right skills along and are using them in the right place at the right time, the battle's already half won. However, even though they've aimed the game at casual players, it's not a completely casual game since non-FPS players may still not get used to the ASWD keys to control their character. The danger that Battlefield Heroes runs is being a master of none by trying to satisfy both camps - a trend I noticed in another game released recently (i.e. The Sims 3).

Replayability (4/5)
The game has pretty good replayability as it's a multiplayer game after all. The ability to use micro-transactions to acquire new outfits, weapons and emotes also increases the replay value, provided you're willing to pay of course!

However, the game isn't perfect since it may be a bit too casual for some, yet also being too hard in other aspects. It gets quite hard to level up later on (since missions become exponentially more difficult). Not to mention that levelling up doesn't have too much point since you end up playing against opponents of similar level all the time. Of course it's a good thing since it balances the game although on the other hand, it also gives you less motivation to level.

Battlefield Heroes Gameplay

The game is almost perfect in the polish department. Hardly any bugs, the game runs smooth and the user interface is clean, clear and easy-to-use. The only problems I have is that the welcome text on servers goes off the screen on my resolution (1680x1050) and occasionally the browser crashes (but that might be my fault for not logging out properly).

Overall - 70%
A well-packaged, team-based, cartoon FPS and it’s free (well mostly)! True casual players or hardcore gamers may not feel entirely welcome though.