Battlefield Heroes – Review
Battlefield Heroes is a free to play, third-person shooter title available on the Play4Free gaming portal, the same publishers that provide services for other popular MMO titles such as Lord of Ultima and the recently released Command & Conquer Tiberium Alliances. Battlefield Heroes takes various mechanics and features from the popular Battlefield franchise, and combines them with a casual approach to third-person gaming, providing an engaging online experience that delivers both the thrills of the shooting genre and the depth of progression from RPG games.
Battlefield Heroes gives you the choice of 3 distinct classes, Gunner, Commando and Soldier. The Gunner is the heavy weapons expert, carrying large, fully-automatic weapons and having access to abilities that focus on taking and dealing damage. The Commando is the snipers class, with the rare ability to turn invisible, a campers dream skill. The final class, the Soldier, focuses on short to medium range weapons and has access to a variety of buffs and heals. Using familiar MMORPG mechanics, each class levels by earning experience points and completing missions. As you increase in level you gain access to more weapons and also unlock Hero Points. Hero Points can be spent on upgrading or unlocking your classes abilities, each class has 8 abilities with each having 5 possible upgrades. Combining different abilities and upgrades, players can create a large variety of potent builds, adding a class depth that you wouldn’t usually associate with a shooting title.
I don’t really consider myself a fan of the shooting genre, I love the appeal of fighting to the death with other players, but I often find myself having to replace my keyboard or mouse after a short length of time due to unforeseen spouts of endless nerd rage. I’d been playing Battlefield Heroes for about 30 minutes before the nerd rage reared it’s ugly face again, but the comedic approach to the characters graphics and dialogues actually makes the game feel far less stressful. I was getting owned, often, but 2-3 seconds later I was alive and going at it again. The variety of the classes is an appealing feature, during my game time I was able to play each of them for at least a few matches and the outcome of each fight depended more on player skill and ability, over that of certain classes beating others.
It took some time but I was eventually able to get into a vehicle map, I’m assuming the option to choose vehicle only is broken as I had it on the entire time. The vehicles add so many more fun elements to each match, I’m not sure why anyone would prefer infantry only. I’d managed to secure myself a high vantage point as a Commando, obscured slightly by brush and trees, I was certain I was in an unstoppable location. Sure enough, I was able to pop some head shots off and finished 4-5 of the enemy team before they spotted my location. A few shots whizzed past my head but the kind tree was taking the brunt of the force, that was until I heard a plane. I’m not a pilot and a didn’t study aviation in school, but I was pretty sure that if I stayed low, the plane wouldn’t present much of a threat. Boy was I wrong. The pilot had obviously located me, circling around my location several times before taking a wide approach. However, not a single bullet was fired. The plane got closer, and closer until it was close enough for me to attempt to shoot the pilot. Only when zoomed in with my shiny sniper rifle did I notice that he had no intention of backing out. He flew straight at me, managed to turn between two trees, send my body flying 200 meters and head back to the skies, all within a matter of seconds. A brief pause followed before chat erupted with “Lol” comments, it was a unique moment that I won’t forget any time soon. I took the death-by-plane experience as a hint to change up the classes so I joined a new game, on the same map as a soldier. It felt like a totally different game compared to using a Commando. Instead of trying to hide and approach from behind, I was going in head on. Doesn’t matter if they had tanks, planes, jeeps or all three, my team followed me fearlessly.
As well as intensely fun infantry and vehicle combat, Battlefield Heroes boasts an array of other exciting features. The mission system is great and works in a similar way to questing in other free MMO’s. You can choose which missions to take into which map, each with varied objectives. If you’re able to complete the mission within one match, you’re rewarded with experience points and cash. Cash can be used to purchase new weapons and items, and it can also give you access to thousands of cosmetic items to make your characters appearance totally unique.
Overall, Battlefield Heroes provides a unique shoot ‘em up experience unlike anything I’ve played before. It doesn’t appear to have the serious and “leet” community associated with games like Call of Duty, and the famous Battlefield features merged with MMORPG progression makes it appealing to fans of both genres. I would give Battlefield Heroes a generous 9/10 as the only real issues I found during my playtime was the balance issued caused by some of the items purchased in the item mall.
by Blaine Smith