EA Battlefield Heroes review
EA's Battlefield Heroes is a free online shooter with a comic book-style take on World War 2. It downloads and runs through your web browser, so it's very tempting to pop back anytime for a quick game.
The game isn't huge, admittedly. There are three classes, from the sneaky sniper and Commando, through the all-round Soldier to the tank-like Gunner. Any of these can drive the three vehicle types (jeep, tanks and plane) across the four maps. The only game mode is the same flag-capture game we've seen in previous Battlefield games.
Despite the similarities, Heroes feels very different from the classic Battlefield 1942. It uses a third-person viewpoint, rather than a first person one, which is supposed to make the game easier for novice players to grasp. It also gives more emphasis to your character, as he's onscreen most of the time. There are options for customising your avatar, but to unlock the wackier parts of the wardrobe, you'll need to spend real money to buy the in-game currency.
Thankfully, character advancement isn't entirely driven by cash. As you play, you earn Hero and Valor points. Hero points are gained through general play and let you buy character abilities. These include seeing through building walls, laying explosive traps and throwing multiple grenades at once. Valor Points are earned for completing specific missions during a game, such as making a certain number of kills, and these can buy medical kits or let you rent weapons for a week. Heroes has certainly learnt a lot from online RPGs, and many of its abilities, such as damage resistance, are lifted directly from such games.
It looks brilliant and is easy to pick up, but we're not convinced by the finer details of the gameplay at present. The classes, and various vehicles, aren't well balanced - deadly snipers dominate many games, which could put off the casual players it wants to attract. It's still fun, though, and well worth checking out given its free-to-play nature.
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