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Battlefield Heroes review

Solid
AT A GLANCE
  • Wonderful, comical moments
  • Satisfying character leveling
  • Fun teamwork abilities
  • Not immediately lovable
  • Fun depends on good teammates
  • Not enough maps

Initially we really didn’t know what to make of this Disney meets Day of Defeat oddity. The third-person perspective felt wrong, the movement speed seemed tortoise-slow, the three character classes – Gunner, Soldier and Commando – woefully imbalanced. It took a day or two of play, a day or two of shaking off Team Fortress 2-based expectations and learning how to counter pesky commandos, for us to find the fun.

Until you’ve slain a man in a kilt and pointy Kaiser helmet by thwacking him with the wing of your low-flying Spitfire, it isn’t really fair to judge BFH. Until you’ve parachuted onto a lighthouse and backstabbed the trilby-wearing camper who’s just head-shot you three times in a row, laughing each time, it’s best to keep your opinions to yourself.

Play starts with registration (painless), a modest download, and some simple character creation and customization steps. Once you’ve gotten over the disappointment of a facial hair selection that doesn’t include a toothbrush ’tache, and a name vetting system that rejects anything even faintly Germanic (Prawn Goebbels? Verboten!), you’re ready to join the fray.

With luck the automated matchmaking process will drop you into a game populated by helpful team-spirited English speakers. With unluck you’ll find yourself fighting alongside a gaggle of uncomprehending Bordurians who drive straight past when you need a ride, and ignore all suggestions of cooperation. As the only mode available at present revolves around two teams – the German-like Nationals, and the Allied-ish Royals – battling for control of a map’s scattered flag points, games where everyone insists on doing their own thing can be pretty tiresome.

BFH begins to shine when combatants collaborate. When you’re down to your last sliver of health and some kind soul triggers their Battlefield Medicine ability beside you, when the man who got to the Bf-109 first waits until you’ve hopped on the wing before taking-off, or you and a fellow tanker advance together in an ad-hoc Panzer pincer, the smiles begin. Things also improve once you start playing to the strengths of the character classes, and getting into the swing of the upgrade system.

Your character is persistent, leveling-up over time with the help of kill-and capture-related XP. As you play you’re also generating Valor and Hero points that can be spent on new kit and abilities. Buying a natty stetson or a new pair of slacks won’t make you a more effective soldier, but thoughtfully upgrading abilities to suit your play style will.

Our biggest beefs with Battlefield Heroes are the shortage of maps (just four at the time of writing) and the reliance on that single play mode. Hopefully in the coming months DICE will deliver a few more venues (ideally with more of a battlefield feel – where are the craters, the ruins, the pillboxes?) and add something akin to Team Fortress 2’s Arena or Payload modes. There’s only so many times we can wingclip unwary noobs on ‘Seaside Skirmish’ before we start getting itchy feet.

Aug 11, 2009

More Info

Release date: Jun 25 2009 - PC (US)
Jun 25 2009 - PC (UK)
Available Platforms: PC
Genre: Shooter
Published by: EA GAMES
Developed by: DICE
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Tobacco Reference, Violence
PEGI Rating:
12+

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11 comments

  • ilike2pwn - November 14, 2009 10:36 p.m.

    Its a nice game but im still trying to kill people shirtless 6/10 for me
  • cortana - August 12, 2009 12:18 p.m.

    Battlefield heroes is an ok game but I have been playing the beta for a few months now and between a small army of connection errors and an even larger army of noobs and hackers (usually both) I haven't even had a full game yet. You are being too kind. The game should get 2/10
  • Dameon Angell - August 12, 2009 7:36 a.m.

    The lack of maps (at least 8 would be proper) really pull the hamstring of this game. And I felt the matchmaking was off in terms of how people were put together skill-wise. Then again, it might be the lack of people online at the time, who knows.
  • Rhesus - August 12, 2009 2:05 a.m.

    Yeah, to anyone without a next-gen console and are looking for a multi-player shooter, this one's for you. And even if it is a mediocre game, hey, it's FREE.
  • SwishiestB0g - August 12, 2009 1:05 a.m.

    I played the beta for months, but after playing TF2 for so long, it just felt stale. I could never have fun unless I was in a plane, and even then, it was terrible controls. All said I think 7 is a good score.
  • Gotxxrock - August 14, 2009 6:03 p.m.

    All I have to say is I don't know HOW to judge it because I can't get into a single freakin' game. My computer is a relatively fine piece of hardware, a Dell XPS with some minor customizations, so I doubt its any fault on my side. Hopefully their servers get better as time goes on.
  • HeavyTank - August 13, 2009 12:53 p.m.

    Well, first of all, let's not forget that the game is free. I played both this and TF2 a lot, and l have to say that they are very different from each other...the only simlar thing are the cartoony grapics and the classes. It has an RPG-ish feeling.. The bad news is that there are some connection issues, the Gunner class is severly underpowered (butl can still manage to own thse pesky Royals :P) and there are not many maps and only 1 game mode... Oh, and before the final release Nationals won 70% of the time...seriously, l had a 3:1 win rate as a National! And the levelling is VEEEERY slow. But still, the mas are HUGE, there are fun vehicles to drive and you can find your friends online...and there are points and upgrades, the support is very good (l got an email response 1 day after l sent a complaint!), the game is constantly giving out free stuff and it's generally fun. Not better than TF2, but let's not forget that it's mostly a free game...sure, you can buy items but they can't help you win.
  • HowardRoark - August 13, 2009 3:02 a.m.

    Commandos FTW. PS. the Royals stink.
  • DeadGirls - August 12, 2009 11:43 p.m.

    This game is pretty fun. Anyone debating whether or not to give it a try (it's free) should do it. It takes <15 min. to get into a game (if you aren't picky about naming/customizing your guy). I agree with the reviewer though, it takes a little while to warm up to. I'd say get to at least level 5 before deciding and try all the classes. Also, there are "missions" to be completed that reward you with XP and valor points, which are pretty fun to try. I find the vehicles (even the planes) handle quite adequately if you set up you controls properly. It is definitely fun and definitely worth a try.
  • esreveR - August 12, 2009 8:22 p.m.

    It's not really fair to rate the game so lowly just because you had connection issues. To my knowledge the game has a pretty average amount of users with connection issues. I would have to agree though that the community is not fond of the idea of teamwork and that the vehicle controls are bad. For some reason I didn't mind the small number of maps. I found out most of the maps have some very good areas that can be reached through rocket/TT jumps. Exploring those areas was always fun and kept me satisfied with the low number of maps. The fact that it was instantaneously compared to TF2 never helped the game though. I'd say the is deserved. The game isn't spectacular but it certainly is good and worth a shot.
  • JohnnyMaverik - August 12, 2009 1:18 a.m.

    "I played the beta for months, but after playing TF2 for so long, it just felt stale. I could never have fun unless I was in a plane, and even then, it was terrible controls." Seconded. I played it for a few days on and off and it's fun but then I went back to TF2... which is much better. Personally I'd be thinking more 6 but there again I'm harsh + I review differently. I'd reccomend it to any1 who doesn't have a multiplayer shooter and doesn't really want to buy one but would quite like to have one available to play. S4League is a better free shooter though, so I'd reccomend that even more.

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