Battlefield Heroes is a free to play MMO third person shooter developed by EA DICE, the same developer behind Mirror's Edge and the Battlefield series. It's a cartoony Team Fortress 2 style makeover with a degree of unrealisticly funny gameplay, but does it hold up in the long run? Hit the jump for more.
I've been playing a lot of Battlefield Heroes, lately, after realizing that the game is no longer in beta stage, and is available to the public. I started 3 characters of each class, and I stuck with the Gunner and Commando.
The three classes are Soldier, Commando and Gunner.
The Soldier is an all-around character, who holds rifles, grenades and the standard affair you find in shooters. The Soldier can also provide healing abilities and is a great support character.
The gunner is somewhat of a Heavy from TF2. He has more health than the Soldier, and carries a Heavy Machine Gun, a Shotgun, and various abilities. Basically, he's a bullet-sponge meant for killing, and his only support for others is that he can share his damage shield abilities.
The Commando, is a sneaky character, with stealth camo (to an extent), a knife (which is not instant kill, but close when hitting from behind) and a Sniper Rifle or Pistol. It's a cross between a TF2 Sniper and a TF2 Spy. Minus the camo that makes you look like the opposing team's characters.
The game sports a different look from the epic realisticness of the Battlefield series. It goes from realistic, to comedic unrealisticness, with a cartoony look for everything. It definitely goes hand-in-hand with other aspects of the game. Comedic voice acting (the good kind), whacky abilities and a funny over-the-top style of gameplay. Make the graphics complement the game as a whole.
The game is extremely rewarding. When you're shooting at someone, and you die, you're still rewarded with some EXP if you hit him a bit. Think Resistance 2 co-op mode, when you shoot an enemy, you gain some EXP. Depending on how well you played during a match, you get Valor Points, which are free to spend on timed Weapon Purchases (meaning you can keep it for a week, month, etc.) or a supply of Healing Bandages (not timed). Level ups result in Hero Points, which allow you to upgrade you character's abilities, or learn new ones. These abilities are unique for classes, and are effective as they are comical. Take the Gunner's whacky ability, Explosive Keg. The gunner drop kicks a Keg of beer, and it's basically an explosive barrel you whip out when you want. You can then shoot it when enemies are near, or shoot it in mid-air, or whatever, and watch stuff catch on fire. This is just one of the whacky abilities in the game.
However, several days into the game, I feel that there are some problems that cannot be ignored. Battlefield Heroes is severely unbalanced, with the Commando's camo move, allowing you to be completely invisible unless you're a few feet from an enemy. The Commando's sniper attacks are overpowered, and there is no team balancing. When you make your character and choose a side, it's your character's side for good. No changing teams for balance, folks. The store for the BFH game pisses me off, and that's a major gripe. You can buy Game Currency (called BattleFunds) with real money, so you can buy things like EXP Boost abilities, or Valor Point Boosts, which yield 150% of Valor Points or EXP. You also have to pay with real money to gear up your soldiers, to make them look unique. Who wants to do that? Oh wait- I've noticed a lot of people with that kind of stuff, never mind. I hate to see people gaining higher EXP points than I am when I'm much better than them. It's an unfair balance, as unbalanced as it is already.
Battlefield Heroes also features some vehicles, like Jeeps, Tanks, and Airplanes. I guess the cartoony art style goes hand in hand with this, as players can play passenger on a plane by sitting on the wings, and the game's steering is unbelievably sensitive and unrealistic. I guess that was the purpose of it, because I've seen EA DICE do vehicles excellently before.
The community recently hit 2 million players, and the player count is still rapidly growing, meaning that it shouldn’t be hard to find a match with a decent amount of people in it. However, there are times when almost nobody is playing, and there are common cases of lag spikes, connection issues, or being randomly disconnected. These connection issues are likely to be fixed in the near future.
When you get a proper connection and a game filled with other players, it’s fun. Whether you’re a low level player using standard guns, to being a high level player with a bunch of abilities flying all over the place, the game is going to be full of chaotic action. Some imbalance (overpowered weapons, etc.) and hackers (very rare, though) may hamper the overall play experience in Battlefield Heroes.
Overall, it's a very fun game, but it can be unbalanced at times. If you find a good class to play, and you're good at it, you'll be okay, you'll have a blast playing the game! I can guarantee that it will get better in the future, and it will last as a fun free game.
Post-Review Note: This review is somewhat dated and I've written it a while ago. I've updated some of the info on this review, but I'm not perfect and you may spot inconsistencies.
Also, no game support for Mac. :(