I followed the development of Battlefield Heroes closely. I have always loved the Battlefield games, buying new titles, downloading all the mods, I honestly couldn’t get enough of it. I have five of their titles on my computer right now and have played two of them as recently as a few hours ago, Battlefield has a permanent place on my rig. So I had huge hopes for a BF game on the go, one I could log on just about anywhere I was and jump in. I had plans to level like a mad man, use years of skills to get all three of my different ‘heroes’ as high as I could. I knew I was coming late to the scene, BFH had fallen off the map a bit but I figured just like BF 1942 there would always be a core of loyal players to jump in with. Besides there might be some fresh blood with the one year anniversary happening on none other than July 4th weekend. What I found was a small pack of people who knew each other from there being so few active servers and they couldn’t let go of the game because they had invested so much money in it. Meanwhile when a noob to the game like myself would show up it would be a mass slaughter instead of a wacky fun match.
The load music is great, the voices are funny, even the sounds vehicles make, the clunking and chugging noises all add to the fun. Everything is rendered with a cartoon style very different from the other Battlefield games. There are taunting but funny animations that some heroes do when they kill you and the costume/uniform variety is amazing. Most people have either seen screen shots of the kilted team or the trailers featured some time ago and they obviously planned to make this game fun. And at first it was, the wackiness was great and the Battlefield physics kept it grounded a bit so though you might be fighting a guy with his face painted the colors of his favorite soccer team while he wore a beauty pageant sash and heart-covered boxers, you could still rely on the weapons’ physics to perform like they have all these years. Then something becomes…off.
The players from each team greet players from the other team as they log in like old friends. The ones talking to each other are also the ones with the most extravagent outfits. So though they do gun each other down on occasion, they tend to aim for the plainly dressed, obviously new level 1-6 characters. Those who weren’t dressed in the fancy outfits were the main ones dying. A lot of dying. I would be shooting a perfect head shot with my sniper rifle, and it would do a low damage.
At first I thought is was a server failure or concession and these were really, really high level players that had gotten thrown into our mix. Then I noticed we were the ones thrown into their midst. There were level 7 players with literally ship cannons firing from their shoulders or gatling guns on their hips. Some sprouted electric fields that would wipe you out, some fired bullets that caught you on fire. And it took several plain clothed players to take one of them down. Some of the fancy dressed took it personal if they got killed in a round. Even just once, and they considered it a really bad game if they died a few times. So I thought maybe there was some trick to getting the special items at a low level, some points trade-in I hadn’t learned about yet. There was, but I wasn’t going to be able to ‘daily rent’ any of weapons for weeks(that’s right the lower levels of purchasing are just renting and the weapons go away in a few days), and I would have to hit level 10 before I could gain the simplest things. Or I could buy the points to buy the wacky outfits and outrageous weapons, at prices for the ‘battlefunds’ ranging from $4.99 to $99.99. So those who could pay to play with the big guns were the winners. I asked on open channel how many had purchased their weapons and outfits and how much they had spent but of course there is a stigma, no one wants to admit to buying weapons on a free play game, though it is very obvious they had.
Controls are really similar to the other Battlefield games. The planes have slightly different controls which throws off a new player and though I think it is an improvement it can really cause a lot of crash landings, so only the long term players seem to use them. If you are in one of the tanks or planes and it blows up, no matter how many extra toys you have, you die. I have seen over-powered players running around destroying tanks as fast as another character but when in the vehicles all are equal. So controls are great, follow Battlefield’s physics and it is fairly easy to forget you are driving a cartoon tank instead of a beautifully detailed one.
Graphics are what they are supposed to be, cartoonish, wacky, fun and original. They don’t let you down on this account. There actually seems to be less ground solid issues than older Battlefield games and some people complain that older rigs that played the older games just fine can’t handle the graphics on this. Seems funny at first since there is less detail, but there is far more variety of dress, design and weapons. The customization probably causes quite a bit of the lag. The audio for the most part follows the game actions, gun shots, knife swipes, explosions. The taunts have sounds also though which could be another reason for lag. The graphics are fun and the sound is great.
This is a sticky subject. Technically it is free to play but since free to play translates to lots of deaths, that play can be a bit frustrating and slow unless you put some money into the game… which kind of defeats the free to play purpose a bit. But the folks killing me seem to be having a grand ol’ time. At up to $100 in investment at a time, I would hope so.
I will probably stick it out. I still like the idea of free play and I have a grinder’s patience and maybe if I get a better cash flow I MIGHT invest in a weapon set just to give it a try. Who knows, maybe eventually I will have my ‘Cheers’ moment and everyone will know my name when I log in. Or maybe I will pick up one of the newer FPS titles I have yet to try and save this game as an occasional travel distraction.