Eurogamer Battlefield Heroes Review

By Jim Rossignol on July 7th, 2009 at 9:18 am.


As I mentioned in our recent podcast, I’ve been spending quite a bit of time in Battlefield Heroes, and I ended up doing a review over at Eurogamer. I say:

This free Battlefield game comes with two complimentary kneejerk responses. “Hey, this is nothing like proper grown-up Battlefield!” is one of them. “Cartoon? Team Fortress 2 is cartoon, therefore grumble-mumble!” is the other. Neither are actually relevant, because this is very much its own game, with its own innate delights, peculiar slow pace, poorly-executed class mechanic, and weird micro-transaction married to level advancement persistence.

The game disappointed me overall, because its an awkward mix of really genuinely fun stuff, and not-quite-there design. But then it’s also completely free, so you can judge for yourself.

__________________

« | »

, , .

49 Comments »

  1. BC says:

    Sounds about right. slow, slow, slow, slow, slow

  2. Die Happy says:

    I#ve played quite some time now and find the first few days/week very pleasent. Leveling up was rather quick the missions fun and every 2 Level a nice skillpoint to buff an ability. Finding the right weapon setup etc take some time but once you found what suits you it plays very well.
    Teamplay ranges from small suqad sized groups that heal and support each other to 16 lonewolf invisible snipers hanging around on 1 map trying to shoot each other. Vehicles are mostly fun to bad the passengers although they can shoot out of vehicles cant really hit anything. The maps ,2 vehicles + 2 infantry only, seem nice. The classes seem rather balanced.

    What i dont like is the ingame money thing, not even the money you actually PAY real money for to get clothes and shit. no i mean the money you get ingame by leveling up or finishing missions and then need to RENT the extra weapons for a week, or buy bandages/wrenches to heal/repair stuff.

  3. Trite says:

    Quite fitting review. I levelled a Royal Soldier to 11 in the beta. I guess I would’ve played it more if it had more and different maps. Sure, it has its flaws, but the maps bothered me most. I’m a fan of Enemy Territory type, objective based maps – not the generic Battlefield capture-and-hold-these-points-yay-it’s-dull -maps. Escorting a tank, blowing up radars etc. It would add a lot of variation to the gameplay.

  4. Leman says:

    The level design coupled with snipers combine to make most of your time as any other class a trudge to get to close range.

    Snipers can shoot the planes out of the sky yet a Gunners mini-gun thing has trouble kiling anything.

  5. Ginger Yellow says:

    I’m having a lot of fun – now that the early server and punkbuster issues seem to have been sorted – but I’m not sure if that’s just because I tend to be the highest scoring player in most of my games at the moment and I wonder how much fun it will be once people get more experience and start kicking my arse. It’s got a lot of strange decision choices, that I hope will be rectified or exploited more fully. Why can’t I upgrade my character without leaving a server, which I may not be able to get back into, for instance?

    Despite what people have been saying on the official forums, I’ve found that a knife-commando is extremely viable as well as being enormously fun. The trick is not to charge in there, especially when there are multiple enemies. Be patient, stay behind the enemy, wait for him to be distracted, then shiv him. If you do it while someone else is shooting at him, he might not even notice the blade between his ribs, but that’s not essential. Also, at the moment anyway, people seem to be very inattentive about flag captures. I can’t count the number of times I’ve sat cloaked near an enemy’s flag, even in their base, while they go by oblivious to the fact that it’s being capped.

  6. Jim says:

    When I played it I just wanted to go back and play Battlefield 1942, a much better and more fun game without the need to be over the top silly with cartoon graphics. They really should get Battlefield 3 done. :(

  7. Ginger Yellow says:

    Oops, that should have been design choices.

  8. Lars BR says:

    Jim, you misunderstood the ticket-system – there’s no classic bf-like ticket bleeding in bfh. Holding spawns are only about the tactical advantage – one ticket is simply one death, so when your team has collectively died 50 times, that’s it.

  9. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    Nice review, Mr. Jim. I may have another go at the game in the following months just to see how it works out or if EA get around to sprucing up the game.

  10. A-Scale says:

    A pretty accurate review. I too loathe the fact that one can’t changes classes on the fly, and I think its often a game breaker.

    But as to the game itself, I think its rather brilliant. I’ve had too many great moments of going invisible (which seems to become more potent with each level) and running up into the enemy’s base, only to stab several unaware gunners as they make their way to the point. Explosives in the game are executed to a T, doing little damage and largely acting as spell-like damage boosts to your main attacks. Sniping is not an easy task given the choice of laboriously slow rifle and quick, low damage rifle, but I think it was also executed as well as one could hope for this particular game. Compared with even the cartooniest of WW2 shooters the snipers in this game are comparative pea shooters.

    The freemium model is done in an acceptable, surprisingly not disgusting fashion. I nearly spent 5 dollars on the game to get a bit of bonus XP, but thought better of it when I saw the Xbox Live style pricing they instituted (500 points for 5 dollars, but it takes 510 points to get the next higher level of XP boost, meaning you need to spend 10 to get 5.1). I was also a bit irked by the gents who had stolen mother’s credit card and gone to town, frequently being owned by their superior abilities (due to XP boosts), and in awe of their ridiculous costumes. However, time seems to be the cure for beating such players, and the rather quickly ramping XP system cuts off most players from quick level gains after about level 10.

    My biggest gripe with the game was the God awful match making system, which left 95% of people without game for the first few days of service. Now that that is fixed, I’ve found myself a little slice of free gold to cherish in the moments when I don’t feel like working my but off in TF2.

  11. Fat says:

    This game isn’t bad, for free. I’ve been playing it just over a a week almost every night.

    My biggest gripe is there tossers here and there that that use hacks/aimbots and that there’s doesn’t seem to be much done about it. I guess it’s a rare occurance, but still.

    Also, yes… all the characters run SO SLOW.

  12. mrmud says:

    I found it a strange review.
    On reading it I felt I only got good impressions, something that conflicts with a fairly mediocre score at the end.

    Had I not read the score I would have thought you really liked the game.

  13. abhishek says:

    This game is good for short bursts. Like when you’re trying to kill 15-20 minutes before dinner. I suppose it’s gameplay won’t hold up when subjected to critical examination but it’s pretty decent for what it is i.e. a comedy, cartoon shooter with some persistence in stats.

  14. nihohit says:

    The review is pretty accurate, but when I reached the end, I was surprised by the 6/10. The feeling I got from the review was of a better score.
    Bah. comparing descriptions, opinions and numbers. the ever impossible task.

  15. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    The feeling I got from the score was the same I got from John’s review and score of Phatologic. He also gave it a 6 out of 10. Different games and different reasoning behind the scores, of course, but what I got from each was that, even with all their warts and quirks, the games managed to captivate to a certain degree.

  16. itsallcrap says:

    I found it a strange review.
    On reading it I felt I only got good impressions, something that conflicts with a fairly mediocre score at the end.

    Had I not read the score I would have thought you really liked the game.

    Did you, perhaps, miss out the first page of the review?

    Anyhoo, I’ve never seen why there’s been so much fuss about this on RPS. I thought it was fairly obvious ever since the first bit of gameplay footage we saw of it that it wasn’t going to be all that great.

  17. Heliocentric says:

    All commenters must play as commando or be dismissed. Its like 5 times more fun.

  18. Hillbilly Jimbo says:

    If only Team Fortress 2 didn’t exist….

  19. Tworak says:

    It’s a pretty terrible game. Free but terrible.

  20. Tei says:

    Free games sould be simple to join. Give a email and send a confirmation email to that account. Nothing else.
    The suits guys don’t GET IT.

  21. Antsy says:

    Sir, you can’t let him in here. He’ll see everything. He’ll see the big board!

  22. mrrobsa says:

    The real tragedy is that I played for hours and still didn’t have the parts to make a super-camp toy soldier (although I refuse to pay real monies for virtual items). Gameplay never ‘clicked’ with me either so I don’t think I’ll return.
    Loved the intro video though.

  23. Drumman1000 says:

    Combat Arms is a better free FPS game…
    Plays more like CS though

  24. James Brophy says:

    Could not be more wrong.

    It’s a great game, the Only problem is the server matching. some times the matching sticks you unfairly into a server with people who are ridiculously over powered. then you get spawn camping and so on.

    Having leveled two characters up, a soldier to 11 and a gunner to 8, I have to say it’s been an excellent experience for the most part. It’s not sniper dominated. if you stand in the middle of open areas and don’t keep your head down then Yes it is..

    If you play the game on it’s terms and not looking for another battlefield game, then it’s great. On the topic of not being able to change class and not getting valor points quickly, it sounds like you dident use the mission system.

    You choose your character, pick the look, choose the weapon and ability load out then choose the Mission you want to achieve in that session’s play.

    The missions are freaking genius. you choose them external to going into the game. this means you have to learn to work your character as best as you can. once I committed to finding good tactics the game became very rewarding, Far more rewarding then tf2 ever was. Evey battle I fight, every mission I complete means I’ve actually achieved something.

    Instead of griping about “Why would they remove something so basic” think about why they would want you not to have it. the review does tend to read like you came in expecting one battlefield game and are slowly talking your self into accepting the fact that this isn’t it.

    Just to add some context to this, I’me a big tf2 fan, I’ve never played mmo’s before. So leveling in multi player is new to me. I played soldier for a while and didn’t thing the game was very good till I took and evening to learn the other classes and the design sensibilities became apparent.

    Comparing this to my last gaming experience with the ridiculous All Aspect Warfare, this game is wonderful for encouraging group dynamics and has Fantastic level design. But most importantly you all ways have something to do, somewhere to go and some way to evade being shot.

    Educating people to stay together and share abilities like the gunner’s speed, the soldiers heal and combat vision. can be tough on a server when no one speaks your language. But enough losses through striving for individual achievement teaches people to bunch up quite fast I’ve found. Walking up to someone and demonstrating your ability, and how they can share theres is the best way to teach people how to act in the best interest of the missions

    Lastly, Exactly what is wrong with looking gay?
    The characters are distinctive and cartoony to be sure, but I managed to make a reasonable faximily of a para with the free money I got from pc gamer this month. I found it quite easy to look distinctive and like a popper soldier.

    A regimental hat, a cigar, a coat and trousers make…
    http://www.crazydogaudiotheatre.com/jamesbrophy//Brophy1.jpg

    Here is my gunner. The gunner has only one purchased Item, the helmet hanging off his belt. The rest are purchased with valor points, the more you level up the more clothes become available to you.
    http://www.crazydogaudiotheatre.com/jamesbrophy//jackmcgrath.jpg

  25. James Brophy says:

    wow, that’s amazing! :)
    However, not enough explosions and Nazi’s for me.

  26. qrter says:

    So, is there any truth to all the talk about problems with the game resetting people’s modems?

  27. LQB says:

    Battlefield Heroes Summed Up:
    Commandos

    The game is awful, and the classes are horrifyingly unbalanced. How you can muck up balancing 3 classes is beyond me.

    Here’s to hoping Battlefield 3 wont be a massive pile of shit, oh wait it’s DICE we’re talking about of course it will be.

  28. Burny says:

    Sorry, but there are some points in the review which are just downright wrong:

    “Across the map are capture points, the holding of which reduce enemy “tickets” until it’s game over”

    No. Holding flags doesn’t reduce tickets by itself, only killing enemies does. The team holding more than half the flags just takes more tickets from the other side when they kill a player.

    “You can turn invisible, which doesn’t seem to work particularly well,…”

    How much more than invisible can you become? Only way this doesn’t work is when you sit right under an opponents nose or you have to deal with cheaters (which unfortunately exist).

    And “poorly-executed class mechanic” is a joke. You don’t like the class mechanic which is ok, but it’s absolutely not “poor”. The classes all have a distinct playstyle and legit functions in the game. Their roles even follow a rather well established pattern. Also the “design” is there, it just seems you fail to see it because you don’t like the game. But there are a lot of people who are more open to BF:Heroes and might be able to do better informed reviews.

    Last: I might be mistaken, but isn’t the game still in open beta? If yes, why is there a review and a score?

    @LQB: No, if you complain about commandos and balance you just played wrong or ended up at the wrong side of a Commando with much higher level. They are all but unbalanced.

  29. Fat Zombie says:

    I have problems running this. All the servers I’ve joined have been unplayably laggy and jerksome. I can run the game decently enough (I can run Battlefield 2 on full settings, you’d think I’d be able to run this), but I have severe network problems…

    …Which don’t appear in any other game I’ve played online (except, somewhat suspiciously, BF2 and 2142). Any ideas?

  30. Heliocentric says:

    I play as commando because it is unbalanced.

    You can spend most of the game hidden from sight while all the other classes are prey. I don’t know why anyone would be any other class.

  31. Ginger Yellow says:

    Fat Zombie: not really, except that the servers all seem to be in the US. Apart from the matchmaking/Punkbuster kicking issues that plagued the first couple of days for lots of people, I haven’t had any networking issues or lag.

  32. Raisinhat says:

    Commando’s infinte invisibility is unbalanaced, and makes backstabbing action very easy, but the biggest problem is being stuck as one character for as long you you play.

    The focus on being a uniquely dressed character comes at the expense of trying something different in the middle of a game.

  33. Serondal says:

    Playing the machine gunner class I’ve never had any trouble with commandos and never get back stabbed ect. This idea that you can stay invisible forever is kinda false since you can not attack anyone without losing it.

    The thing I don’t like is I can sit there and gat a commando for 4 or 5 seconds with direct hits then he shoots me with his pistol a few times and I die O.o very strange. Still I enjoy it for the most part for what it is. I have a lot more fun playing this than tF 2 to be honest.

  34. Jordan says:

    I’ve had a lot of fun playing the game, don’t really see any of the classes as being unbalanced, and haven’t paid a dime for it. I’ve played both as the soldier and gunner, neither of which gave me much trouble when it came to taking down enemies, and the sniper class (whatever it’s called) sure never has trouble taking me out.

  35. Ginger Yellow says:

    “Playing the machine gunner class I’ve never had any trouble with commandos and never get back stabbed ect.This idea that you can stay invisible forever is kinda false since you can not attack anyone without losing it. ”

    Indeed. And it takes several stabs to take down a full health character – no backstab bonus. An alert gunner has plenty of time to back off and pepper a commando with bullets.

  36. Heliocentric says:

    Thats why i use pistols, and i can kill without decloaking, proximity mines for the win for real though.

  37. Rabbitsoup says:

    umm did they fix the crash bug on map change?

    also NEEDS IN GAME VOICE CHAT – this makes it reek of fail

  38. lumpi says:

    *cough* *cough*QuakeLive*cough*…

  39. Dr. Science says:

    I find the game balances out well enough – though my only gripe as an avid Gunner is the -slight- lack of damage his machineguns dish out. This is only really apparent when up against those asshole Soldiers with their far superior weapon, burning bullets and instant healing. Apart from that I have loads of fun juggling snipers with rockets from a kilometer off, or tossing my Kegs of Death at the unwary (followed by a rocket to set the thing off). The only other problem I have is with airplanes and how useless their machineguns are – that could do with some damage boost as well.

    That being said, what other game lets me play as an old dude out for a stroll in the park?

    http://img38.imageshack.us/i/charlesmuntz.jpg/

    Yes that is his name :P

  40. Arathain says:

    I’ve been having fun with it. I haven’t had too much trouble with snipers, and knife-wielders seem terribly allergic to the Soldier auto-shottie.

    I wish the plane was a bit more useful, bit it’s fun to zoom about in.

  41. jermm says:

    I really hope they let you switch class on the fly in a later patch. It is the main problem I have with the game, you pretty much need to quit to switch class.

    In TF/old battlefield/CoD4/Wolf:ET you can change every spawn, but forcing you to play one class in Heroes is why it’s a 20 min-at-a-time game, not a 2hrs-a-night-game.

  42. Burny says:

    Stop complaining about the lack of class switching! You’re not supposed to be able to. The whole idea behind the “Heroes” stuff ist that you play and build a charakter belonging to a fixed class and not that you switch around at will. This way you have to identify yourself with a class to a certain degree.

    There are a ton of other battlefields with ingame class switching and where the identification with a specific class therefore doesn’t exists. If that mechanic fits you better, go and play those games.

    If people expect this to be like other battlefields I don’t know why they’re wasting time on this. It is not like the other games and is not supposed to be. If you’re not open to those changes like the reviewer or even consider them bad design just stay with the other battlefields.

  43. clive dunn says:

    The planes need rockets i reckon. Once you get the hang of flying them they are pretty useful.
    My only real bugbear is with the Victory Village map. It’s tripe and i always bail out when it comes on. The map with the lighthouse is really good though, love flying low over the cornfields taking swipes at snipers hiding out.
    It’s fun, it’s free(ish), it’s fairly moreish and i hope it develops further. 7/10

  44. Frye says:

    Yes, commando’s are a bit too strong, especially when they get to upgrade their rifles. They should at least remove the massive damage they do to planes and increase the cooldown on cloak a bit. Try sitting right behind a tree/bush and zoom. You can see right through the foliage yet cant be seen yourself, cloak or no cloak. I, for one, like Heroes and will be playing this every now and then.

  45. dave ash says:

    whis game always crash and jam my internet connection. i tried to format 4 times and tries diferent windows. in the forums of the game everyone is complaining. this bug was in since beta….

  46. Erlam says:

    Has anyone else had the game fuck their router by screwing the DNS redirects all to hell?

    That really didn’t make me feel happy about my experience, as you can imagine.

    But it’s DICE, so a shot-full-of-bugs experience is basically what I expected.

  47. Vince says:

    Well, well

    as a BF:Heroes player, I’m kinda disappointed in most commetns, and ofcourse the review.

    The gameplay itself is nothing less than awesome. There are alot of different “spells/boosts” that enhance this games gameplay.
    Aside from the pityfull server interface (well, there is none, so yea) this game makes a great game to play with your real life mates, and wont hold u back from having a fun night of LANning.
    It doesn’t require that much skill to get some kills.
    Then again, its not the case that you wont be able to stand out, because if you’re somewhat tacticall u can get about 2k EXP per game (average) as the mediocre player will only get about 500.

    Like I said before, this game has its flaws and you might find it bugged or incomplete as you’re experiencing your first gameplay. But after a while you’ll setle with it and pray for an update. But concidering this game is still somewhat ina beta phase,I have my faith in this game becoming even better as time goes by.

    Like it has been said before, this game is completely free (with premium items though, which are not manditory)

    I highly recommend anyone who likes vehicle/skill based shooters, to give this one a try with your mates!

  48. r4 revolution says:

    Battlefield Heroes is the first Play4Free downloadable game from EA.