Battlefield Heroes – A blitzkrieg on your credit card, a gentle shallow end for people new to shooters to dip a curious toe but it’s in need of some polish. Is that enough for a first post Craig? What do you mean too short? Come on, pretty much everyone’s played the beta, can I not get away with that? Bugger. Very well, you leave me no choice. The following has been rated 15 for those of a grammatical disposition.
When deciding to try BH I was wary; I’d heard dark tales of form filling and registration issues. Clenching tightly (incase the sheer horror got to me) I decided to opt in, and was pleasantly surprised to find it wasn’t as nightmarish as I’d feared. I already had an EA account which I’d forgotten about from Battlefield 2142 so was allowed to sign in with that, and the programme was downloaded in an easy 10 minutes. I spent that time trying to research what would be a witty soldier name, opting to try Sir Harry Flashman. EGTF is a bit shit after all, even if it is better than those naming soldiers Sepiroth.
As I got into creating my soldier it turned out others had beaten me to the punch namewise, and I was beginning to fear I’d have to have one of those atrocious names with numbers. Like headshotkilla43 or p1n35. I managed to get away with Speedicut, which seemed all at once l33t, without numbers and a subtle reference to my original namechoice. Grabbing PC Gamer’s free battlefunds, it was time to jump into making my soldier look as English and emotionally repressed as possible.
It was here that I was to find that the store is effectively credit-rape™. £5.99 equated to 950 approx in BH monopoly money, which I was cruely promised would be enough to kit me out sexily enough. In the end it turned out it was enough to buy me a cigar for 660 credits and the rest on renting a scarf. I should say though that I dislike renting, so bought my first item without thinking for unlimited time (if you rent you get the item for only a week or a month). I tried making the most of this and played a game wearing nothing but my cigar, scarf and underpants, only to find you have to pay to have your character without clothes (even if he’s naked in the store). It’s as if they’re fining you for pre-emptive streaking. I imagine Tom Cruise from Minority Report having my crime come up on a ball in the EA office, before a ball comes up with his name on it saying he’s going to grief somebody ingame. Then he goes on the run from the LOLbrigade and has to replace his EA account to get past the scanners in headquarters, whilst the head of EA covers up their crime of extorting the hell out of the Battlefield Heroes playerbase.
Out of curiosity, I tallied up how much my ideal costume would cost for unlimited use and it came to around about the £20 mark; for some non-customisable hats and shirts. Pah. Oh yeah, there’s a game to still explore here isn’t there? Should probably mention that before Craig fires me for incoherence, incompetence and other in- words.
The gameplay will be easy for those used to pretty much any shooter, with the press R to reload and E to enter vehicle malarkey. In abilities (and style) it’s as though the developers sat down with a few RPG’s and Team Fortress 2 for a while and thought “We can totally rip that shit off”. RPG’s in the sense that to get better you have to grind; picking missions to do and buying equipment and abilities with your xp, and TF2 in trying to use abilities and classes to compliment one another. This might have worked if it was left with the Battlefield Team, but seeming as they were making two serious games (1943 and Battlefield 3) it was left to the Indian intern Manni to do this and balance gameplay.
Now I don’t believe things are as bad as others have made out, I just sense they could be alot better. I haven’t really seen the Commando dominance that so many seem to prattle on about. Though booby traps, sniper rifles and unlimited cloak do seem a tad unfair, the other two classes I have seen kick serious buttock once people have got the knack to them. TF2, brilliant as it is, can be stifled when people aren’t used to and don’t play classes to their strengths and in co-operation with others, and the same is true here. Which brings me onto the early inhabitants of the servers, lovely as I’m sure they are.
I was fearful that the servers would be populated with veterans from the beta tests, or chirpy little brats trying to wave their miniscule labido about (though thankfully there’s no voice chat, so all communication is in type). As fortune would have it the servers are currently full of what I found to be rather amiable gamers, with only a few exceptions to make me wonder if I’d wandered into xbox live. I was helped immensley by others in the game who respected a politely asked question, with little tidbits such as press f to view from the front and |CCC| can make your text orange. Now you can be pro-gamer too! Nowhere else will you find such [appaling] advice as mine.
Walking away from the frontlines I’ve come away with a distinctly positive impression, if a little bit dissapointed. I enjoyed the game immensley, and though it is aimed as a vanilla introduction to virtual homocide I don’t believe it detracts from the enjoyment like some bitter hearted gamers would have you think. I can’t however say it’s perfect, as there’s still the need for extra little features like voteban (though I don’t know what private servers are like) and tweaking in the classes. The store and its bare, expensive content does put me off slightly, but not enough to never jump back into the game. I hold high hopes that future tweaking will only make this game better, as maps and content are steadily bleeded out. Also the friend system is a bit of a joke currently, me and Craig experimented with it to find it rather buggy and difficult to join each other’s game. That and the fact PC Gamer broke the game trying to have a group, where groups turned out to be limited to 20 people.
As it is, I am pretty confident you’ll enjoy this game, but forget about it afterwards for a while as there’s not alot there just yet. But if EA can build upon this promising start then I think it’ll go from strength to strength.
So long as they let me buy a fucking cheap ingame cigar.
Thus ends my first piece for Gaming Daily, hope you all enjoyed it. If you did I’ll be sticking around with a regular Sunday gig from now on, if not I’ll be taking you all down with me.