Battlefield Heroes First Impression

It's Battlefield. It's also totally free. Get a first look at Battlefield Heroes.

EA caused a bit of a stir recently when it announced that the next PC game in its popular Battlefield franchise is going to be a free-to-play Web-based title. We were curious, too; thankfully we finally got our first look at Battlefield Heroes at the recent Game Developers Conference. Here's what we learned: While it has and will undoubtedly continue to draw comparisons to last year's Team Fortress 2 for its cartoon look, the developers at DICE say that it's also the deepest Battlefield game that they've ever made.

To hammer in the point that this is supposed to be fun and crazy, the demonstration started with a somber trailer full of World War II images. Just when you might think that you're watching another video for another World War II game, the trailer busts open with a zany montage of cartoon violence, with soldiers running around a colorful battlefield, riding on the wings of fighter planes, zipping around in tanks as if they were sports cars, and the like.

Though the game has vehicles and weapons and uniforms that are obviously inspired by World War II counterparts, this is not set in World War II. It's not even really set on Earth as we know it. The guys in grey and black aren't Nazis or Germans, but rather members of the National Army. The fellows in green and tan aren't British or Americans. Instead, they're members of the Royal Army. Even the conflict itself is a bit silly to fit into the game's humor: The Royals and the Nationals are battling over a quarrel regarding the Olympic games. This isn't about a titanic clash of totalitarianism versus democracy.

So here's the deal. The game is indeed free to play. All you'll have to do is go to the game's Web site and click on the brightly colored play button, and that will launch the installer. The system requirements are low enough to support most integrated graphics chipsets found in budget computers. (The other requirements right now are a 1GHz CPU and 512MB of RAM.) When you install the game, you also create a login and a password for your profile. It will not ask for you a credit card number. Once the game is installed, you just go back to the Web site, hit play, log in, and the game launches. The entire process is designed to very similar to registering for an Internet forum or social site such as MySpace.

Not only is Heroes free, but it's said to run on a very low-end PC.

Free sounds like a great deal to the consumer, but not for businesses. EA plans to make money mainly through advertising. For instance, whenever the game is loading, you'll see ads. We saw two big banner ads for EA games that were released last year (keep in mind we saw the in-development version of Battlefield Heroes, so those were placeholders). EA says that there will not be any in-game advertising in the game itself, so you will not see any billboards or posters for the latest Hollywood movie or Detroit car while dodging bullets. A secondary source of income is microtransactions that are entirely optional, though EA didn't really go into depth about what types of things you'll be able to purchase.

Heroes will distill the Battlefield experience into a more intimate package online. Like with other Battlefield games, there's just one mode in Heroes, and it is sort of a mix of team deathmatch and the classic Battlefield conquest mode. Each team has 50 tickets, or respawns, at its disposal. When a player dies, he uses up a ticket to respawn back into the game. The goal is to be the last team standing. There will be control points that can be captured, and they will confer a modifier to whichever team controls them. For instance, controlling all flags might result in your team being awarded two kills for every one that you make. The maximum player limit per match is 16; in comparison, Battlefield 2 tops out at 64.

There are three classes that you can play as: soldier, gunner, and commando. You select a class at the beginning of the match and you can't switch in midmatch. The commando is the light class; capable of being completely invisible at a distance and semitransparent up close. He's armed with a knife and a sniper rifle, each of which takes a couple of whacks to kill with. That is to soften the frustration felt in other Battlefield games, where you're suddenly killed with a single shot of a sniper rifle. In Battlefield Heroes, the first hit you receive is a warning and a chance for you to do something to survive. Next up is the soldier, which is a medium class, a good mix of speed and firepower. The gunner is the heaviest class, but also the slowest. He's armed with a machine gun and a bazooka. It's key to keep in mind that while the bazooka might be ideal for killing vehicles, all classes will be equipped with sticky mines so that they have an antivehicle weapon.

Unlike past Battlefield games, Heroes will be played entirely in third-person perspective.

The action takes place entirely in third-person, save for one moment, which we suspect is probably when you zoom through the scopes of a sniper rifle. Part of the reason is because DICE wants the game to be as friendly as possible to people who have never, ever played a Battlefield game before, and third-person is apparently more accessible and less intimidating and more casual than first-person. The other reason for third-person is so you can see your custom character and all the cool stuff that you'll unlock. Character creation is a bit like an online role-playing game in that you can select different hairstyles, colors, and other physical features. Since the game is played entirely online, it'll also keep a permanent record of your performance. As you advance through the rank system, you'll access new items that you can equip, such as clothing and accessories. The buttoned-up uniform shirt might make way to the unbuttoned-at-the-top shirt, goggles might appear on the helmet, and so on.

Like with all Battlefield games, the action is a mix of infantry and vehicle combat. The difference in Heroes is that everything is meant to be as user-friendly and colorful as possible. Hit a guy with a rifle and you'll see numbers flash above his head indicating how much damage he's taking, just like in a role-playing game. The respawn timer is set to five seconds, so if you're killed, you'll get back in the action quickly. The physics and violence are somewhat cartoonish, from the tanks that can scream through a street and run someone over to the way a pilot can jump out of a plane right before it hits the ground and land on his feet safely.

The developer also says that Battlefield Heroes is the deepest Battlefield game yet. That's because there are special abilities that you can equip before a match that let you do all sorts of things. For instance, you can equip incendiary bullets so you cause burning damage on someone. Another ability is a wall hack that lets you detect enemy soldiers behind solid objects. A health burst will heal not only you, but those around you.

You'll be able to extensively customize your character with all manner of add-ons.

Battlefield Heroes is going to be a very interesting experiment, because this is a game that is designed to appeal not only to Battlefield fans, but also to the vast, untapped masses out there who don't play games because they're too expensive or their computers aren't powerful enough. It's basically Battlefield for the people. Fans of Battlefield 2, though, should also keep note that while no future Battlefield games have been announced, the developer did insist that DICE is working on projects that it can't talk about quite yet. Battlefield Heroes will go live later this year.

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Discussion

297 comments
Batut200
Batut200

Ej macie jakies kody moze ale co działaja

mglhasa2010
mglhasa2010

Battlefield Heroes Are not FUN for ME!!

nobrains9
nobrains9

What are people complaining about? Its free so you cant lose. Anybody saying its a rubbish game are those people who think of them selves as 'hardcore gamers'. If its not for you don't bother with it. Its a casual game for people who want to have fun on a game. The only downside is that sniper thing. Snipers are really meant to be one shot kill not a warning. I will get this game as its fun.

JonWood007
JonWood007

For free, heck, I would try it. I do not expect much from it tho. I'm used to more serious shooters like BF2/2142. I dont think I will like the cartoonyness. This reminds me of the counter strike for kids video...except it is battlefield for kids. I'll try it when/if I get a key, but I do not think it will be that good. I would not pay for this.

LinkDragon90
LinkDragon90

could be pretty cool....but i think that "microtransactions " bit is silly......i mean if i wanted to crit for 12 and hang out in members only zones with 500bucks worth of badly rendered gear i would go play runescape Knowing EA youll have to spend 20 bucks every other level to have any kind of chance

WakkaMole
WakkaMole

juztrax your a moron, EA isn't changing their direction... It's just a fun cartoon shooter, I've been playing the BF series and CoD series since they both started and own all the ones in between then and now. I love the realistic battlefield experience and the depth of the games but am still looking forward to this. If you don't want that type of game experience DON'T GET IT. It's free so... and saying its a PoS is absurd, you have not played it yet have you? You must think TF2 is a PoS also since they somewhat did the same thing from what I remember about TF1. You = Fail

omishboy4831
omishboy4831

Back off juztrax the game was not meant to be an addition to the battlefield series it is just meant to be a casual online game with the battlefield name on it. The people made Bad Company first to make a good battlefield game then they made this game to introduce the shooter concept to younger audiences, casual gamers and others who just don't have the doe to buy a system or a powerful computer. In order to allow more people to play they down the graphics and made it a cartoon style. This was a safe direction to go because team fortress proved that a cartoon style can work with shooters. I do agree that sniping was sort of destroyed but that does not mean the game is broken.

hasbat
hasbat

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

juztrax
juztrax

I must say, I am extremely disappointed at the direction this great series of gaming is taking in this latest edition. EA have really fuk it up. Battlefield fans are fuk'in pissed at this piece of sh#t cartoon crap. Battlefield has been an evolving reality based war epidemic. To see it go in the direction of a bad cartoon joke is really pathetic and heart breaking. I am a fan of COD and I remeber waiting with anticipation of COD4. When it was announced and the first screens were released , the feeling in the community was awesime. So waiting for the mext Battlefield was equally precipatis, and then to get this junk served up as the next era of Battlefield, i mean come on this has to be a fuk'in joke right? No to my discust it is'nt. That is my opinion and I state it with fuk'in AUTHORITY!

The_AI
The_AI

I want this game. It looks awesome, and it gets bonus points for being free.

axelviiii
axelviiii

Looks pretty cool, I must say. I'm really diggin' the style.

bangell99
bangell99

I wouldn't consider playing this if it wasn't free. I'm not expecting great things.

t8trg8tr
t8trg8tr

It's free, so I am going to get it.

jovine31
jovine31

This game looks really good, i look forwrd to it now, i mean wing riding, whoa.

lt_falcon1
lt_falcon1

This is another game that sucks for the dedicated sniper - several whacks to kill someone so they will get a warning you are gunning for them?? Lets be honest - when the heavy weapons guy pops around a corner with his 1000rpm gun the sniper is nt going to get several seconds to scurry away..... The best balance i ve ever seen for sniping (while making it worthwhile to carry a sniper rifle) is Call of Duty 2. The single shot trade off is definitely worth the trade off in volume of fire. Battlefield games have been noticeably lame in their deployment of long range rifleswhich is even more frustrating given the huge outdoor maps make it an ideal environment to use a Barret .50 .... if they did nt take multiple shots to put someone down. That said this new game does nothing to remedy this problem and is simply more of the same in a new Saturday morning cartoons package.

AFWorm
AFWorm

I am sure this will change the fps venue in a lot of great ways. For one, more people will be playing who wouldn't normally pay to. Also, the leveling up and customizable MMO-style found also in CoD4 will inspire more developers to incorporate the same. I'm excited, and you should be too!

erik1116
erik1116

looks like fun. im waiting for it. idk about 3rd person. TF2

generalish
generalish

EA never gives anything out for free, So i will wait to see what they try charging people for.

Dracon600
Dracon600

Shoot, it might actually help increase the future gaming population as I will be playing great awesome looking games like Crysis and C&C 3 and the people that have computers from the 90's will want to play real games like I just mentioned after getting a taste of how great gaming really is in this day and age. Might help lower unemployment also as people get off the couch and get a job to buy a computer. Less wasted taxes for people that are to lazy to work and mooch off the government! YES!

CallofDuty4Vet
CallofDuty4Vet

If you have a bad graphics card get a job and then get a better one.

fionnathon
fionnathon

its good that it is free because i really dont have the money to buy this and i have a very low end graphics card

andremafia
andremafia

I'm loving how they will deal with the micro-transactions, you will not be able to buy better guns, nuclear weapons and so on as this would destroy the balance of the game, you can only buy items for you to customize your character like gloves, helmets, clothes and buy convenience items that allow you for example to earn more experience from killing enemies, even if you buy loads you still have to be skilled to gain the experience. Kudos do you EA and DICE!

gawebspinner
gawebspinner

As a parent, I'm glad to see a game I don't have to pay 100.00 for a new graphics card. Not all of us can afford the high prices of these cards. There are families raising disabled children who can't afford this, but who would love to play a game to escape.

LettuceJoans
LettuceJoans

A maximum of 16 players, runs on a low end PC (graphics suck), It's made by the same people who made battlefield....so that means the amount of bugs and errors will be extremely high, it's free and made for people who aren't into video games which means every 8-year-old in the world will be typing/saying stupid crap and team-killing. No thanks, I'll be playing TF2

ianlhc
ianlhc

Well, I'm thinking it's a massive add campaign. Probably adds everywhere. I'm sorry, you have to remember we're dealing with EA here...

jin_tawo
jin_tawo

Really looking forward to it ,..

Grantelicious
Grantelicious

This games gonna turn out like you gotta spend lots of money on items from EA to be able to play competitivly against all the sados who actually bought all the extra stuff. Im out.

redmen12
redmen12

I love the graphics, they are really adorable

shaunamus
shaunamus

its free. and it made by a professional team just like inextremo said. theres not much to fault about it and gordanfreeman53 why u sayin tht so what if the graphics arnt upto games like crysis last time i checked legal copies of crysis wernt free

inextremo88
inextremo88

It's free and developed by a professional Team (EA-Dice).. not much that can go wrong..

gordanfreeman53
gordanfreeman53

when they say Battlefield Heroes can run on low-end PC's, they auctally are saying "we are making the graphics suck because it makes the game easier to develop."

Crossefire00
Crossefire00

I was very interested right up until I realized that it was third person only...I'll give it a try but I've never been a fan of third person shooters. I guess we'll see if it's worth it in a few months...

snowyjoe
snowyjoe

It'S free whats everyone talking about!? FIrst, how any of you seen the free MMOs or FPSes out there? Probably the only good one is America's Army. Looking at this, since it's FREE and it RUNS ON LOW END machinese, the delveopers are being friendly to the non-gaming enviroment so everyone can have a go, and not missing out in anything :) I full support you guys! Go and make a great game!

imnotacrook
imnotacrook

its free so it like you really can't lose rather its goods or bad.

ponche_wow
ponche_wow

"that's crap. CRAP! C R A P." Would you expect more from a guy with Joseff Stalin as his portrait?

linmukai
linmukai

It looks good except for the undisclosed microtransactions. I consider microtransactions to be a dirty word in gaming and detest them easily as much as I do ingame advertising. Both pollute games in my opinion. I'd rather pay something for a game up front and that's that. I paid, now let me play with no ads, no other stuff to buy, in short no BS, just game. Thanks.

Gooeykat
Gooeykat

"jacked the whole Team Fortress concept" - what an original critique. Two ways this is better than TF, the first being vehicles and the second that it is FREE.

Kendu10
Kendu10

I am waiting for this game.:P

krauze
krauze

not impressed in the least. sounds like they jacked the whole Team Fortress concept.

xPork--Chopx
xPork--Chopx

lol y loads of ppl dissing this game its free, say if ur mate got u one of the new 360 or ps3 games and theres was nothing wrong with it ur not gonna say no are u???

bendall01
bendall01

meh, worth the download, just like allthe other stuff clogging up my HDD :P

Rikstah
Rikstah

Exactly, its free... dunno what the fuss is about. I think the game is gonna be great, itll draw in people who haven't played games before much like WoW did, and i think the lower system requirements is also a good idea its something that blizzard has done with all their games (except i think WoW) that they said has contributed to their success (besides the fact that they push any genre they decide to make a game in)

andyrae11
andyrae11

It's free. What are you complaining for?

pie275
pie275

FREE won't hurt to give it a try..