Battlefield Heroes Hands-on

We took a refreshing sip of EA's upcoming, free-to-play Battlefield shooter.

At EA's recent ”Spring Break” event, every game on display had a signature drink to match. The "Battlefield: Heros" cocktail was a blend of gin, fresh raspberry, strained cucumber, and kumquat soda. It was...fleshy. But it was not good or easy to drink (the cucumber pulp did not want to be sipped), and so it was a terrible match for the game, Battlefield Heroes (add an E, hold the cucumbers). Whereas the beverage was weird and foreboding, the game was accessible, bright, and refreshing.

In case you haven't already heard, Battlefield Heroes is a free Battlefield game scheduled to come out this summer through EA's Play 4 Free service. You will be able to simply download it from the site www.battlefield-heroes.com and start playing war straightaway. The game will make money off of microtransactions; you will be able to purchase custom items from an online store with which to distinguish your characters from the rest of the gun-toting masses.

If the available accoutrements are any indication, the accessories on sale through the service could be well worth the money, given that the character customization quickly proved to be one of the most arresting and satisfying features on display. Before jumping into a match, you create a character, pick a side, and choose from one of three classes. Don't worry about limiting yourself, though, because you can create up to four colorful killers. And that isn't just talk; the extent to which you can outfit your avatars in Heroes is practically unheard of in first-person shooters, and definitely goes way beyond anything featured in a Battlefield game.

For instance, we began with a surly-looking chap in puffy pants, a fancy shirt, a handlebar mustache, and a military hat. We replaced the hat with a top hat, gave him a cigarette holder, decided not to give him a skull earring, removed his shirt, added a huge dragon tattoo to his bare back, threw on suspenders, and ended with a way saucier-looking killer than we started out with. The result was a much more personal experience: Rather than simply getting killed by a nondescript spook in camo, our enemies were utterly destroyed by Bill the Butcher's crazy stepbrother.

That's where the Team Fortress 2 graphical styling really comes into play; everything is vivid and distinct. When you put a cigarette holder in your guy's mouth, you can see it. When you run up and blast enemies in the back with a shotgun, they'll see the dragon tattoo smiling at them like the license plate on a murderous truck as you run past. And though we got to wage war on only one battlefield, it was a doozy. Our killing field was composed of quaint cottages at midfield, surrounded by pleasant meadows and happy trees. The look was so friendly that we wouldn't have been surprised to see Thomas the Tank Engine...running people over and crushing their bodies in his wheels.

Instead, we saw jeeps, tanks, and planes. The jeeps were fast--like, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride fast. The tanks were much slower but packed powerful explosive rounds that could destroy men as easily as vehicles. The planes were unwieldy because, on such small maps, it's difficult to make tight-enough turns to get a target in your sights. Surely experienced players will find ways to put them to good use; we just crashed them into things.

On foot, you can see your little warrior's array of abilities lined up at the bottom of the screen, much like in a role-playing game. The first two are your primary weapons, then come grenades and other utilities, and toward the end of the list are special abilities such as healing and invisibility. Most of these, aside from your basic weapons, have short cooldowns to keep you from using them all the time. You also have about 100 hit points (the exact number varies by class) that decrease every time you are damaged, and once you reach zero, you die. A direct hit from a tank removes about 60 points and knocks you 20 feet or so into the air, whereas a headshot from a machine gun will hit for about 30. As you fill your foes with holes, you can literally see the hit points flying out of them, floating up and away above their heads, just like in an RPG. This does take some of the impact and implied lethality out of shooting people in the face, though on the other hand, it's nice to see exactly what damages your enemies, and to what extent.

Battlefield Heroes will allegedly be about 200 MB, and will be free to download from www.battlefield-heroes.com sometime this summer. It certainly isn't the most nuanced or realistic shooter in the series, but it is definitely the freest and by far the most entertainingly stylish. And perhaps best of all, there are no cucumbers.

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91 comments
AFWorm
AFWorm

Gamespot needs to come out with its own review for this game. It's no longer in BETA, right? I thoroughly enjoy it, even with its glitches.

dimmu89
dimmu89

I really like this game, uhh, no. Make that I LOVE this game ^^ Btw: Is there any people here who has some reedem codes for BFH that they dont use or want to give away... If you have on for me send it on PM to me ^^ NATIONALS RULES

Sunrie
Sunrie

So, really, what DICE is going for is the Team Fortess 2 crowd coming back to Battlefield. They're offering a free beta, but have a cap on how many people can play online at this time.

jimmy2shoes
jimmy2shoes

The more i played, the better it got. So addictive, so much fun, i can see me joining a clan and playing most nights. It's free to play what more can you ask for ?

Armaan8014
Armaan8014

Just have to say that this game is REALLY addictive and fun. I dont know about paying for customizations, but playing without that is fun as well. Trust me, This game is fun.

Swedish_Chef
Swedish_Chef

The game itself is okay I guess, but the fact that you have to pay to really design your character is terrible. I'd be fine with paying 20 bucks on something like this and be done with it, but after a month you lose everything you paid for and have to buy it all again. In no time at all this would end up costing more than any boxed FPS, but the game itself isn't even close to being worth that.

Wakka4
Wakka4

it's childish but sure it's fun. "plug" and play action, just get rid of those annoying flag capture/lost souns, and the sound from the tank weapon.

startrekelite
startrekelite

cool im in the beta and the game looks awsome

Vasot
Vasot

Mehhh way childish for my taste

BrainedMyDamage
BrainedMyDamage

It's hard getting adjusted to when you have to shoot somebody like 5 times with a shotgun before they die...whereas other shooter games, it takes most often just 1.

siiixon
siiixon

i have a few extra beta keys as of now, PM me if interested

searcher007
searcher007

Honestly when i first looked at it i was like "pffff cartoon stylish war, this is stupid", now i´m thinking in get it. I hope this can be played offline. Looks fun.

chrystinah5
chrystinah5

I am trying to play this game, and cannot find where to download it. Please, help me locate it, and get a beta key to play online with. I cannot locate them, anywhere. Thanks, chrystinah5

daniel_beck_90
daniel_beck_90

it earns more money for EA than world of warcraft for blizzard lol

astralislux
astralislux

This whimsical game might be a classic in the making. This sort of reminds me of "The Ship".

Mike0193
Mike0193

wow this seems so fun and funny ! It is a must get, at its price !

MrGoldenBullet
MrGoldenBullet

WOOOOOOOT. new bf game for FREE im excited because one my grpahics card got old and crashed and im on my computers graphics and cant play bf2 >=(. however i am getting a new one soon once i fix my computer to the requirements of it. this will be the best free game ever!!!! i just have one thing to say tho: EA after ur done with this please start bf3 not a nother "spin-off" like bf2142 (although it was fun in its own way) we need bf3. and this custtomisation stuff sounds awsome maby u can use that in bf3. oh and one more thing THE ABILITY TO CHANGE ARMIES IN GAMES AND NOT HAVE PRE SET ONES ON MAPS.Also more game modes ive been waiting for a king of the hill or capture the flag from bf. also be able to choose wut vehicle settings u want like regular,speacial forces,bf2142, light vehicles (including transport copters, dune buggies and jeeps), and none.

lucebuce
lucebuce

At EA's recent ”Spring Break” event, every game on display had a signature drink to match. The "Battlefield: Heros" cocktail .... The Battlefield: Heros ... look the heroes is spelled wrong ......................................................................................................................... i need a life :s

Megatuga
Megatuga

The concept seems just great. RPG elements in a 3rd person shooter, cartoon style. Brilliant.

Mega-Tom
Mega-Tom

@erectism I agree with you. It does look quite crap from what I have seen already but with most games, they might look crap but when you play them you can never stop. Viva Pinata being a good example. I will give this one a go to :)

Zennious
Zennious

chingolofire why are you on the english version of this site then and posting comments after you have read something in complete enlish. you are dumb.

chingolofire
chingolofire

I dont know how tell this in inglish, so I wrote in my lenguaje: "dejáte de joder EA, este juego es una cargada"

erectism
erectism

i dont see why everyone is so against this game, i think its a good idea, personaly, i cant wait to give it a go

basal1sk
basal1sk

so ,do you have to bring your own spatula?

phalluman
phalluman

"The jeeps were fast--like, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride fast" ahahah thats great

orcsblade
orcsblade

can't wait for this one to come out!

iceveiled
iceveiled

This game seems like a giant experiment. I wan't BF3 though. Hopefully still set in semi-modern times.

neverenddan
neverenddan

"A community of modders and mappers vs... nothing???" actually if you read an article on the battlefield heroes website you'll see that they say they are working on more maps for the weeks after release and that they have a design team standing by constantly to listen to game ideas!

nyranasaurus
nyranasaurus

didnt counter strike or day of defeat start off as a free mod? Y is it when i read reviews from IGN and Gamespot i feel im getting hard sold things.When i should be walking away with my own opinion. A review should give you an idea of what to expect in a game in a picturesque way. a review should not give you a reason to buy it or not to buy it EVER.Thats YOUR choice.A review should never talk about money.Because if you want something youll buy it anyway regardless of cost.I meen a guy got fired from this site for saying that Kane and Lynch had too many swear words.......i find that bizarre from a reviewing site.Frankly his comments were justified there was alot of swearing in the game thats all he said.

gacmyver
gacmyver

wtf, who the eff wrote this article? he should be fired, making all those dumb metaphors that doesnt fit and no one understands? and hope EA fails big time on tis game. its definetly not free

dmiller53
dmiller53

As an avid Team Fortress 2 player, I feel torn. A free game that isn't a dumb little flash POS is a nice idea, but I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that this game, despite its "cumstomizability" (that costs $$$) will absolutely pale in comparison to TF2. 9 classes vs. 3??? A community of modders and mappers vs... nothing??? Valve vs. EA??? 'nuff said I think.

Craft2299
Craft2299

Dices Goal here is to make us sit back at our homes and play Battlefield heroes all summer long. lol... This sounda like a realy awesome game.

Kez1984
Kez1984

This is free, I don't see how it can fail. It's cartoony, so what? There are hoards of anatomically realistic games, we need more games like this.

snoopyflyfish
snoopyflyfish

Just what i was waiting for as the battlefield series never grows old they realy rocks i look forward to see this one in action.

snoopyflyfish
snoopyflyfish

Just what i was waiting for as the battlefield series never grows old they realy rocks i look forward to see this one in action.

snoopyflyfish
snoopyflyfish

Just what i was waiting for as the battlefield series never grows old they realy rocks i look forward to see this one in action.

snoopyflyfish
snoopyflyfish

Just what i was waiting for as the battlefield series never grows old they realy rocks i look forward to see this one in action.

marcusnjunk
marcusnjunk

i love the battlefield series. d.ic.e. owns. pc owns.

joshualamgroup
joshualamgroup

Sounds awesome. I signed up for the beta, and can't wait to get accepted! :)

ColdfireTrilogy
ColdfireTrilogy

sounds like epic fail to me ... least it will keep a ton ... A TON of kiddies out of my BF2 and BF3 .... and to you kids /DO NOT WANT

Wheelman56
Wheelman56

360 owners will be getting Bad Company but PC owners will be getting Battlefield 3. Bad Company is just another half-ass console version like all the other console BF games to come before it. Enjoy your aids.

drag00n91
drag00n91

cant wait for this game to come out!

Gurnadar
Gurnadar

@ apolo, we pc gamers r getting it free then

opollo
opollo

360 gets bad company with new gfx engine battlefield, but the pc gets screwed with a cartoon freebie that is full of microripoffs... TF2 will own this..

el_carl
el_carl

I would have preferred a new Modern battlefield with realistic graphics, but that's just my opinion.

Vlaimir_Lem86
Vlaimir_Lem86

I will second that bangel. TF2 will drown this out.

xwestsdeaznx
xwestsdeaznx

Can't wait, signed up for the Beta already.