Battlefield Heroes Beta: Initial Impressions

Battlefield Heroes is a brand new, free to play, online multi-player shooter from the people at EA. Yes, you did just read the words ‘Free’ and ‘EA’ in the same sentence. The game is supported through ads and micro-transactions, a method that has been popular with Korean MMO developers for sometime and is becoming increasingly popular with Western Developers (see my previous post about Quake Live). The ads that are present are not intrusive, and dont cross over into your gaming experience, they are merely present at the Character Selection/Outfitting screen. Micro-transactions allow you to buy add-ons for your character to personalise your character, although in order to keep the game fair for all the free player, the add-ons are only cosmetic, allowing you to buy extra clothes and accessories.

The game will be familiar to anyone who has played a previous Battlefield titled, with the games matches being based on the capturing strategic points in order to cause the enemy to loose precious tickets. However, the look of the game might not be so familiar. The realistic visual style of previous titles has been ditched in favor of a Team Fortress 2 style cell-shade style. This seems to have been done for a couple of reasons, to keep the graphics scalable to run on older machines and to enable the use of cartoony outfits and special abilities. The camera has also been changed from First-Person to Third-Person, initially this might feel a bit strange, but you quickly get used to it.

The most interesting addition to the gameplay is an experience and mission system which seems to borrow for Call of Duty 4. You are rewarded with experience points for kills, damage done and winning rounds which increases your level, unlocking missions. Mission have to be equipped (only 3 at once), and similar to Call of Duty 4 these involve specific challenges, like kill x-number of enemies, dealing a certain amount of damage to enemies or vehicles and catching flags. Completing missions gives you points that can be spent on weapon upgrades, special abilities and costume upgrades. These systems prove just as addictive as they were in COD4 and will keep you coming back for more.

This game shows alot of promise, and has definitely got me hooked. Everyone should give this a try, especially if you are a fan of online shooters. To access the beta you need a key, which many website are giving out for free. CVG are currently running a large give-away which started this week:

~ by rusted3572 on April 29, 2009.

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