EA's Battlefield Heroes is a free third-person shooter for the PC
- The price is right, customisable characters, fun and simple gameplay
- Vehicle controls need work, music is vomit inducing
Even with its faults this game is a great value. Other arcade titles with fun, solid gameplay, simple controls, and this many customisable features will run you between $15-$30, but lucky you, you get Battlefield Heroes for free.
Free is good. Along with the words sex, chocolate and Eliza Dushku, the word free is almost always associated with something positive. Free beer, a month's free rent, and buy-one-get-one-free are all great. But of course there are times when getting something for free isn't such a sweet deal. Free haircuts, free lint, and free root canals are bad.
As a culture we tend to be suspicious of things that are free. We've all been burned by deals we knew were too good to be true and trusted anyway. This attitude affects us in all areas of our life and especially holds true for video games. In a world where collector's editions sell for more than $100, it's hard to believe some people hand out games for free. Admit it, if someone gave you a free copy of Madden 10 you'd probably think it was broken.
Free or Dead
This leads us to EA's Battlefield Heroes, a free third-person shooter for the PC. Since it's gratis, there must be something wrong with it, right? Wrong! While certainly not perfect, BH proves that there are still some things out there that are worthy of your time, even if you don't have to pay for them.
Initially gamers will look at Battlefield Heroes and see a World War II version of Team Fortress 2, but don't let their similarly cartoony appearance fool you. BH has much more in common with its recently released XBLA/PSN cousin, Battlefield 1943. Both are multiplayer only games, feature fun modified capture the flag action, and offer three classes of soldiers and four maps. These games are so similar you could easily call BH, Battlefield 1942 1/2 , but luckily this free PC model has many features that make it unique.
Lock n' Load, Soldier!
Before you can jump online gamers must create their own customisable avatar. As your soldier slowly levels up you'll constantly be tinkering with your creation, mostly because that's where BH's sense of humor, uncommon for a war title, comes into play. Put on your "I'm With Stupid" shirt or Michael Jackson Smooth Criminal suit and start shooting. Gamers can also add different emotes (my personal fav is squawking like a chicken), weapons, and power-ups. The customisation options change frequently, so there's always some new way for you to have fun.
As most gamers probably already know, Battlefield Heroes offers the dreaded micro transaction, but EA has integrated them perfectly. Players won't be able to pay to max out their soldier and dominate matches; instead the purchased Battlefunds are mostly used for you to goof around with your avatar. Unlike the New York Yankees, there's no buying of championships here.
Worth Every Penny (and then some)
While Battlefield Heroes has a ton to offer, it's not without flaws. The camera can get caught behind trees or buildings, briefly leaving you blind. The vehicles aren't much fun to drive either. If you're in a tank or a jeep in an open area, you'll be fine, but due to their chunkiness you're sometimes easier to kill in a vehicle than on foot. And forget about flying the plane, not even Charles Lindbergh could maneuver that thing. But most annoying is the music in BH. Imagine listening to the Hogan's Heroes theme song on a continuous loop. Ugh!
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