Word Play: Going To War With Heroes & Generals
I don't usually start a discussion of a game by analyzing its trailer, but I do feel that's appropriate here. Put simply, if you're looking for the fast-action, charge-into-the-fray, bullets-be-damned, Call of Duty-esque experience seen above, you'll be disappointed with Heroes and Generals, which hit Steam a couple weeks ago. That's not a bad thing, but it's always good to set your expectations appropriately.
What Heroes & Generals offers is a gritty, arena-based World War II simulation with a muted color palette and plausibly realistic action. Your soldier's not going to be some superman (or Übermensch if he's German), and bullets actually hurt. Sometimes you'll feel like a hero, fighting for America and apple pie or the Fatherland, and at other times you'll feel like just another insignificant smear on the bloodstained battlegrounds of war.
There are actually two types of game modes, appropriately named “Heroes” and “Generals.” Heroes mode is the usual PvP battleground we're all used to. Generals mode is a little more like an RTS, with you maneuvering your troops around the western European battlefield. That might be worth its own review at a later point, but for now we'll concentrate on the Heroes portion of the game.
You'll start by choosing your side – Axis or Allies – and naming your soldier. You can continue to use this character throughout your campaign, and he'll gain experience as he goes, offering him access to more weapons, vehicles, and various perks that he can equip to increase his capabilities. Once you've unlocked the ability to get a new item, you still have to buy it using in-game currency, but if you're in a rush, you can buy them with real-money currency before achieving the proper rank. You'll earn a little of that currency as you play, but it won't be enough to buy anything substantial; the most you'll probably be able to do is refill your ammo or buy accessories for your weapons.
As your soldier gains XP, he'll also be offered the option to transfer from the infantry to a tank or air career. Battles consist of all three phases of warfare, offering an integrated experience that fans of World of Tanks and War Thunder have been asking for for years. If you want the excitement of dodging tank rounds while ducking under cover to avoid an air strike, Heroes and Generals offers that thrill. And, as a formerly browser-based game, it's easy on your computer.
As you've already probably discerned, Heroes and Generals approximates realism fairly well – maybe too well, in some cases. Historically, tanks were noisy, cramped affairs with very little visibility, and this is accurately depicted in H&G. When driving, your field of view is extremely small, reduced to a narrow viewing slit at the front of your vehicle. You can pop the hatch for a better view, but that leaves you vulnerable to small-arms fire. In my opinion, the tanking experience was so inconvenient as to be unappealing, and I preferred to play as a foot soldier. I suppose it's a balance issue, to make it so tanks don't dominate the battlefield, but it's still annoying.
(As a side note, if you're interested in what WWII soldiers really thought of their tanks, watch this.)
The only other point that rankled me was the combat badges. As you progress, you'll unlock various badges, which you can equip to increase your soldier's capabilities. The problem is, a free player can only use one badge while a paid player can use two. The advantages aren't insignificant; at their highest levels, badges decrease the damage you take by 15% or reduce the spray of your automatic weapons by 50%. Giving players access to an advantage that can only be acquired by paying money is pretty much the definition of pay-to-win. OK, maybe it's less “pay-to-win” and more “pay-to-get-a-little-better,” but it's still unpleasant to see.
Even with all that, and without being able to sample the Generals experience, the game was still plenty of fun. If you're looking for something a bit more down-to-earth than your typical run-and-gun shooter, give Heroes & Generals a try. It's got its faults, but it's a solid entry on the field of battle.
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
💣 Feature | BattleCry: Hands-On First Impressions From QuakeCon
I suppose the sign of a good game is one that you wish you could play more.By Jason Winter - 8 years ago
You May Enjoy
💣 Feature | A "Spa" Video? Seriously, The Day Before?! Open A Beta, Livestream, Or Please Just GTFO At This Point
Cool... a pre-rendered video of your character sitting in zombie entrail filled human soup...By Michael Byrne - 6 days ago
Mad World Drops New Launch Trailer, Release Date To Be Announced Next Week
We're finally getting an answer to "when?" for Mad World.By Troy Blackburn - 2 days ago
Pantheon Dev Vlog Talks Open World, Enjoying The Game With Limited Time, And More
This video is a long one, so grab some popcorn and settle in.By Troy Blackburn - 2 days ago
Another Alpha Test For Upcoming Hero-Based, Extraction Shooter HYENAS Starts Today
New character Hero-Ki was revealed, too. He looks like Sonic and cosplays his enemies as a disguise.By Matthew D'Onofrio - 2 days ago
Canadian Judge Rejects "Unlawful Gambling" Accusation In EA Loot Box Class-Action Lawsuit
The claim may proceed, around "unconscionability," but not around gambling.By Matthew D'Onofrio - 4 days ago
💣 Feature | Is It An MMO? #2 — Diablo IV Is Much More Than Just An Action RPG With An Open Shared World
Some other games in the genre don't let players run into each other in the overworld, or fight giant bosses together.By Matthew D'Onofrio - 4 days ago
Anyway I've found this game very fun and balanced. The extra badge is insignificant for paying members, everything else you can unlock.
I like how the enemies are not outlined in red or with big red name tags above their head. You have to spot them first. And in this gritty dark environment it can be hard to detect enemies before they get you, and vice versa.
Tanks are not a problem if you have rockets. Most of the time someone does. They will camp sometimes and not really do anything productive and that's how you lose.
My biggest gripe is no one tries to cap control points aggressively enough. They all want to camp and get kills (which offers the lowest points in game while capping offers x10 points).
30 minute games where enemy just camps one spawn point is annoying. (that's why I'm writing this now actually).
You can be the sole person on your team to win the game if you are good. Many times I've capped points by myself while killing 3 or 4 enemies trying to take it. Mucho points.
However most people are blind to the fact that capping wins you the game.
I recommend this game though just for the shear fact that your skill matters.
+ strategy layer adds depth
+ as player, you are not superman with inhuman powers
+ no unbalanced perks
+ you can unlock weapons and gear by simply playing
- progression is somewhat slow
- "terrible" match making: you can have only infantry vs full tank brigade and you will be "loved in your butt" by enemy team
- UI not informative enough
- unbalanced factions: when I played, 60+% of population were nazi
I've killed 3 guys that had full autos at point blank with my semi auto just because they reacted slow and tried to spray and pray.
Everything is also unlockable and the only real gun that can be considered over powered is also the slowest.
Seems like everyone in these reviews are calling it Call of Duty style when in reality it isn't. o.o
The best tactics in short ranges are spray instead of aiming and constantly move.
1) Yes it IS very COD and superman like. Roll up to point B in a jeep. Get out. Spray everywhere. Kill 5 dudes, run in the house. Spam nades, then sit on B till captured or fought over face to face COD style.
2) some larger maps add "tactic:. If you will, but vehicles are op and eberyone knows the hiding spot so again. Just mount n shoot.
3) They WERE going in a strategic direction. But mid CB they rehailed the entire core mechanics to a typical F2P CoD cpone set up. Unlockable weapons. Exp push with skill unlocks. Real p2w features etc.. If they stuck to basic kits with just a few perks... It would rely on strategy. But they made it mote "rack kills progress. Unlock all da loot".