Friday, April 27, 2012

Heroes & Generals Nears Beta

I like ambitious games, games that try to mix genre's and create something unique. Heroes & Generals certainly does that by mixing real time strategy and purely multiplayer FPS combat. It is fairly reminiscent of World War II Online, which I grew up playing and loving, but instead of giving you all of Europe to explore, much of which was empty, Heroes & Generals gives you specific battle locations all over Europe. It is vastly more limited than WWII Online in this regard, but it makes getting into a battle immediate and the maps are big enough to make it still feel large. The maps have to huge because not only is there infantry combat, but there are tanks and airplanes. All of which the players can control if the resources are available for them. Re-sources are controlled by the generals, those who move around the infantry platoon's, airplane squadrons, mechanized units and all of the strategy pieces that are reminiscent of a tactical strategy game. When the generals move these pieces to an enemy territory then a fight will start, which players can all see in a easy to use quick bar on the right side of the campaign map. Everyone can see the whole campaign map, which consists of England and the majority of Europe, but only the generals can manipulate resources and plan. When you start the game you start as an infantry and you choose a side, Allies or Axis, and then jump into a ongoing battle. Read on for so much more on the game, plus a new video.

Heroes & Generals is a very promising game and they have just implemented the campaign map, plus a ton of other features, into the alpha. Most importantly though the beta is coming, which is good for anyone who has been trying to sign up to test the game because beta equals more keys to be distributed. Another new feature they just added to the game is class customization and a currency system. Heroes & Generals is a Free to Play game, so it does have gold that you can buy, but unlike most other F2P games there isn't a huge discrepancy between how long it takes to earn something normally and how easy it is to just buy it with real money. It also really helps that the class customization, which is pretty much what all your money goes towards, isn't necessary. In any battle you can use whatever units are there, which will have basic load outs, but if you make a custom class for whatever that class let's say a Rifleman then you can make him a bit more unique by giving him sticky bombs or modifiers onto his M1 Garand. The modifiers are also very balanced for they merely change the stats of whatever your putting it on, not improving the stats overall, so if you put a modifier on a machine gun it might make it be more accurate but it may shoot slower, reload slower or do less damage.

I haven't talked about battles in Heroes & Generals yet. They are familiar to anyone who plays multiplayer focused First Person Shooters but they are also quite different. Each map is affected by weather or what time is, so you may play the same map many times, but it could be different every time based on the time and weather. If your team is attacking then you start with one control point, which are littered across the map, and your goal is to capture control points up to one or two specific command control points. The control points are captured by walking up to the radio/command table and watching the point capture, a percentage will pop up and show you how fast it is going; more people equals faster capture rate. That's all pretty familiar for anyone who has played any Battlefield game or anything with any type of control points, but what may be unfamiliar is the idea of having a specific number of reinforcements/respawns per unit. The generals may move in more resources to increase the number of respawns your team has, but if they abandon your fight and leave you in the dust that's just the way of war. I should also mention that you have to capture control points in a controlled way, meaning you cannot just run off and capture any control point, only if it is connected to a point your team controls. Here is a Generals view of the game.

I'm currently in the alpha and I have been for a while, so I can safely say that the game is coming along quite well. When I first got in it was very rough, very laggy and it still is but it has been progressing quite well and Reto-Moto is shaping Heroes & Generals into a very exciting game. If you would like to get into the beta check out the links below, they are constantly advertising for sign-ups, but take a look at the pre-beta video they released today. The video explains quite a bit about the game and many of the new features they just implemented, plus it explains their new War Bonds, basically their way of accepting donations for the game. Take a look at all that and thanks for reading.
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-Written by Sean Cargle


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