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Heroes and Generals

Heroes & Generals is an MMO Shooter with elements of strategy set in the midst of World War II. Enter the chaos of battle as a soldier and rise through the ranks to become a General dictating the tides of war.

Publisher: Reto-Moto
Playerbase: High
Type: MMO Shooter
Release Date: July 11, 2014
Pros: +Blend of FPS and strategy. +Fast-paced combat. +Good stat tracking. +In-depth advancement system.
Cons: -Balancing issues. -Powerful cash-shop items. -Repetitive gameplay.

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Overview

Heroes & Generals Overview

Heroes and Generals is an MMO Shooter set in the midst of World War II Europe. Choose to play as the Americans, Soviet Union, or Germans and engage in large-scale battles. This free-to-play game mixes traditional FPS combat with strategy game elements. Play as an infantryman and use ferns, boulders, and trees to sneak up on enemies or use a variety of vehicles to catch your opponents off guard. Rise through the ranks and become a General to command armies and allocate resources to soldiers in real-time. Players fight in a persistent world where commanders choose the battle and decide the fate of the war. Participate in the European campaign to secure strategic points as either infantry, tank gunner, fighter pilot, recon, or paratrooper. A sizable ranking system tracks your merits and differentiates you from your comrades.

Heroes & Generals Key Features

  • Blend of FPS and Strategy – play as soldiers on the front lines or as tacticians determining troop movements and resource allocation.
  • Strategic Gameplay – environments promote covert assaults and flanking.
  • Multiple Roles – play as infantry, tank gunner, fighter pilot, recon, paratrooper, or General.
  • Various Vehicles – use tanks, planes, motorcycles, cars, armored personnel carriers, and bikes.
  • Advanced Ranking System – players rise through the ranks from basic soldier to General and take command of the battlefield.

Heroes & Generals Screenshots

Heroes & Generals Featured Video

Full Review

Heroes & Generals Review

By Sean Sullivan

In the midst of World War II, the Germans, Americans, and Soviet Union clash on the battlefield. Step into their frayed boots through the MMO Shooter Heroes & Generals and fight for your country. Heroes & Generals stands out for its distinct blend of FPS and strategy elements. Choose to sit in your armchair moving troops across war-torn Europe or trudge through the battlefield with your trigger-finger always ready. Pilot formidable airplanes, drive impenetrable tanks, or fire at enemy soldiers from a vantage point in the hills. The fields of battle have a role to suit any play-style including commanding. However, you must endure the bloodshed of battle before you can dictate the tide of war.

What is War Good For?

Fast-paced combat. From the starting screen you're able to march to the front-lines by choosing "Staged Battle." These battles are skirmishes that don't affect the larger strategy portion of the game. You're given a small selection of possible maps to engage in, or you can let it randomize and allow the game to choose your fight for you. The maps are objective-based, like a standard Battlefield match.

Your kill-to-death ratio (KDR) is nowhere near as important as holding objectives on the map. The emphasis on objectives is reflected in the game’s scoring system. Kills award the smallest amount of experience for ranking up, whereas capturing or defending points award the most experience. Once you have secured an objective a ticker starts to climb. Whichever team's overall match-ticker fills first wins. The locations of bases are rather fair. In some maps, each team has one objective located closer to its starting point and must then move on to capture an enemy stronghold. Other maps, the ones I prefer, pit both teams against each other for one objective. When everyone's attention is focused on one base, brazen players can sneakily secure another.

Objective-based maps require a level of cooperation that is not always realized. Once your team captures a base they oftentimes move on to the next one, leaving the point you captured undefended. But in Heroes & Generals, defense is equally important as offense, perhaps even more so. The less experienced players are so itchy to kill that they forget the point of the game. Sit at your base and let your prey come to you. Why hunt for your meal when its willing to knock on your front door?

Lining up Foreheads

Fighting is fluid and feels fair. Simply line up enemy foreheads in your iron-sights, or scopes for persistent players, and pull the trigger—one-shot-kill. Another option is to riddle their bodies with bullets to send a message either by aiming down the barrel with the standard left-click, or right-clicking to zoom in down the sights.

Respawn timers are quick and painless. You're immediately sent back into action as if a medic slapped a band-aid on your gaping wound and patted you on the back, "Good to go sonny." Furthermore, the maps are small enough that you're not traveling for very long before enemy players start to show up on your screen, diving between trees and buildings.

Most maps are heavily forested so maneuvering between the trees and sneaking up on enemies with a friendly bullet is the best strategy. Find some cover behind a rock or lean against some bark to peer out at enemy soldiers as they zip by on their bicycles. Line up your sights and pull the trigger at the exact moment their head pass by your iron sights.

Bicycle Infantry

Perhaps my favorite part of the game is the inclusion of bicycles. Bicycle infantry were used in both World Wars. Although Allied use was limited in World War II, they provided an excellent means of quickly navigating behind enemy lines and moving infantry without alerting enemy troops. The same principle applies in Heroes & Generals.

Nearly every base has a bicycle for the taking, with a quick respawn timer as well. They are an amazing and amusing asset for quickly moving behind enemy lines and catching soldiers off-guard. Capture undefended points without a rumbling engine to alert troops. Flank enemy soldiers as they attack a point, popping heads from behind. If you hear the bell of someone's bicycle they want you to hop on back. That's right, no pegs needed for a bicycle built for two.

Decorated With Medals

Advancing in rank in Heroes & Generals is dependent on culminated experience from battles. How much you contribute to a skirmish determines how much experience you gain. Varying the feats you pursue will award more experience points. So if you're only in the game seeking to kill enemy soldiers like a rogue warrior then you wont earn as much experience as someone running, shooting, ducking, defending, and sneaking their way to victory. The maximum amount of experience is awarded to players who capture and defend points.

As players progress they unlock new weapons, vehicles, cosmetic skins and options to play the game. For certain achievements you also unlock badges, which award bonuses to certain facets of combat. Such as the "Nimble" badge that enables you to sneak more effectively. Eventually players can elect to take command of the battlefield as a General.

Command the Battlefield

Once you rise through the ranks you eventually unlock the Generals promotion. Alternatively, you can become a general by purchasing the rank with "Gold," the game's cash currency. Choosing to become a General renders FPS combat inaccessible with that character. As a result, you must choose which faction you want to command before pursuing the tactical role.

When you click "Generals"—located next to "Staged Battle" on the ready screen— you’re confronted with the campaign map, Europe. Hundreds of nodes indicate possible points of conflict. Glowing nodes indicate current conflict, or an impending battle. In the bottom left-hand corner, there is a counter that tallies what war you are currently playing in, such as "Julius - War for Europe 92." Wars are reset after one nation has dominated the battlefield to make way for the next World War II.

Generals have assault teams that they can purchase with gold or warfunds. They vary in type and size, such as mobile guard, medium armor, paratroopers, or fighter recon. As a commander, you click on a particular city on the map where you view the direction of battle, what kind of battle it is, and who is participating. Using that information, Generals decide how many of their troops, if any, to send to aid the battle and assert their country's dominance.

The movements of other generals are evident on the campaign map, occurring in real-time. They are also surveying fields of war and choosing where to deploy their troops.  Depending on resources put on the battlefield, Heroes will be able to utilize what generals provide. Perhaps at the start of a battle, Heroes are overwhelmed by enemies but Generals provide them with air support to overturn the tide of battle.

A companion app called Heroes and Generals: Mobile Command for iOS and Android is available to complement the Generals portion of the game. The app provides a real-time overview of the war and lets generals dictate their assault team movements. Nevertheless, if tactics are not your forte you can still dictate the war from the ground.

On the Ground in Europe

Once you have climbed through the ranks as a soldier, you unlock the campaign portion of the game. You can participate on the European front, completing objectives to win the war. Your load-out and what weapons you choose to bring to battle are extremely important. Not being prepared could signal defeat before a single bullet is fired. In a battle with tanks, you need a Panzerschreck RPzB 54, similar to a rocket launcher, to crack through the tanks hull. With the Panzerschreck, you and your team will be decimated. The campaign side of the game appeals to the more serious, strategy-oriented players. It requires exceptional teamwork and individual strategy to secure victory. Some wars, however, can be won with a prosperous war-chest.

The War Won With Gold

There are three different forms of currency in the game. Aiming down the barrel of your gun rewards credits, paid out according to rank, that can be traded in for weapons, vehicles, and upgrades. Warfunds are earned from playing the strategic portion of the game. The better your assault teams perform the more warfunds allocated to you. Warfunds can be used to reinforce your squad or purchase new ones. Then there's Gold. Gold is purchased with real money and can be used to acquire nearly anything in the game. Some items, such as Warbonds and Veteran membership, are only accessible with Gold.

While you don't need Gold to have fun in Heroes & Generals, players looking to advance will quickly consider purchasing some. The game quickly devolves into a grindfest where the same maps, the same battles, and the same objectives, are repeated over and over just to rank up or acquire Credits. Leveling is slow as well. Unlocking everything in the game without spending any money will become an arduous task that quickly loses value.

Final Verdict - Good

Heroes & Generals is a great pick-up FPS. It is perfect if you’re looking for a quick game without much hassle to line up some heads in your iron sights. Unfortunately, the strategy element of the game, while touted by the developers, is behind a wall that is a time-sink to break through. Unlocking vehicles, new weapons, and cosmetics is hidden behind the same wall unless you’re willing to trade in money for the in-game currency—Gold. The game does run like a charm with hardly any stuttering. Furthermroe, it is refreshing to play a World War-based FPS again amidst an overabundance of modern-day shooters. As a free-to-play game, it's tough to ask for more. Gather up your forms and form a squad before heading to the battlefield and you won't regret Heroes & Generals no matter how many times you're shot off your bike.

Screenshots

Heroes & Generals Screenshots

Videos

Heroes & Generals Videos

System Requirements

Heroes & Generals Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

Operating System: Windows XP, Vista, 7 or 8
CPU: 2GHz CPU w. SSE3 instruction set- dual-core
Video Card: ATI HD 2000/NVIDIA 7900 or above (with >512mb RAM)
RAM: 2 GB RAM
Hard Disk Space: 2 GB available space

Recommended Requirements:

Operating System: Windows 7 or 8
CPU:  Intel i5 processor or higher / AMD Phenom II X6 or higher
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 series or higher / AMD HD 6870 or higher
RAM:  4 GB RAM
Hard Disk Space: 3 GB available space

Music

Heroes & Generals Music & Soundtrack


Additional Info

Heroes & Generals Additional Information

Developer: Reto-Moto
Publisher: Square-Enix
Game Engine: Retox

Game Director: Jacob Anderson,
Art Director: Anders Poulsen
Animator: Thomas Kaae Colding
Level Designer: Filip Lange-Nielsen

Composer: Jesper Kyd

Launch Date: July 11, 2014

Closed Beta Launch: May 22, 2012
Open Beta Launch: July 19, 2013

Steam Release Date: July 11, 2014

Release Date: September 23, 2016

Development History / Background:

Heroes & Generals was developed by Danish game studio Reto-Moto and published by Square-Enix. The game went live on July 11, 2014. Reto-Moto was originally founded by members of video game developer companies Zyrnix and Lemon. Reto-Moto also created IO Interactive and the video game series Hitman. The company reformed in 2008 and launched the website for Heroes & Generals in 2010. Closed Beta began on May 22, 2012 followed by the open beta launch on July 19, 2013. Reto-Moto developed their own browser based 3D engine called "Retox." Furthermore, they have named their development model "User Driven Development," whereby community feedback heavily determines the games development course. To complement Heroes & Generals, Reto-Moto developed a free companion app available for both iOS and Android devices. The app gives players a real-time overview of the war and allows Generals to issue commands from their device. Heroes & Generals fully launched on September 23, 2016.