Well finals week has ended for me and I find myself feeling a bit like shooting someone….in the virtual sense I swear. But today's shooters are just not doing it for me. Sure they are entertaining for a while in much the same way that watching cat videos on Youtube in entertaining. For the first 10 minutes you’re having fun but you quickly start to wonder if there isn't something better you could be doing with your life.
I have played a lot of the free to play shooters out there and most of them just don’t do it for me for one reason or another. Most are really what I would classify as pay to win games or are so over run with hackers that they just stop being fun. So I went off in search of something better
I was feeling a bit nostalgic for a WW2 game so I did what any sane person would do, or what I am told a sane person would do…I wouldn't really know, and Googled WW2 games. After wading through a sea of “what happened to all the WW2 games?” questions I stumbled on a game called Heroes and Generals that looked promising, it is unfortunate that “promising” is the best way to describe the game.
There are 2 sides to the game, the first being a first person shooter that aside from a few major faults is actually very good. To compare it to a well-known game, Battlefield is the closest I can come up with, in that the maps are very large and open. This promotes very tactical game play and makes for matches that go back and forth, rather than one side gaining an advantage and steam rolling the other team.
The leveling system is a bit brutal, and with it unlocking new weapons can take a while. Personally I like that I find myself getting picked off by a Kar-98 more often than I get mowed down by an MG42. WW2 games like World at War had me believing that the Germans were issuing every soldier a Machine gun and a rocket launcher to match. Heroes and Generals keeps this under control by only allowing a certain number of each type of weapon on the field. No MG slots open, that sucks, grab yourself a rifle and get out there.
The second side of the game is the strategy game where a General plays a real time strategy game. I have not yet gotten to this point so I really can’t tell you much. What I do know is that Generals as the strategy players are called play what amounts to a game of Risk across Europe, sending resources to various points on the map in hopes of capturing strategic points. These resources allow players of the first person shooter side to spawn onto the battle field and fight for their side.
While this may sound like an awesome idea for a game, it is. By that I mean it is still really an idea, the game does work, more or less, and there is a decent player base. There are two major flaws holding it back, graphics and lag.
The graphics leave a lot to be desired especially in a game that tries to promote longer engagement distances. I will fully admit that I have wasted more than a few clips on set pieces that were only 100 yards away. This may add realism for some but the “fog of war” seems to be used to hide the fact that the graphics are just not as polished as they should be.
The picture above is the game set to the highest resolution. As you can see it looks OK, not great but OK. Keep in mind that the hazy trees in the upper are only about 150 yards away. While it does lend itself to a more realistic interpretation of war, I find it annoying at best.
The second is the lag, and boy is it a lot of lag. One could easily argue I should get a better internet connection, to them I say, there isn't a better internet connection, not unless I decide to get a business level connection. The lag is server side, and one just gets the feeling that Reto-Moto just does not have the resources needed to support the game even in beta like it is now. Yes this is a beta but a 30 player map should not lag like it’s 1995.
This game has promise, it is a great idea, but it is just not there yet. It will need work before I am willing to put any money into the item store. I love the idea but the company seems more interested in new content rather than fixing the game itself. I will give this one a 6 out of 10 for now, and keep looking.