Heroes & Generals is a free to play MMOFPS which basically means it's a large scale first person shooter. Despite being made up of many conflicts and matches the game does carry an overall Grand War. This is where all matches and conflicts are fed into and it lasts seasons with each of the three involved countries; United States, Germans and Russians being a competing faction. Starting out with nothing more than a stock rifle for your faction you grind for coins and experience points during each match which will help you unlock new items. The system isn't too bad feeling very similar to World of Tanks in that regard, but it does feel much slower when it comes to getting even a decent selection of weapons. If you do manage to work through the slower ranks and playlists you will quickly see items show up with you usually having the credits to unlock them. It really is just a matter of pushing through some boring matches in order to get things flowing, but it's an odd way to start out for sure.
Being split into factions allows you to pick a certain country you'd like to initially represent and you unlock their unique weapons from there. I chose to join the German team due to some heritage aspects and that I enjoy their assortment of weapons in other World War II games. While that doesn't matter it does as you progress in the game and fight for your chosen side during the large War mode. As you level in the game you continue to unlock the various areas eventually getting your way to General which is for managing type scenarios. That's a long way off though and you'll probably spend all your time playing just as a regular soldier. In the game there are six distinct soldier types including Infantry; Tank crew, Fighter pilot, Paratrooper, Recon and General. Each plays a role during combat and you'll get to move towards these roles during your career progression.
Heroes & Generals is split into a number of modes with your first area being the Encounter playlist. This is just to get you warmed up and use to the style of combat played on a single depot map. Once you've leveled a bit you'll get access Skirmish which expands on this concept being a Domination type mode that spans three maps. This opens the game quite a bit and is much more interesting for combat. The final sort of distinct mode is the Assault playlist that includes five maps and is the most complex in terms of objectives. It's an attack and defend sort of scenario with teams pushing for objectives. This was probably my favorite mode aside from the scale of maps being an issue and that it was hard to move forward most of the time.
Being a first person shooter everyone should at this point know what to expect. The game is decently balanced in terms of weapons though rifle combat trumps all. Switching over to a machine gun has had some benefits though with the large amount of damage players can take the rifles are typically used for all distances of combat. This also makes sense as maps are vast in scale being absolutely massive. While this might sound appealing to some it lacks enough vehicle presence to make this distance acceptable. Instead of quick combat happening you have to walk for a long time and you'll mostly just get sniped by attempting to cross the many just open areas. It doesn't effectively use lanes of combat at times and it can be really boring to just walk all the time. If you're luck you'll grab a team jeep which is great, though the real magic of the game lies with the bicycles. This game has one of the most oddly realistic biking systems in any game with it being too authentic. You can even grab a friend to ride on the back and there's something just hilarious about seeing soldiers biking everywhere.
The world looks decent and is about what I'd expect out of a free to play title though it doesn't quite shine as many games do these days. It looks fine with a fair amount of detail and grit within the environments, but doesn't get any better than that. With that I'd say it looks about average though by having that it is easier to run. I was also a bit disappointed by the lack of destruction elements seen in many shooters these days as you basically get caught up on objects and it would have been nice to see some damaging aspects in the environments. The weapons feel like the most authentic part of the experience with many variations, models and attachments. These are unlocked like I mentioned before by just basically playing and then using credits to unlock them. You'll also need to repair the weapons as well over time with credits so be sure to watch out for that.
Heroes & Generals does a great job of presenting authentic World War II combat and allowing players to battle it out in huge theaters of war. There's a great amount of depth available in the selection of weapons, attachments and unlocks you gain by playing. With the free to play aspects I felt the game could have been a bit less grindy as you need to really work for every unlock though nothing that prevents you from accessing any of the content. There are also a wide selection of maps to play on though I found these too large resulting in a lengthy amount of walking to combat. That does make the spawning good as you get thrown out to the side in zones, it's just a pain to travel as you typically don't last long in combat. It's definitely a solid free to play shooter and I felt it captured the World War II genre well for something that costs you nothing.
Review Done on Heroes and Generals for PC
Review Code provided by Reto-Moto
Received reviewer package including three days premium along with a small amount of silver and gold.