EA Is Closing The Only F2P Game I Ever Loved

EA Is Closing The Only F2P Game I Ever Loved

While most free-to-play games are garbage, regardless of the platform, sometimes one of them sneaks past your defences and actually finds its way into your spare time. Even I, as hostile as I am to the business practice in general, have my weaknesses.

One at the moment is Star Wars: Commander, which is a terrible video game but damn it, it's so cute. My main indulgence, though, was and always will be (at least in my heart) Battlefield: Heroes.

EA has announced that the game is shutting down, and to be honest, it's been a while since I thought about it. But when it first came out in 2009, I loved this game, more than the actual Battlefield games of the time.

It was simple, it was fun, it was well-balanced, it had great maps, great vehicles, a fantastic sense of style and, most important of all, it really was free to play. At launch, the only things you ever felt you had to pay for were some weird and wonderful outfits for your Second World War-but-not-really soldiers (there were perks and items, but you never needed them to succeed or have fun).

Whenever I wonder why the hell people spend money on League of Legends, which is another game that's both fun and free, I remember Battlefield Heroes, and how I once spent $US12 (actual human dollars) to make my main character look like Sean Connery from a Bridge Too Far. And he looked good.

Of course, it wasn't long before EA ruined all the fun. A big reason people stopped talking about the game was that it soon turned into a money pit, which might have padded its books for a while but also drove away a lot of early players who had just signed up for the cool art and sweet fighter handling.

It's easy to generalise and make fun of free-to-play games — a trap I often fall into myself — but it's worth remembering at times like these that while most really are poisonous money extractors, some exist as games that are genuinely fun, and which encourage people to spend money instead of constantly demanding it.

For a short time, Battlefield Heroes was one of those games. Something I'll always be thankful for. And while the business model it initially tried to work with was quickly dumped, it's at least nice to see it live on (and prosper) in bigger games like League of Legends, DOTA 2 and Team Fortress 2.


    Maybe you should have played it more. This is 100% your fault.

    Wait... I thought this died after like, a year? O_o

    Never touched Path of Exile then?

      Enh... Couldn't see the hype. Highlights were an interesting art style that has a lot of care invested in it. The sound engineering was pretty impressive... and the skill map was interesting (if disappointingly tight-fisted). Couldn't really get excited about the core mechanics, though. Too sluggish, too tight with inventory space and mobility for selling. 'Hardcore' wheel-clamps that indicate it takes itself too seriously for what it is. On the Diablo clone spectrum I lean more toward the Torchlight side than the PoE side.

      There are other F2P ventures I'd rate MUCH higher than PoE.
      Warframe, for one.

        PoE had a real charm that I loved. I agree with everything you said, but it still felt good to me, I liked some of the rough edges, maybe it was just a quirky game I had a feeling for at the time.

          I can see why. I wish I'd had the same feeling, there's a lot to admire there in that it's indie but impressive quality, New Zealander, and its F2P is one of the most benign there is. Just the moment-to-moment got in the way for me too much.

          Games are pretty subjective, I guess.

    Everyone should have played tribes instead, dammit!

    Although, to be fair, bf heroes was pretty fresh after all of the grey shooters. Shame it was shallow, laggy, and full of hackers.

    So correct me if I'm wrong, but it's basically TF2 with vehicles? The art style and general game mechanics (a not-so-serious war game) look very similar.... even the character classes; Soldier = Soldier, Commando = Spy, Gunner = Demoman

    I thought it was good in beta. Once they opened it up and put in place the pay to win store it was shit. I would have liked to pay for stuff but, it was so un-fun if you didn't buy a weapon straight away that I decided I didn't wan't to start buying shit just to work out if I wanted to keep playing.

    All they had to do is make one anti tank weapon free. There was a lot of people bitching about that at the time.

    Would love to see if it made any dorras for them?

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