Friday, June 12, 2015

Heroes of the Storm Review

I've never really been a particular fan of MOBA games. League of Legends, the original DotA, DotA 2, none of them ever really caught my interest. To be honest, I was convinced that the same would occur with Heroes of the Storm. I though it was a cool idea for a game, but I felt that it just wasn't the game for me. Somehow I got lucky enough to get into the beta for Heroes of the Storm and checked it out for myself. Immediately I could tell it was a much more simplified MOBA than other games that had come before, not that this is a bad thing mind you. I played a few games during the beta, and I had a blast. Now the game is out, and I anticipate that I'll be spending many an hour in this game.

Heroes of the Storm uses a wide variety of characters from various Blizzard games. You'll see recognizable characters like Jim Raynor, Kerrigan, Thrall, Jaina, Diablo, Tyrael, and many more. While the roster is nowhere near as big as other games like League of Legends or DotA 2, Blizzard does have plans to expand this gradually with more heroes over time. In fact, the Butcher from Diablo 3 will be added into the game at the end of this month along with a Diablo themed stage known as The Eternal Conflict. 

Gameplay in Heroes of the Storm is very similar to what you'd expect in a MOBA. You and four other players go down three lanes, destroy enemy defenses, and take out their main building (known as the core in this game) in order to win. Heroes of the Storm adds its own twist to the gameplay however. On every stage, there is some sort of additional objective that you can pursue. By completing this objective before your opponent does, you can turn the tide of battle in your favor. Some examples of this would be a ghostly pirate ship firing at your opponent's base or summoning a large dragon you can control to tear through minions and buildings alike. It is this extra objective that makes Heroes of the Storm stand out among other MOBA games in a way that is unique and interesting.

Typical of Blizzard games, particularly the older RTS games like Warcraft III, Blizzard has wasted no opportunities in adding in some humor into the game. The tutorial is a silly experience which is enhanced by having a variety of characters interacting with one another. Even during actual gameplay characters will interact with one another before and during the match. Of course, characters will also so a variety of amusing things when you continually click on them. A lot of the dialogue includes tongue in cheek humor in which Blizzard makes fun of certain things in their games or events that have happened. This includes a line from the would be main character of the doomed Starcraft: Ghost, making a joke that gets “put on hold indefinitely” or Falstad referencing the infamous Red Shirt guy from Blizzcon a few years back.

I personally have been having a blast with this game, but I know that it is certainly not for everyone. Fans of LoL, DotA 2, or any other well known MOBA will likely not lose many players to Heroes of the Storm. A lot of people won't like the more simplified, non-stalemate style of Heroes of the Storm where you don't have to worry about buying items and deal with less complex talent builds. That said, there will doubtlessly be a large playerbase that is going to make this their MOBA of choice. It may just be for the prolific cast of characters, but that is one of the things that makes Heroes of the Storm so interesting.

While Heroes of the Storm is free to play, it does feel like there is some amount of encouragement to spend real money at some point. Even if you don't buy heroes and just use whoever is part of the free roster for that week, there are boosts, skins, mounts, and other things on the store that you can buy to enhance your gameplay.  This is the good kind of Free to Play where you never feel like you are forced to buy things in order to play the game (basically almost every mobile game in existence).

Overall, Heroes of the Storm may never hold a candle to bigger MOBA games, but there is room for it to coexist peacefully and grow into a large game in its own right.

RBFB Rates Heroes of the Storm: GG (Great Game)

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