Heroes & Generals Come Out to Play Trailer

Reto-Moto unveiled an interesting new trailer for Heroes & Generals today that shows off developers and community members playing the game and just having a great time in general.

[yotuube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoohC7IwIH8]

Heroes & Generals is a free-to-play persistent online wargame that is playable in a standard PC browser by utilizing the powerful Retox engine. The game is both a heavy strategy game as well as a first person shooter. And will be available later this year.

As someone who played the alpha of Heroes & Generals, I can safely say that this game has heaps of potential and will definitely be a blast to play for those who enjoy shooters. I’ve made a few posts on Heroes & Generals in the past, so poke around a bit if you’re interested in reading more about this game.

Advertisements

Heroes & Generals Info Round-Up

Heroes & Generals is inevitably getting closer and closer to completion, so it only seems fair to spread word of the game a little more!

It is nothing that Heroes & Generals is being made by Reto-Moto, a team that used to be a part of Eidos and was an essential factor in the development of the Hitman series. Reto-Moto is no longer a part of Eidos anymore and are trying to establish a new identity for themselves. Heroes & Generals, a massively ambitious free to play strategy/shooter, looks to be how they intend on establishing that identity. According to Reto-Moto, Heroes & Generals is as follows.

Heroes & Generals is a Free2Play Massive Online FPS with a Strategic Multiplayer Campaign that takes place in the European theater of war during World War II where Axis and Allies fight for control. Players can choose to play as ‘Heroes’ fighting in the trenches or take a step back and manage battlefield assets, amy units and reinforcements as ‘Generals’. The war is fought out continuously across Windows, iOS and Android devices, and the result of every clash and battle alters the scope of the ongoing war campaign and might affect the final outcome. Every conflict takes place across diverse battlegrounds including contested cities, factories and airfields, each one represented on the strategic map.

The core of the game is a team-based first-person shooter. The player can engage in combat using a variety of customizable weapons and vehicles such as tanks and fighter planes. The game is classless and instead the characters’ equipment determine what type of soldier they will play as. For example putting on a pilot suit will make the character a pilot, but at the same time limit their weapon selection to smaller firearms that can fit in a cockpit.

Each battle in the Action Game is played in a single instance where players fight each other in one of a variety of maps ranging from huge open battlefields covered in trenches to small contested cities with intense close quarters combat. Each map features multiple game modes.

The Action Game can be played alone or in groups called Assault Teams. Assault Teams can be customized and upgraded with special equipment that benefits the entire group and gives the leading ‘General’ a greater chance of success on The Strategic Layer.

The action-game extends into a strategic top layer that binds the individual FPS sessions into a larger war. On the strategic level players are able to command other players or entire groups in Assault Teams into combat. On top of that the strategic players have to manage resources and reinforcements in order to secure key locations on the battle map.

Each part of the game can be played separately and are designed to be enjoyable for everyone no matter how deeply they wish to be involved in the war. Heroes & Generals unique combination of FPS and Strategy gameplay allows players to participate in the grand online war at hugely different levels. Once-a-week FPS gamers can play alongside hardcore 10-hours-aday master strategists, and all players play their role in the grand war.

Heroes & Generals is a Free2Play game and offers a rich experience for everyone who plays the game. Players can choose to spend in-game credits on special upgrades for the players personal characters (Personal F2P) or their Assault Teams giving benefits to other players as well (Social F2P). In-game credits can be earned by being active in the game, completing FPS missions and controlling Assault Teams, or they can be purchased with real world money.

Reto-Moto strives to make a balanced design in all the game-influencing items. One example is the Weapon Modification system: All weapon modifiers will be balanced, so that you may choose to increase, for instance, precision for a weapon, but at the cost of decreasing, for instance, range. This means that you’ll not be able to get one golden super-weapon which is just better than all other weapons, but instead you’ll have an extremely specialized weapon, which is really good at certain things.

There will also be an perk-system where you, based on your actions, can earn Ribbons, which can be combined into Badges. Badges will give you certain perks, but you can only wear a few Badges at the time. Ribbons and Badges cannot be bought for any currency though.

Reto-Moto also offer a Premium Subscription to accommodate wishes of having an all-inclusive package, where you earn in-game credits at an increased rate, all your characters can wear two combat badges instead of one, you earn combat ribbons and badges faster, and more.

Heroes & Generals is build for multiple platforms all connected to the same massive universe. The action part of the game is playable on PC, and the strategy part of the game is accessible on PC and iOS/Android through the free app Heroes & Generals: Mobile Command. In the first version of the app, players will be able to get a live overview of the Campaign showing enemy and friendly Assault Teams movements, and the build-in chat client they allows them to stay in touch with their brothers in arms 24/7 from virtually anywhere. In the next version of Heroes & Generals: Mobile Command players will be able to move and manage Assault Teams in the app as well.

The Action part of Heroes & Generals is powered by the custom build Retox engine. The graphics engine is designed specifically towards online gameplay minimizing downloads and supporting frequent updates. Retox offers full blown AAA graphics and is capable of running in a web browser (IE, Chrome and Firefox supported) using DX11 for high end PC’s and DX9 for lower spec PC’s.

I was invited to try out an alpha version of Heroes & Generals. I’d like to say that I played the heck out of this game and have a lot of info for my readers, but unfortunately my schedule has been incredibly hectic this week. To top it off, Heroes & Generals is predominantly a first person shooter which isn’t my preferred genre of choice. Let’s just say that the whole “couldn’t hit the blind side of a barn” analogy very much applies to me in shooters. I’m just plain bad at them when it comes to facing off against other humans, which is precisely what this ambitious game is all about.

Heroes & Generals, a 3D shooter with strategy elements is, surprisingly, played in your browser. The developers advised me that the alpha version that I was going to try would likely be unstable and that errors were to be expected, but fortunately I didn’t encounter a single problem of any kind while playing which reflects quite positively on Reto-Moto. Despite the early stage of development that this game is in, it’s still quite playable. The full game, which will be free to play, will probably be quite robust.

Unfortunately I didn’t spend a great deal of time with the strategy side of Heroes & Generals, which involves moving units across a map of Western Europe to dictate advances as you fight for power. When opposing sides (Allied Forces and Axis Forces) meet on the map, a first person shooter conflict ensues. I opted to mostly immerse myself in the first person shooter aspect of the game. The first location I selected to spawn in was originally deserted, so I had a few moments to configure my controls and video settings. It is worth noting that Heroes & Generals is surprisingly customizable for a browser game. While it obviously does not have graphics that rival current generation shooters, it looks very nice for something that is free to play. I was very surprised by the draw distance in this game, as I was able to spot other players from quite a distance.

Once several players on both teams spawn in a game, things can get quite interesting. There are many areas to hide in and get the jump on opponents, and I found the maps in Heroes & Generals to have far more strategic locations to use to your advantage than many retail shooters such as those found in the Call of Duty or Battlefield games. I’m usually pretty stealthy and like to lurk around maps as a way to compensate for my relatively poor aiming skills, and I was very impressed to find that Heroes & Generals was very accommodating to me. I still didn’t pull off any nice kills on other players, but the whole idea of ducking and hiding among various buildings and objects littering the game world and using them to work my way into a nice and sneaky position for an ambush was still lots of fun. I expect this to be a very enjoyable game when large scale battles occur.

Reto-Moto held a gaming session with those who they designated as media/press. Unfortunately I had to tend to personal matters and couldn’t make it, so I wasn’t able to get their insight on the game. Regardless, it’s clear that they are putting a lot of love into this game and it certainly shows. Provided word of this game gets around, I expect Heroes & Generals to have a pretty devout and faithful following when it is ready for public release.

Watch for Heroes & Generals to be released and free to play later this year.

Minimum System Requirements:
● 2GHz CPU w. SSE3 instruction set- dual-core recommended
● 1.5 GB RAM – 2 or more recommended
● ATI HD 2600 or above (with >256mb RAM)
● Nvidia 8600GT or above (with >256mb RAM)
● Windows XP, Vista or 7

Heroes & Generals Preview

I was recently invited to try out an alpha version of Heroes & Generals because, surprisingly, I somehow count as press now. I’d like to say that I played the heck out of this game and have a lot of info for my readers, but unfortunately my schedule has been incredibly hectic this week. To top it off, Heroes & Generals is predominantly a first person shooter which isn’t my preferred genre of choice. Let’s just say that the whole “couldn’t hit the blind side of a barn” analogy very much applies to me in shooters. I’m just plain bad at them when it comes to facing off against other humans, which is precisely what this ambitious game is all about.

Heroes & Generals, a 3D shooter with strategy elements is, surprisingly, played in your browser. The developers advised me that the alpha version that I was going to try would likely be unstable and that errors were to be expected, but fortunately I didn’t encounter a single problem of any kind while playing which reflects quite positively on Reto-Moto. Despite the early stage of development that this game is in, it’s still quite playable. The full game, which will be free to play, will probably be quite robust.

Unfortunately I didn’t spend a great deal of time with the strategy side of Heroes & Generals, which involves moving units across a map of Western Europe to dictate advances as you fight for power. When opposing sides (Allied Forces and Axis Forces) meet on the map, a first person shooter conflict ensues. I opted to mostly immerse myself in the first person shooter aspect of the game. The first location I selected to spawn in was originally deserted, so I had a few moments to configure my controls and video settings. It is worth noting that Heroes & Generals is surprisingly customizable for a browser game. While it obviously does not have graphics that rival current generation shooters, it looks very nice for something that is free to play. I was very surprised by the draw distance in this game, as I was able to spot other players from quite a distance.

Once several players on both teams spawn in a game, things can get quite interesting. There are many areas to hide in and get the jump on opponents, and I found the maps in Heroes & Generals to have far more strategic locations to use to your advantage than many retail shooters such as those found in the Call of Duty or Battlefield games. I’m usually pretty stealthy and like to lurk around maps as a way to compensate for my relatively poor aiming skills, and I was very impressed to find that Heroes & Generals was very accommodating to me. I still didn’t pull off any nice kills on other players, but the whole idea of ducking and hiding among various buildings and objects littering the game world and using them to work my way into a nice and sneaky position for an ambush was still lots of fun. I expect this to be a very enjoyable game when large scale battles occur.

Reto-Moto held a gaming session with those who they designated as media/press. Unfortunately I had to tend to personal matters and couldn’t make it, so I wasn’t able to get their insight on the game. Regardless, it’s clear that they are putting a lot of love into this game and it certainly shows. Provided word of this game gets around, I expect Heroes & Generals to have a pretty devout and faithful following when it is ready for public release.

Kingdom Rush (Review)

I’m a big fan of tower defense games when they are done right. Crystal Defenders, Dungeon Defenders, and Plants vs Zombies are by far my favourites of the genre, but a little flash game known as Kingdom Rush has been giving all three a run for their money.

Kingdom Rush is, as a whole, a pretty standard tower defense game. You get four different types of towers (archer towers, artillery cannons, barracks, and mage towers) which all serve different purposes and can be upgraded as you progress through the game.

Archer towers are, naturally, posts that shoot out a steady barrage of arrows at enemies. They can hit flying enemies, which makes them a valuable asset when waves of flying baddies appear later on.

Barracks train crews of soldiers to block roads and combat any enemies that come within range. When barracks are upgraded, they train stronger soldiers. Deploying soldiers throughout the level works brilliantly as a way to stall the enemies at on certain junctions and roads. Have a stretch of road where your towers deal lots of damage? Throw some barracks down to keep the enemies there longer!

Click to enlarge.

Mage towers are pretty uninteresting early in the game, but when you unlock their final upgrades, they become very enjoyable and helpful towers that allow you to create giant golems, turn enemies into sheep, and shoot death rays. They’re a very versatile (and helpful) tower towards the end of the game.

Artillery cannons are essentially just very large cannons that deal massive area of effect damage to enemies. These towers are perhaps the most lethal in terms of raw damage, but their slow attack speed balances things out so that they aren’t terribly overpowered. This will change when you max out the upgrades on a level 4 cannon though. Once you start firing homing missiles across the map and light entire roadways on fire, you know that nothing’s going to be messing with you!

If your towers are having trouble keeping a wave at bay, you can call upon reinforcements to help you out. They have a short cooldown and can be used very often, but reinforcements are initially quite weak and are nothing but a very brief stalling tactic at the start of the game (though they work wonderfully when paired when soldiers from barracks).

Another power you can use, which has a sixty second cooldown, is the ability to rain meteors down upon your opponents. Yes, meteors. This power deals an insane amount of damage to anything it hits and, chances are that unless you are using the power on the toughest enemies in the game, you’ll kill whatever you target in one go.

Click to enlarge.

The objective is to, of course, keep the enemies from reaching the end of the road. You have twenty hearts that you have to protect and, whenever an enemy slips through your towers and reaches the end, you’ll lose one heart. Some larger enemies will force you to lose more than one. When you lose all twenty hearts, it’s game over. Ideally, you will want to finish levels with all twenty hearts which allows you to unlock bonus challenges for each level.

Whenever you beat a level, you will be awarded with upgrade points which can be spent on, of course, upgrades for your towers and special powers. Most upgrades will just increase the power and range of your towers, but the upgrades for your meteors and reinforcements are much more interesting. Max out your reinforcements and they will become tough soldiers gain the ability to throw spears at flying enemies. Fully upgraded meteors gain the awesome ability to not only rain down longer, but can randomly hit all across the map as well.

Kingdom Rush isn’t a terribly long game, having only about twelve or so levels (plus two premium levels that you must pay to unlock). If you are only playing to breeze through the game’s story then you won’t be playing for too long. However, if you are looking to beat each level as well as the two challenges for each and every one, then you’ll be busy for a long time as you will essentially be increasing the length of the game by three.

Click to enlarge.

For a flash game, Kingdom Rush is exceptionally good. The gameplay is absolutely top notch, and the graphics and sound are pretty impressive for a game of this kind. The graphics aren’t extremely advanced and are basic 2D, but there was a lot of care taken in spriting everything in this game and it shows. The music is also a lot of fun to listen to and is actually, as a whole, much more enjoyable than what I hear in quite a few commercial games.

If you’re a fan of tower defense games, then giving Kingdom Rush a try is a no brainer. Considering it’s fully free to play (though unlocking premium content costs money, as does acquiring the game on the iPad), there’s no reason for you not to try this game. An even greater incentive to try this game is the fact that the developers have promised later additions and expansions to the game. This is without a doubt one of the better flash games that I have played.

Final Score

8.5/10

Pros:
+ Bonus challenges add lots of replayability.
+ Gameplay is top notch for a tower defense game.
+ Great music and sound effects for a flash game.

Cons:
– Difficulty is not consistent throughout the game.
– Game could have been longer.
– Premium content feels tacked on.

BATracer Custom GP2 Liveries

Here is a series of GP2 format liveries that can be used in BATracer. Feel free to take any! The thumbnails you see on this page are what the liveries look like when uploaded to BATracer. To download a livery, just right click the thumbnail and select “save link as.”

Some of the cars have gibberish on them (such as “gfdhk” or “lol”) which is just meant to fill space to make the uploaded versions appear to have more detail.

This list will be updated periodically so, if you like what you see, check back later for more!

I have many other liveries completed as well. Click here to check out my GP2 Livery blog.

BATracer (Review)


“A browser-based simulation that petrol fans will eat up.”
Today I’m stepping back from console and PC video games and focusing on something very different called BATracer. While some people may not see the “game” aspect here, many people do including BATracer’s creators, hence the game’s official subtitle being “Browser Based Race Simulation.” Yes, BATracer is played entirely in your browser.

BATracer lacks the exhilarating thrill of physically driving a car around a track and instead replaces it with a page that lets you manage the settings for your car and then letting the game calculate your performance during each driving session.

How the game plays depends widely on which championship you choose to enter. There are countless ones to pick from and they are all inspired by real life racing series such as A1GP, BTCC, DTM, Formula 1, and more. Different championships require different skill levels. For example, all cars in the GP (Formula 1) championships have different performance levels and the best teams are likely to come out on top, while all cars are identical in performance in the Formula Nations (A1GP) championship.

Upon joining a championship, players get to pick their team. If the player is able to create their own team, they will be able to select their chassis, engine, team livery and name, and more. After setting the team options, the player gets to colour their helmet, choose a nationality, and select one or two driving characteristics. The characteristics are fairly important and define how you will perform under certain situations. The “wet weather warrior” characteristic will allow the player to drive extremely well in the rain, while “speed demon” will make the player drive exceptionally fast under almost all conditions, though this increases the chance of getting into accidents.

Between sessions such as practice, qualifying and race, players must perform setup changes to their car by moving sliders for various parts of the car such as downforce, brake bias, and more. Getting the best out of the car involves finding the optimum setup, which involves putting each slider on the “perfect” number. Each slider has one and the player must find the perfect number by moving the sliders and then doing a test lap. After the lap, the player’s engineer will offer suggestions on what to do with each slider, such as decreasing or increasing them. As the player gets closer and closer to the magic number, the range for each slider decreases. Sliders start at 0 to 100, but after several practice laps they usually drop down significantly. As an example, the range may be 25-40 after five or six laps, which indicates that the ideal number is between 25 and 40. The number is different for every part of the car, and finding each one is essential in getting to the top of the time sheets. Provided you have a good car and decent driver characteristics, it’s reasonable to assume that having a 100% perfect setup (all sliders on the optimum numbers) will put the player at the top of the tme table.

Perfecting your car setup is a lot of fun, especially if you’re in a championship that allows you to have team-mates, which will allow you to bounce setups off of each other and work with one another to make your have the absolute best setup it can possibly have. The only problem with this is that sometimes team-mates will stop playing during the championship season, leaving you to fend for yourself. Thankfully there is an option to give inactive players the boot.

BATracer is fairly well made for a browser game and it’s hard to fault it for much considering it’s simplistic but strategic nature. My only complaint is that the game will ultimately decide if you do well or not. BATracer is, unfortunately, a game of luck at times. It is not uncommon to be doing practice laps and then receiving a message stating that you crashed out of the session and destroyed your car. This can happen incredibly often, as well as a message that says that you pushed too hard and made mistakes on your last lap, which for some reason reduces your number of laps left by two or three most of the time. You can set yourself up to be the most conservative driver imaginable and these driving errors can and will still pop up frequently. I don’t know what sort of formula the game uses to determine if something bad happens, but if you are unlucky, then bad things will happen almost endlessly. Having disaster after disaster strike you is not very fun, even in what is supposedly a simulation. There are no options available to you to refine your car’s reliability or anything of the sort, which is just a huge kick in the teeth.

BATracer’s greatest feature, without a doubt, is the uploader. This unlocks when you make a donation to BATracer and acquire “Kool Tools” for your account. The uploader allows you to customize the game even further than you are normally allowed. While users without Kool Tools can only paint their helmets using RGB sliders, Kool Tools users are able to upload their own helmet designs that they’ve made in Photoshop or whatever. Championships with custom teams work the same way – normal users can only paint cars while Kool Tools users can upload their own liveries complete with sponsors or whatever else they stick on the design.

The top car is a normal user's GP2 car, and the bottom is one that I uploaded with my Kool Tools access.

Players who love stats will have a lot to check out here as well. BATracer keeps track of all of your accomplishments and features world rankings and more. It’s a blast to check out your worldwide rank not only in championships won, but also other little things like fastest laps and points scored.

BATracer is a hugely customizable browser game that truly comes to life and becomes something very neat when Kool Tools are unlocked. For anyone interested in browser games or simulations, this is probably worth a look.

Official BATracer Website: http://batracer.com/

Final Score

7/10

No screenshots due to this being a browser game with a mostly text-based interface.