We did not realise how many people you could fit in a vehicle in Heroes and Generals until everyone piled in.
We did not realise how many people you could fit in a vehicle in Heroes and Generals until everyone piled in.
Just a quick video to show our attempts at flying under the bridges in the map involving the church and police station. Having made it the first time in a dog fight I thought I would record it. Needless to say under the pressure I fluffed it! But landing in water seems to not harm you or the plane just grounds (or perhaps waters) you.
After a few rounds of Heroes and Generals I was given the opportunity to become a pilot and fly around the battlefield. Obviously, I took said opportunity!
I will admit that it took awhile to get used to and there is no tutorial offering you controls but you can find them here (or on the wiki)…
|Fire Weapon||Left Mouse Button|
|Orbit Plane In 3rd Person||Right Mouse Button (hold)|
|Use WASD As Flight Stick||CTRL (hold)|
So after crashing a few times I go the hang of it, I would never say I am good but I got the hang of it. I also realised there were two jobs that you had to do. Kill planes (“dog fighting”) and bombing the opposition. Although I will say both of these are made very difficult by fog.
I am actually looking at trees, buildings and a landscape that is approaching awfully quickly. This made shooting down planes or bombing enemy tanks a pain. It would have been easier if the infantry were assisting better but more on that later! An image below shows what I should have seen…
Before we get onto the gameplay aspect of flying I would like to say just how pretty this game is (again! see our original post here). Lens flare, impressively realistic looking clouds, explosions all mixed with the droning of your aircraft make it an immersive experience. I was also impressed by the attention to detail; when you brake the vents at your exhausts flare out. A small animation but much appreciated!
I will admit this is the part I enjoy more and the part I am better at. Finding other planes is fairly straight forward as the image below shows that they stand our quite stark against the sky.
So, you have spotted your opponent and now you need to get behind him (or her!). Which seems relatively easy as avoiding enemy planes seems to be a tricky endeavour. Unlike modern aircraft you only have a machine gun equipped to your plane so you have to score a heck of a lot of hits to bring down your opponent. The planes fly as you expect WWII planes to fly. Which is to say they are nowhere near as responsive as in games such as Battlefield or perhaps HAWX (the original not the second). So avoiding opponents is tricky… a few riskier moves involving aiming directly up, braking and stalling which will cause your chaser to overshoot and you can get them… unless you fall out of the sky! Otherwise, twisting, turning and flying dangerously (between smoke stacks, trees and the like) seem to be your best option.
Unfortunately as you don’t kill your opponent quickly they have plenty of time to exit their aircraft. Which means you shoot down the enemy plane with no kill points and no extra vehicle kill points. This is a real pain as chasing down an opponent takes a while and you gain no reward!
The other job of the pilot is to take out the enemy tanks and vehicles. This however is easier said then done! As you race across the skies it can be difficult to spot tanks, vehicles or infantry and when you do often you’ve flown by and have missed the opportunity to bomb them.
Unfortunately not enough people here take the time to spot enemy vehicles. It would be far simpler to bomb tanks if a friendly red “enemy spotted” guided you! It would even make bombing runs possible in foggy conditions. The bombs have a gratifyingly large area of effect however.
Although your plane (understandably) only holds two bombs which take an age to resupply. You can however after achieving the tactical bomber ribbon (level 4) unlock a perk to gain more bombs.
Aside from planes you have a more general foe. The anti aircraft guns that always seem to be in the hands of your opponent. When your plane goes down and you bail out you are left (unless you have bought or changed weapons) with a knife. That is it. I did manage to stab and kill the first guy I came across but that was certainly beginners luck! On my final flight (your squad runs out of spawns very quickly) I approached an anti air gun to get my revenge only to find it had no more ammo!
Unfortunately the high rate at which fighter pilots are expended means that many of the matches you participate in will end rather quickly as you can no longer respawn. If this happens you don’t receive any battle credits for your participation.
We’ve enjoyed our experience flying but as you can read above there are still some issues to work out!
(P.S. Having a mouse with changeable dpi / sensitivity helps no end when flying your plane! Our top tip!)
The primary issue that many people were facing when playing (or trying) to play this game was accessing the game servers. After countless time outs and other issues you could eventually get into the browser side of things. These issues are discussed more thoroughly here:
Luckily many of these problems were solved when they started a queuing system and allowing only a few onto the servers at the time. Very sensible! If somewhat annoying and the game loses some of its casual nature seeming as you have to wait for up to an hour or more to work your way through the queue of 8000+ players!
Otherwise apart from the queuing boredom the game works a lot better! (Although one particular evening the random game system did continue to place us in servers that gave us 200+ ping. Usually this latency isn’t horrendous but let me tell you… in H&G it makes it almost unplayable).
There is an issue with the balancing of matches though. Having chosen the US for this particular war I found myself with a bunch of new players (each new “war” seems to reset your weapons… or perhaps my German counterpart is still well equipped, we will get back to you!) lacking anti-tank weaponry or tanks for themselves. After a few successful captures a handful of German tanks come rolling up the hill and annihilate EVERYONE. We lose every capture point and are driven back to our main base. Which we eventually lost.
This is frustrating in itself but it seemed that most people lacked even the most basic concepts of tactics, strategy or even common sense. We couldn’t kill the tanks so it is best to ignore them (the safest place is beside said tank as the turrets can’t reach you!) and we should do what we were sent to do. CAPTURE THE POINTS.
But for some reason the majority of soldiers decided it would be sensible to play a game of cat and mouse with the tanks or stay at base and snipe away with their unscoped rifles. Myself (and all credit to a couple of others who also tried) I tried to run or sneak to the next capture point and try and take it. This works charmingly well as the majority of Germans are too busy crashing about in their tanks to take notice. But it only works for so long and luck can be only in your favour for so long!
Having killed the handful of Germans trying to prevent me from neutralising the point my luck eventually ran out and I had a grenade thrown into my face. What puzzled and frustrated me is that if I, one man, and a not fantastic fps player at that could achieve this then why wasn’t anyone else trying? Or even a group of us! It boggled the mind.
It wasn’t as if it was difficult to get near the points! One map has our spawn directly in the line of sight of the next highly defensible capture point (walls and crows nests for snipers) and I casually sauntered my way in the open on a bicycle having no opposition! Even in the capture point there was only one defender. (Again luck was against me and 3 vs 1 later meant I was never going to come out on top of that!)
This game has massive potential once everything calms down server side I just hope that people with a reasonable amount of brain cells join me in the next few battles!
(P.S. There is also no points from an “assist kill” so only last hits count! Hmm!)
Perhaps less people are trying to access the servers at the moment or perhaps Reto Moto have made some improvements but we finally got into the game! And we are glad we did! Don’t get me wrong it still took a good solid 20 minutes to log in to the browser side of things but fortunately once it had there were no issues. The interface you are greeted with is clearly laid out and feels intuitive, a good solid design.
It is inexorably simple to jump into a game at this point, you click “enter combat” and are given the opportunity to manually search for a server or be randomly placed in an appropriate mission. After playing a few “random” games we were pleasantly surprised to find the process worked well and we were never matched with pros or on servers where our latency was horrendous (a couple were hit and miss but most were flawless). The H&G forums hint at issues with this part of the process but we found it to work alright! Although perhaps we were lucky.
Once you’ve waited a couple of minutes for matchmaking you load into the game (which is surprisingly speedy!) you have to pick your spawn and jump into the action.
Once you have spawned you now have to dash to the nearest capture point. It would seem the primary (if only game mode) currently is a point capture system similar to most other FPS titles of the ilk. The spawn points feel like a goodly distance away. Not so far you are bored of running or finding yourself spending most of your time commuting but the not too close that each point is constantly spammed. The HUD is simple and clean and show you all the detail of any other FPS, stamina and health in the bottom left, current weapon and ammo in the bottom right. The scoring system works on a ticketing system with majority control of points earning you a greater amount of tickets.
From your spawn are a collection of vehicles. Namely the jeep and a handful of bicycles. Bicycles are a quirky addition that we enjoyed and believe it or not they can carry two people! It is interesting to see this addition and for the humble bicycle to be recognised as a fairly important transport in WWII!
As you can see from the above video there is still work to be done on vehicles though! As they often glitch randomly or clip into things. It is a beta though so we forgive Reto Moto at this point. As with every other game of this type once you are at a control point, as long as you have more soldiers at the location compared to the opposing team you start to neutralise and then capture each point. Fairly standard.
What we really enjoyed about this game is the necessity for strategy to win a match (we never won and apparently the Germans have a hard time of things most matches! We are not sure if there is an imbalance somewhere or just bad players pick this side…). In one of our matches we kept to the shadows, kept to the trees and cautiously made our way (after capturing the initial point) to the second. Flanking the enemy base we moved from tree to tree and patiently waited for the opponent to reveal themselves and started picking them off.
As you can see from the above screenshot I wasn’t doing too badly! I have played a lot of FPS games but I am by no means a pro. Playing smart seems to win you points in this game. Unfortunately we did lose this round (although I am pleased to say I came top of the score board… even with a shoddy accuracy). I feel that if you were to have a handful of coordinated squads on vent or skype you would dominated these matches easily.
After your battle report the game closes and you come back to the browser portion of the game. You are awarded various currencies, ribbons and medals depending on how well you have done. We were pleased to see that the buying processes and the weapon modifications were described by handy tutorials (handy but slightly annoying in that you seemed to HAVE to do them to progress).
The game, for a beta, works fairly smoothly. Yes there will be bugs but it is free to play! And for those complaining about the high loads and the server issues I feel that you need to think it through a little more. Yes you can not play a game you are enjoying. But more players = more money for Reto Moto = a better game for everyone! If you have enjoyed your time with this game just be patient and you’ll be rewarded.
We look forward to playing more!
Having seen some buzz online about this game I decided to check it out. It looked like a solid online fps, looked and played like the original Call of Duty and expansions (arguably one of the better?) and to top it all off… it is free (ish!).
The above screen is the attractive loading screen. At the moment it is the ONLY screen that many users can see as server load is ridiculously high. At times it may appear you have progress but no! It isn’t to be and instead you a greeted with a display “server not responding” and you are offered the chance to look at a debug screen that, may give you a lot of info, does not really help us client side!
After trying for a good half an hour to log in the servers were taken down. Sensible! As they would hopefully be making server side adjustments (or capacity increases). So I played Civ 5.
After a few hours the servers came back up and I logged in, no problems, even got into a game! No problems. It looked pretty, it was playing well. I was being given a backy on the back of a 1940s bicycle to the nearest battle (bikes, planes, tanks and jeeps all available).
I killed three in quick succession from a sneaky prone position and then…
The lag hit me. I wasn’t prepared. I wasn’t ready.
I couldn’t do anything, I was rubber banding all over the place, bullets were missing everyone. So I thought, ok, maybe I’m connected to a far a way server, I’ll give it another go.
I gave up when the above hit 15 minutes. Perhaps impatient of me but I then tried to log back in… a further mistake! I am currently writing this post whilst vainly trying to relog.
The style of the game is a fps browser launched game, similar to that of Battlefield Heroes or Battlefield 3 to some degree. You unlock better weapons, better vehicles and better gear with experience. You earn a currency simply by playing and you can also buy (with real money) upgrades and perks for each of your soldiers.
Having read on the forums “after the Yogscast videos the peak times now had 5 times as many players” I am not surprised they are having server issues. It is a pain, but understandable.
We look forward to playing the game when it works and we will update you when we get a decent chance to play!
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