Heroes over Europe (HoE) is an all new WWII air combat simulator brought to you by Transmission Games and Ubisoft. "Heroes" is your typical fly’n’shoot single player game, please 4 different online modes supporting up to 16 players total.
Ubisoft's submission into the flight-sim market is likely a decision they should have considered making earlier, especially with the similar timed release of IL-2 Sturmovik. Releasing a game this weak in playability at the same time as a game of immeasurable quality as IL-2 was really a silly move. The main market for this game might be for those that prefer to re-enact their flyboy fantasies without worrying about how to actually fly a plane. The missions border on ludicrous and seem born from the fantasies of the developers and not from real word facts, which is a shame when you market this game the way it was. Seriously, did they really think pilots spent time shooting freakin’ sea-mines so ships can make harbour? Probably the single most frustrating video game experience I have ever had.
Graphically the game is far less superior than IL-2. Not saying the graphics are terrible, as they do very well at filling the scenery on some levels with massive 3-D cities, nice lighting and cool weather effects. Comparatively though, when playing after IL-2, you almost feel like this is still in beta and needs some good polishing. I had some serious pop-in issues, jaggy lines and bugginess that would make my HUD appear and disappear ...mainly disappear. My other may bitch about the game is the viewing angle. Who makes a flight game where you can’t get into the cockpit?! I want to see the stick; I want to see the rounds flashing by my canopy! I am sure I am not the only one feeling this but a 3rd person view makes me feel much more detached from this type of game. The voice acting and music is terrible. I am not even going to talk about it kinda terrible. At least we Canadians get a mention, even if the character we play is an American faking being Canadian.
Putting on the Sadface
The next fail in my humble opinion is the “Ace Kill” system. This is a system where you line up behind the Knatzi, wait for a meter to fill and then activate your Ace Kill. Once activate you can target a specific part of the plane and one shot one kill it. This may sound fun but trust me, after chaining a few together it gets old, and kinda feels like cheating /Sadface. There may be a market for people who enjoy arcade style flight sims, but I think the main target audience will not like this feature.
The next fail is the flight modeling. Oh sure the planes look sweet, I mean man who wouldn’t want to wipe around in a Spitfire and shot huge satisfying holes in BF-109’s? That part is all fine and dandy, but seriously, throw that plane into a serious “high gee” nose over, think you can stall it? Go ahead and try. The planes are more like cars, they don’t stall, rarely spin and take insane amounts of damage. Oh and apparently the sea is soft and planes bounce off of it. Weeeeeeeee! I’d talk about the multi-player but each time I tried there wasn’t one other person playing, I wonder why??
Another annoying point is yet again another game with an antiquated save system. Why should I play for hours to reach a save point especially if I don’t want to play anymore? The checkpoint system, if done well is OK but in this game it fails. Case in point, playing the Dover Harbour mission. I fly to the RAF radar towers, then out the ships and get bounced by the Germans. Cool, head back to protect Dover and stop the oil from getting blowed up. I played for a good 45 minutes when I lost the HUD (see above). I decided to quit and restart my 360 to get the HUD back. That’s when I discovered that the saves only could at level completion and not checkpoints. L.A.M.E. and frustrating beyond belief. Listen up developers. We aren’t all hardcore gamers, some of us have lives. Build in the ability to save whenever PLEASE. I digress.
Call it sour grapes, or just me being picky, but if are going to market a game based on the factual history of World War 2 then maybe you could show me the footage of RAF pilots flying at street level in Berlin or the aforementioned mine clearing Spitfires. I’m not sure where Ubi and Transmission went wrong, but with Ubi’s experience on Blazing Angels, one would have expected better with a power name like Ubisoft stamped on the title. If the thought of realistic flight modeling, amazing graphics and gameplay, and historical fact scare you, then this budget game might be up your alley. Not up mine, I’ll see you in the blue skies in IL-2.
Reviewed by Spoon | 09.25.09
- easy to get into
- several types of multiplayer
- shooting knatzi’s!
- gotta love the spitfires!
- terrible voiceovers
- questionable flight physics
- noone playing online
- repetitive game play.
- lots of glitches
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