HEROES AND GENERALS
RETO-MOTO $0-Free to Play
WORLD WAR II RATING: 3/5
THE BASICS: Heroes and Generals is a free online first-person shooter. Players control an infantryman from the United States, Soviet Union, or Germany in World War II. Various combat units, including paratroopers or reconnaissance, can be selected. Players connect with other players to form squads and conduct tactical-level operations. Players have to pay to operate more advanced features, like tanks and aircraft.
THE OBJECTIVE: Objectives vary and are largely determined by players with the rank of general, who can direct the group’s actions. Players control a grunt first and gain experience for promotions. Most missions revolve around controlling a key piece of terrain and are designed to create even gameplay for online players operating in teams, rather than to reflect realistic wartime battles. Teamwork is essential for success.
HISTORICAL ACCURACY: The graphics are fantastic, and contain accurate depictions of uniforms, terrain, vehicles, camouflage, and more. Players can choose from a variety of weapons, vehicles, and aircraft. Aside from that, the game is not especially engaging and can quickly become a bland first-person shooter. While it looks like World War II, gameplay feels as if it could be any war.
THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY: Heroes and Generals is meant for fast play and action. There is little room for strategy, and not much to do besides destroy opposing players. Players will use cover, move against flanks, and in some cases find good sniper locations. Enemy tanks and aircraft are far too interested in killing a single player than engaging other tanks or covering an attack.
PLAYABILITY: The game is fast paced, and fighting against other online teams is exciting. Players can return again and again, each time playing something different.
THE BOTTOM LINE: If first-person shooter games appeal to you, you will like this one with its distinctive World War II appearance. But if you are looking for a realistic simulation of wartime combat, Heroes and Generals will disappoint.
—Chris Ketcherside, a former Marine, is working on a PhD in military history.
This review was originally published in the March/April 2017 issue of World War II magazine. Subscribe here.