Every time Blizzard announces that they are working on something new, gaming community doesn’t expect anything less than stellar product. Up until Diablo III, Irvine giant met all of these high expectations impressing both the critics and the gamers as well. And although, third chapter in this franchise got great reviews and made tone of money, Blizzard, probably for the first time in recent history, faced some vocal backlash from loyal fans concerning always-online DRM and other iffy moves. Ok, they are not beyond mistakes, so what? They still make great games. Keep that positive attitude, they did it again with Heroes of the Storm.
MOBA for the masses
If you think for a while, Blizzard never invented anything new. But, when they make a twist on someone else’s body of work they polish the hell out of that idea. It is interesting, therefore, to see how they handle their first outing in the MOBA genre, which originated in their own backyard. From the gameplay perspective, as gracefully as ever. Heroes of the Storm is set in the world where the familiar heroes of WarCraft, StarCraft and Diablo (throw in some Lost Vikings too) clash in fast and furious online 5 on 5 matches and where MOBA experience is accessible as it can be. Featuring 37 well-balanced heroes divided in three standard groups of Warrior, Assassin and Support, with the addition of Specialist class, 7 unique maps, top notch production values and stylized, very hardware friendly visuals, which once again manage to capture all the positive multiplayer on-screen madness without ever fully descending into chaos, we are talking about quality product here. Interestingly, matches are very objective based and the game, with respect to its legacy, sometimes plays more like action based clash of familiar Blizzard heroes (hence the tag Hero Brawler), which makes it more appealing to mainstream audience, but it is essentially well-made and streamlined MOBA and that is all that matters. It’s not however spared of some dubious decisions, like shared experience system which doesn’t allow players to shine individually if the rest of the team is lagging, curious absence of in-game item store and limiting talent system, which encourages grind rather than quick matches.
Is it worth your money?
Considering the fact that it’s a free-to-play, we must say one enthusiastic yes, but don’t worry, Blizzard will find a way to take your money. Heroes of the Storm is a very micro-transactions heavy game. While you are not obliged to spend anything, your alternative will be a lot of hours spent in grinding, so make your choice. Price of one hero is, for example, around 10$, while entirety of unlockable content is valued around 180$, which translates to 3 AAA games. But, considering that even those games are pandering same policy, it’s not that bad.
CPU: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo or AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 5600+
RAM: 2 GB
OS: Windows XP/Windows Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT, ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT, or Intel HD Graphics 3000
Free Disk Space: 10 GB
People will be tempted to bash this game, for its sporadic flaws we only scratched in the review and they will probably be corrected in patches to come. This is one of the most debatable Blizzard games yet. But, if you are ready to enjoy it for its strengths you will be rewarded with experience that is sometimes flawed, but very good and innovative nevertheless. 7.5/10