Battlefield Heroes Game Poster Image

Battlefield Heroes

(i)

 

Free-to-play online shooter is cartoonish but still violent.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This game makes war feel like a Saturday morning cartoon. It doesn’t feel nearly as cold or brutal as other, grittier shooters, but bear in mind that it is still quite violent and that it makes light of a serious subject: war.

Positive role models

Players can create soldiers in two armies clearly designed to evoke the American and German forces of the Second World War. One side is depicted as buff, tanned, and stereotypically Western, while the other has characters with angular faces and dark uniforms. Both sides engage in violence with equal zest.

Ease of play

The controls are traditional for a PC-based third-person shooter and ought to be easy for players new to the genre to pick up.

Violence

This game is brimming with cartoonish violence. Players use a wide variety of firearms, including machine guns, rifles, and pistols, and have access to specialty items, like grenades composed of sticks of dynamite. They can also man emplaced guns and pilot planes, tanks, and jeeps, which can be used to shoot and ram enemies. There is no blood or gore; characters simply fall down and disappear when killed.

Sex

Not an issue.

Language

No profanity has been coded into the game, but creative players could potentially find ways around the automatically monitored text messaging system and send out misspelled obscenities easily recognized for what they are.

Consumerism

This game is part of Electronic Arts’ popular Battlefield franchise, and by offering this downloadable game for free, it helps to promote the franchise. It monetizes by offering micro-transactions. So while it is free, it is also marketing during the game. However, you don't need these microtransactions to grow your character.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One of the virtual items players can purchase is a “chocolate cigarette.” Plus, a fake banner ad with the message “Drunkenness not allowed” appears in the web interface prior to starting the game.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a free downloadable third-person shooter for Windows PCs. The only obstacle placed before children trying to access the game is an “age gate” -- a dialogue box that simply asks players to enter their birth date (which can be easily fudged) before granting access to the software. This could be problematic, since it’s not a game for young kids. Though it has a cartoonish aesthetic and sense of humor that makes it seem less cold or brutal than many other military-themed shooters, players still spend most of their time using a wide variety of guns, explosives, and vehicles to kill enemies. There is no blood, but the violence is nearly constant. Note, too, that the game supports online text chat, which means players could be subjected to inappropriate language and messages.

What's it about?

BATTLEFIELD HEROES is an online third-person shooter that has players creating a character, choosing weapons and abilities, and then venturing out into large maps filled with working vehicles and gun turrets. It has much in common with other games in the Battlefield series, right down to the core objective of capturing and holding strategic points of the map. That said, it has a sense of humor lacking from previous entries in the series. In fact, thanks to a cartoonish aesthetic -- complete with goofy character costumes and animations -- and some outlandish abilities, like being able to sit on the wing of a plane while it’s in flight, the action is sometimes downright light-hearted. This game has been released under EA’s new Play 4 Free business model, which means it is completely free; there are no registration or subscription fees. And while there is a store that sells virtual items such as equipment and clothing, players need not make any so-called “micro-transactions” to grow their characters and remain competitive in the game. Most of these items can be purchased with points earned simply by playing.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Even if it weren’t free, Battlefield Heroes would still be easy to recommend. From its impressive cel-shaded graphics to its surprisingly deep character customization options, it feels more professional and polished than many boxed retail games. Plus, it sports a decidedly light-hearted atmosphere -- a rarity for a military-themed game. That’s not to say that it’s a good choice for pre-teens -- players still spend much of their time engaged in activities such as shooting and driving over enemies -- but the Loony Tunes-ish vibe makes it a good choice for older players hankering to play a shooter without the blood and gore typically associated with the genre. The only real issues we encountered while playing were technical in nature. With over a million players currently slamming EA's Battlefield Heroes servers, it can be difficult to join a game. And even if you do manage to get in, play is often bogged down by excessive lag. However, assuming EA can remedy its server problems, this is one shooter worth checking out -- all the more because it doesn’t cost so much as a penny.

Online interaction: Players play in teams and communicate with one another via a text message system designed to automatically weed out common spellings of popular obscenities. However, the system doesn’t stop words with creative spellings or clean but abusive messages.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how Battlefield Heroes’ cartoonish and light-hearted artistic design makes it feel less gritty than many other shooters, despite the fact that it shares the same basic objectives, mechanics, and controls as most games in its genre. Do you think graphics alone can have an impact on the age appropriateness of a game? Do you feel that this game has been properly rated by the ESRB?

  • Families can also discuss the appeal of free-to-play games and the micro-transaction systems that typically go along with them. If you really enjoy a free game, are you more likely to spend money on virtual items? Do you feel like you are at a disadvantage without them? Did you feel the need to buy virtual items while playing Battlefield Heroes?

Game details

Platforms:Windows
Available online?Available online
Developer:Electronic Arts
Release date:June 20, 2009
Genre:Third-person shooter
ESRB rating:T for Violence, Tobacco Reference

This review of Battlefield Heroes was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Brilliant time-shifting platform game about love lost.
  • Brilliant physics-based puzzler turns player into engineer.
  • Fab family fun, with ability to create & share own puzzles.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byTIGGERFTW January 21, 2013

I'm 18, this is for parents.

My 8 year old brother plays this game and as far as the core-game content goes, kids could play this and be just fine (I'm 18 years old and I had a little bit of fun). Now when I say "core-game content," I mean the basis of what the game is. It has mild cartoon violence, but contains no blood, gore, or dramatic death scenes. However, if you look at the ratings for online games like this closely they will say something along the lines of, "content and interactions in online game play are NOT RATED by the ESRB." This is because the game's developers and the game rating agencies such as the Entertainment Software Rating Board cannot tell you how the people your children will play with online will be as appropriate as the game was intended to be. This is to say that some of these kids have a mouth on them reminiscent of R. Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket, and some might not even be kids. In the few times I've played or watched my younger brother play this game, its not long before I start to see some stars in the in game chat bar (the plus-side being the game has a censorship system and censors out all inappropriate words or phrases, any variations, and all the "tricks" people use to get around them). Similarly, you always find the guy who gets angry and calls others names, whether their intentions are malicious or in a playful nature. I know these things because I myself do it on other games. In my opinion, the most worrisome issue a parent might have would be their financial security. If your child does not use a credit/debit/etc. card to purchase credits to buy different characters, weapons, outfits, etc. in the game, then you should be fine. If your child does use one however, pay attention to your finances because you rarely should fear a hacker, you should fear your own child unknowingly purchasing things (my brother has done this). When someone says someone is "hacking" or is a "hacker" in the game, this simply means they are using something of a cheat code to get ahead in the game which is against the rules. I'm not a parent, just an observant older brother, so I can't tell you how to parent your children. I'm just here to educate.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Safety and privacy concerns
Teen, 15 years old Written byHector Lavoe January 14, 2013

A great game, realy passes the hours.

Its a great game it is a cartoon 3rd person shooter kids under 10 might want to play it but I would not advise it if they are not mature, as if they over react to someone who is better than them the community people tend to point fingers it has no blood and the guns have names like 'Tommys typewriter' these obviously based on the Tommy gun, most weapons have real life equivalents. there is three army classes so there is sure to be something they are good at. there is two armies the 'Nationals' who are based on the Germans and Russians and then there is the 'Royals' based on the Americans and the British there is nothing considered offensive (like Nazi salutes or offensive language [this is "bleeped out" using '****']) both teams are equal just have different styling on the clothes and weapons the royals wear greens whites and browns and the nations wear greys reds and black some browns. There is things called 'emotes' they are little funny gestures the players can make to one another these range from things like doing the Mexican hat dance on the trumpet or laughing, nothing offensive.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Safety and privacy concerns
Kid, 11 years old August 16, 2012

OK

This game is REALLY for 8 year olds because it has NO blood And is something for kids to hold onto before they are 11 or twelve
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Family Media Agreement