Heroes of the Storm manages to be an attractive, fast-moving game that's both challenging and accessible by focusing on the core gameplay factors of the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) genre. Its distinct advantage in a hero-centric genre is significant, because its hero roster can draw from three hit franchises: Starcraft, Warcraft, and Diablo. It also has the benefit of Blizzard's legendary ability to boil gameplay complexities down to their most entertaining essentials. Removing the resource gathering and item purchasing of other MOBAs, Heroes of the Storm lets you focus on learning and upgrading your heroes' skills and practicing your teamwork. The welcome side effects of this are more heroic contributions from every player and quick, dynamic matches.
Seven maps -- each with a cool story intro and different side objectives -- let players augment their teams with things such as vengeful gods and hired thugs, while more than 30 heroes keep things fresh match after match. The graphics and sound are fantastic (of course they are; it's Blizzard), and the cartoony, non-gory violence keeps things competitive without being graphic. The base game is free, but for the full experience, you must spend money (the game constantly reminds you of this by tossing you into the cash store). This heavy-handed marketing is a little annoying, but hey, at least you can try before you buy. Even with the push to purchase, Heroes of the Storm is a worthwhile MOBA. It's lively, strategic, beautiful, and, best of all, approachable.