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Posts Tagged ‘free realms’

Review: Battlefield Heroes (Free, Paid Upgrades), EA

Posted by Appgamr on July 16, 2009

Get and customize your own square-jawed Royal British Hero!

Get and customize your own square-jawed Royal British Hero!

Battlefield Heroes: I like it.  If you have ever watched the History Channel or Saving Private Ryan, marveled at the Band of Brothers and what The Greatest Generation fought through, you should play Battlefield Heroes, EA’s first big free massively multiplayer online game, set in a fun, animated Normandy countryside.

Compared with Sony’s Free Realms, the wildly successful free game that is best described as a cartoonish, girlish World of Warcraft, Battlefield Heroes is a manly, artistically marvelous interactive World War II European fighting fantasy appropriate for all ages.

It took *one hour* for me to sign up, download browser plug-ins, and tolerate a few minor login issues.  However, once I logged in, I was completely immersed and drawn into this vivid, cartoonish world with a sophisticated, British sense of humor and graphics.  Battlefield Heroes is NOT a World of Warcraft copycat.  It is the first mainstream immersive game that does not depend on anime, monsters, and recycled ideas.

It’s an elegant and entertaining interactive world of Royal British and Nazi flavored fighters and villians, with military hardware and transport including guns, jeeps, tanks, airplanes.  Minor quibble: the keyboard controls are not intuitive for novices.  If Battlefield Heroes can make keyboard controls more obvious to use, for steering jeeps and tanks, for fighting, for healing wounds, the game will be even more fun.

Ease of Install: D

Keyboard Controls: C

Fun and Potential: A

Cost (Free): A

Entertainment Value: A-

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Review: Free Realms (Sony)

Posted by Appgamr on June 19, 2009

Talking farmers and cows!

Talking farmers and cows!

+ Heard about World of Warcraft?  Want a free version with cute animals and bright colors?  Want to join legions of women and tweens?  Try Free Realms, a free online world produced by Sony Online Entertainment, found at freerealms.com.  Yup, just type in freerealms.com in your browser bar and you’re good to go.   The computer and a friendly talking squirrel (?) will tell you what to do.

http://www.freerealms.com/

Free Realms has taken the world by storm, attracting an unprecedented 3 million users in its first seven weeks of release.  Free Realms looks like Sony developers analysed World of Warcraft, an online virtual world that is and has been the world’s most popular game for many years standing.  They decided women and tweens would like a bright color scheme, bright blues and magentas instead of WoW’s dominant browns and grays, and talking animals and friendly farmers instead of orcs, elves, and trolls.

Hey, it’s free, with some paid up-sells, the talking squirrel guides you step by step with game instructions, learning how to play couldn’t be easier.  Personally, it’s a little too saccharine and sanitized for my taste, but I’m probably not the target market.  The target market is probably tweens, particularly girls, who watch Saturday morning cartoons.  I can also imagine adults getting hooked on Free Realms due to its pleasant themes, ease of use, popularity — 3 million users!, price — free!

I don’t think core gamers are playing Free Realms, but that fact is probably beside the point.  Sony is probably targeting new audiences that don’t historically play games.  3 million users in 7 weeks is a lot of users.  Wait and see if the growth peters out or if those 3 million users return week on week or month on month.

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