Game Review - Heroes of the Storm on PC

Written by BroRocker on July 31, 2015 @ 1:47 pm

Heroes of the Storm is Blizzard's attempt at getting a piece of the ever-growing MOBA market. This is somewhat ironic, though, because the argument can easily be made that the entire MOBA frenzy of today started back with the custom games of Warcraft III, another Blizzard title, over 10 years ago. Now, you would think that due the connection between Warcraft III and the birth of today's MOBA's that Heroes of the Storm would have the potential to become the best of the genre; however, at least so far that's not the case.

Don't get me wrong, Heroes of the Storm has some very fun elements and some things that do manage to separate it from its biggest competition, DOTA and League of Legends, but it does lack some key elements that has made the other two franchises so successful. I'll start on a positive note, though, and go over the things I really like about this game.

#1 THIS GAME IS VERY NOVICE FRIENDLY - Overall, this is a pretty easy game to jump right into, even if you have never played a MOBA before. Compared to DOTA and LoL, there isn't really too much you have to keep track of. Instead of weapons and armor you simply advance your character each time you team levels up by selecting a new ability or perk. Also, instead of trying to make sure you level your character up, everyone's experience goes into one pool and you have a team level as opposed to an individual level. This allows players to really just focus on battling the enemy team and completing stage objectives.

#2 THIS GAME ISN'T NEARLY AS TOXIC - One of the biggest complaints and turn-offs in other MOBAs is how toxic the community can be. I think due to the more laid back nature of the games in Heroes of the Storm, you don't get as much rage from your teammates. Another plus is that you actually can't communicate with the other team, eliminating any potential harassment or smack talk from them. Sure, you may still land a bad egg on your team that will voice their displeasure with everyone else, but I've noticed that this doesn't happen near as much as League of Legends, for instance.

#3 THE GAMES ARE SHORTER - I think one of the things that makes people so rage-happy in other MOBAS is the potential length of the games. When you invest an hour into a game and lose, it can be quite debilitating and stressful. That is simply not possible in Heroes of the Storm. Games almost always last somewhere between 15 and 25 minutes, meaning a night playing Heroes of the Storm will allow you to play a lot more games than LoL or DOTA. The condensed maps and the way stage objectives work in this game forces one team to win in that time frame. To me, this is possibly the best aspect of this game in comparison to the competition.

#4 DIVERSITY OF MAPS AND OBJECTIVES - In terms of "regular" games, other MOBAs don't have a lot of variety when it comes to maps and what you can do within the stage itself to help your team gain any advantage. Heroes of the Storm, in its still young life, has several maps that can be played on, each one distinctly different in size, difficulty, and advantages to be gained through objectives. There is also the promise that Blizzard will continue to release maps throughout the games life cycle, which to me is a great selling point for it.

#5 PLAY WHO YOU WANT - In other MOBAs there is always a forced pressure to "stick to the meta." By that, I mean your team comp has to have certain character-types and they have to go in certain lanes in order to increase your chances of winning. Often times this leaves people not getting to play characters they want to play. This is totally thrown out the window in this game. You actually select your character before the matchmaking process even begins, assuring you to be able to play whoever you want.

So, those are the best aspects of the game. Now, I'll get into some of the drawbacks. Granted I think many of the things that could be viewed as negative are directly linked to the very things that help separate Heroes from the competition.

#1 GOOD TEAM COMPS ARE RANDOM - So, before I mentioned before how one of the positives was the ability to always be able to play who you want; unfortunately, this also has its flaws. The issues can arise when your team is made up of too many ranged or squishy characters, or perhaps you have one-too-many assassins or an abundance of support characters. When this happens and you face a more diverse team that has several different position types, especially the presence of characters that could be considered "tanky," you're in an uphill battle from the start. Granted, the differences in character types are nowhere near as great as they are in DOTA and LoL - it still can be enough to stack the odds to heavily against you to overcome. Things like this take away some of the competitive aspects and overall fairness of the game.

#2 DROPS ARE HARD TO DEAL WITH - I actually have two points with this one. First, when a player drops in Heroes of the Storm, the A.I. takes over and plays the dropped character. You would think that this would be better than being one person short in team fights, but the A.I. often will feed the enemy team kills, essentially still making team fights 4 verses 5, but allowing the enemy to gain experience and gold from the kill, as well. The other issue is that when a player drops, it definitely becomes impossible to win and unfortunately there is no "surrender" option. Even though the games are much shorter in Heroes of the Storm, if someone drops at the 10 minute mark and doesn't return, it would be nice to be able to go ahead and get a new game going.

#3 OBJECTIVES ARE OVERPOWERED - Teamwork is almost always essential in winning in MOBAS; however, this is amplified even more in Heroes of the Storm. Map awareness is important at all times, and any player has to be prepared to leave their lane at a moments notice in order to help their teammates in other lanes and in objectives. Speaking of, I mentioned before how the stage objectives could give big advantages to a team, and teamwork is what makes this possible. Essentially in each stage there will be some type of recurring objective. This objective can be something like holding a position on the map for a period of time or seeing who can slay the most spawned monsters on the map, or perhaps killing a giant boss mid-game. Whoever completes this objective first, or more often, gets overwhelming advantages to help to destroy the enemy's base much faster. Often times if your team gets behind in the first couple of objectives then it's almost impossible to come back and win. I will say, though, that while this can be a nuisance, it also is part of what helps makes these games go faster; so, I do understand the need for them to be so overpowered.

#4 CHARACTER DIVERSITY - With this being a Blizzard game, the characters featured are only from Blizzard franchises (Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo, etc...). If you're a fan of Blizzard games this can be a lot of fun; however, some of the characters already seem a bit redundant, and you can see the limited diversity in both looks and move sets and, quite frankly, there are just too many Warcraft characters compared to the other franchises.

Overall, Heroes of the Storm is a pleasant experience and a breath of fresh air for anyone who loves MOBAs but needs something a little different for a change. It still feels like a game that is quite "finished" and I imagine over time Blizzard will tweak and add enough to fix some of the balance issues and make it feel like a more complete game. Is it as good as DOTA or LoL? In my opinion it isn't, but I also think what Heroes of the Storm does that separates itself from those two games is important and really can do nothing but make all current and future MOBAs better. As I said before, if you've never played a MOBA before, this is definitely the best one to get started with as it is easy to learn and become competitive quickly.

Gameplay Rating: 8
Graphics & Visuals Rating: 7
Sound Rating: 8
Overall Rating: 8

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Comments


iNFERNAL
August 06, 2015 @ 6:26 am
I'll be straight to the point regarding your review, I want to talk about the things you mentioned about Heroes of the Storm ( the ones you are calling ''cons'' ). #1 GOOD TEAM COMPS ARE RANDOM = This is why there is the system called: '' Ranked play '', the comps are random because the game tries to separate the player from the term most people use in MOBAs called 'Tryharding', this way there will be no frustration in the normal section of the mode, you get 3 tanks? Cool, maybe the enemy will have 3 tanks aswell, the setup is made this way so that there will be different variations in every single match. #2 DROPS ARE HARD TO DEAL WITH = A.I tend to feed the enemy team when left alone, indeed, BUT there is a setting where you can make the A.I follow you and believe it or not if the A.I is together with you and the rest of your team when near objectives and enemies, he will put some work into its gameplay. If you leave it alone jogging around the map, obviously it will stay a 4v5 and you will have no hope for winning the game whatsoever. #3 OBJECTIVES ARE OVERPOWERED = As you added in the topic, there is one thing that explains this ''issue''. They seem overpowered because their mission is to make the game not last that long, it makes most of the matches finish faster so you can get to a new one with no stress of losing over 60+ minutes. #4 CHARACTER DIVERSITY = Nothing to add here, Warcraft was and still is one of the most popular games, it is obvious ( since the lore is beyond huge ) to have the most characters of all the franchises. You should try to not lead the players to a bad understanding, the game ( based on various reviews ) its better than League of Legends and it has some advantages over DOTA at the same time.

BroRocker
August 10, 2015 @ 4:01 pm
While I certainly respect other people's opinions and understand that other people aren't going to have the same experience with a game or have the same opinions as myself, I feel like your comment was a bit on the hostile side (which may have not been the intention). Based on your comment, you would think I completely trashed this game, which if you would just read the last paragraph would see I was mostly complimentary. Saying I should try not to lead players to a bad understanding is a bit rude, as well, as it basically implies, "Hey! You're opinion is wrong and stupid and if other people read this then they might get the incorrect opinion, too." I honestly have read more mixed reviews about Heroes of the Storm than positive, and I feel like my overall opinion of the game is better than most I've read and especially over others I know who have played it. Again, I liked the game overall, but I don't like it as much as League of Legends. Now, if you really have such a problem with me spreading my "incorrect" opinion of this game, why don't you write a review of your own? If you have time to completely pick apart what I said you have time to write a "correct" review.

Game Information

Platform
PC
Developer(s)
Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher(s)
Blizzard Entertainment
Genre(s)
MOBA
NA Release Date
June 2, 2015
EUR Release Date
June 2, 2015
AUS Release Date
June 2, 2015
ESRB Rating
T
MVGL User Score
7.1
Composer
Glenn Stafford, Jason Hayes
Official Website
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