Front Defense: Heroes

Front Defense: Heroes Review: A really fun little WW2 multiplayer shooter

Reviewed by Chris P on 16th May 2019 on HTC Vive


Review

I saw this recently on the Steam latest releases, and noticed that it was being offered free-to-play for 7 days, so I decided to download it and give it a try. You can check out the video on the VR Explorer YouTube channel if you want to see for yourself how the game plays out, otherwise, please read on.

The game started me in a highly immersive outdoor training area, with planes loudly zooming overhead, and a good selection of weapons laid out on a table, with target range in front, so I jumped straight on the machine gun (a Thompson I believe) and tested my aim.

RAT TAT TAT TAT TAT.. it felt excellent. I haven't had much experience with shooters in VR, but the weapons I tried in this game, from the Thompson machine gun, to the luger pistol, and the Bazooka, all felt really good to use. Reloading them had me pulling out magazines and pushing new ones in, just like you would with a real gun, which to me is how weapons should be in VR.

The way the weapons handled was excellent too. For instance, firing the Thompson with one hand would give you terrible recoil, but latch a second hand on to the handle at the front of the gun and it became much steadier, allowing you much more accuracy when trying to hit your target.

The grenades handled nicely too, and it was quite a suprise when I had one in my hand and lifted my headset for a second to reposition myself in my playspace, only for the pin to suddenly pull out of the grenade, causing me to panic and throw it away quickly before I got blown into a million peices. I then soon realised that you can pull the grenade pins out with your teeth! which is how it had happened. I thought this was a fantastic touch and would aid gameplay when you only have one hand free.

All these things added up to give the game a real feeling of quality and attention to detail and I excitedly headed into the lobby to start my first match.

In the lobby, everthing was well presented and I could choose what side I wanted to be on, so I chose Allied, and from there headed into my first game, which turned out to be some of the best fun I'd had so far in a VR game, as it just played so well and everything was just so intuitive.

The maps (I tried 2) were really well designed and looked excellent, allowing you to get into the action rapidly after each respawn. They weren't too big or too spread out so were easy to learn, which I found a real plus.

Graphics & Presentation

Graphics in VR are usually one of two things for me. They are either low poly and clear as day, or they are rich and detailed but blurry as hell, and it's rare that the game makers get them just right, leaving it up to the user to fine tune them to his particular machine, which can be a chore in itself and very time consuming to get them just right. However, this game seemed to have them absolutely spot on for me straight out of the box. Whether this was luck, or just great development, I can't be sure but I am choosing to believe in the latter. From the character models, the weapons, the maps, the explosions, everything just looked great, had plenty of detail, and was as clear as anything I have played in VR so far. It all ran pretty smoothly too and so I was extremely impressed by the way the game looked and handled on my ageing machine.

Sound FX & Music

Excellent sound FX along with the great graphics made the game even more immersive and exciting, with life-like sounding guns (incuding reloading sounds), explosions, and really cool distant sound effects of battle raging elsewhere really helped create a great atmosphere. Sometimes sounds are just there, and aren't particularly noticable, but the ingame sounds really stood out to me, particularly the distant thunder of bombs and battle. The game really sounded great.

Gameplay & Immersion

This is where the game really shone for me. I'm not the greatest of FPS fans, though have played my fair share of WW2 ones in particular, such as Battlefield 2, and the original Call of duty games on PC and Xbox (4 way split-screen with my kids, happy days) many years ago, and this game brought back the magic of those, something I didn't think I'd experience again. Like I said, everything just came together perfectly, the weapons, the maps, the graphics and sound, and it all just worked. Even the bots, which can let a game down if not done right were excellent, and behaved very life-like a lot of the time.

Overall

On conclusion, I think that in my quest to find the ultimate feeling of 'presence' in VR games (something that I lust for as it is so mind-blowing when it happens) I had kind of forgotten about why I started playing computer games in the first place, and that is because they are fun. This game took me to one side and reminded me of that fact, in no uncertain terms.

7 out of 10
A really fun WW2 VR shooter

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Front Defense: Heroes
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