It was only a matter of time, Blizzard has thrown down its hands in the battle arena market. Heroes of the Storm are yet another example of the quality we expect from developer Blizzard. Ideas that have been explored elsewhere are given a level of refinement and accessibility, that makes the eventual, golden result not possible to dislike.
As with similar games, two teams of five face off with a goal to destroy opponents base. Unlike those games, however, the map upon which teams face off is none a near carbon copy of maps of similar games. Heroes of the Storm features seven unique maps with various secondary objectives, that can assist a team in their cease of the enemy base. Each of these secondary objectives serves to create interesting movement and points of conflict, as well as helps to prevent the game from devolving into a place where teams are too afraid to engage with each other.
One of the Heroes of the Storm primary draws is its cast of characters from Blizzard's various franchises. These are essentially recycled pre-existing characters. Heroes of the Storm characters design still greatly impresses.
While most characters fit into the standard classes of warrior assassin and support, Heroes of the storm features a fourth classification - specialist. Specialists all have mechanics unique to their characters and don’t really compare to the other characters in the game. These characters offer an entirely different perspective on Heroes of the Storms gameplay.
There are no items to buy in Heroes of the Storm. All your character customization is handled solely by the talent system.This is the source of the game's primary drawback. It requires you to play several games as the hero before you are allowed to select some of the more advanced masteries. This cripples character potential and quick match and encourages players to grind for experience in order to level up their hero's mastery.
Match length in Heroes of the Storm is short compared to the other games of the genre. Rather than spending an hour or longer hoping for a game to finally come to an end, matches are often decisively ended within 20 minutes.
If you wish to shine individually, you may not enjoy Heroes of the Storm. The game is very team-centric to the point that even experiences are shared across the entire team. All players on the same team are on the same level during a match. An individual's power to affect a match is limited. Grouping up is essential to winning matches and attempting any sort of 1 vs 5 play will likely end with death.
The environments, animations, and sounds of combat all evoke a mental investment in the action. Animations are simultaneously are flashy and elegant. Animations feature enough clarity that it’s rare to be confused about what killed you.
From top to bottom, Heroes of the Storm is a must play for both MOBA players and Blizzard enthusiasts. It avoids stepping into the exact footprints of the games that paved the way for the genre and delivers a beautifully graceful, unique experience with familiar characters. And should you not be a MOBA fan or a Blizzard fan, it’s still a fantastic, casual, competitive game that offers untold hours of enjoyment.