Before the whole shebang took off last night and Electronic Arts kicked off their Spring Break Games Day, I managed to sneak my way onto a computer loaded up with Battlefield Heroes to check out a bit of gameplay and mess around with the game's interesting customization settings.

DICE's free-to-play upcoming shooter features Team Fortress 2-like graphics and a definite Battlefield Lite feel, but what really captured my interest was the game's use of customization.

To create your character you have to first choose between a soldier, gunner and commando. Once you've selected the basic type of character you are playing you can go in and customize his look by adding objects to the ten provided slots. Like in many role-playing games, each slot changes a specific part of a character's look.

For instance with my character, a long mustachioed gunner, I gave him skull make up on his face, a dragon tattoo on his back, a bandolero of ammo slung from a shoulder, black pants and a peg leg. Yes, a peg leg. Really, I could have stopped playing at this point because any World War II -themed shooter that features a cartoon like art-style and the ability to slap peg legs on anyone is going to have a hard time convincing me not to play it.

But there is more. Besides customizing the look of your characters, you can also customize the way they play. By playing the game you unlock abilities which you can then bind to hotkeys, like you would in a massively multiplayer or role-playing game. The first few are typically reserved for weapons, but then you can use the rest for rechargeable powers like the ability to heal yourself, run, toughen your skin for a short time.


I didn't have tons of time to actually play the game, what with the time I spent marveling over the peg legs, but from what I saw it looks like it's going to be quite a bit of fun: A shooter that in many ways looks and feels like an RPG.