There's a tremendous amount of clipping in the game, and while occasional instances can be forgiven, it's prevalent enough here that it has a distinct negative effect on the gameplay. Grenades that explode on the other side of a wall can hurt you, and soldiers will routinely run right through walls. It's not uncommon to walk through an empty area, only to suddenly find yourself blistered with enemy fire. The culprit is quite often a soldier in another room who has the ability to not only see through walls, but also stick his legs and arms through them. You can shoot offending bad guys by pinpointing any exposed extremity, but sometimes you just can't find them, and it's incredibly frustrating to die at the hands of shoddy programming.
Heroes has a host of multiplayer options available for both ad hoc and infrastructure play. Ad hoc lets up to eight players battle each other locally. Gamesharing is not supported, so each player will need their own copy of the game to join in the fun. Even with the full eight players, the large levels end up feeling empty, and you'll end up spending more time searching for people to shoot than you'll spend actually shooting them. Infrastructure play offers the same play modes and it's a more exciting experience thanks to support for up to 32 players in a game at once. You can create a session for up to eight players on the PSP, but if you want to make a game for more than eight people, you'll need to download software from the game's website and use your PC as a game server. The program lets you set a map rotation and also allows you to set a password to restrict the game to friends or clan members.
After making it through EA's cumbersome initial login process, getting into a match is as easy as finding a game with an open slot. You can even join conflicts already in progress. Once you're in a game all you have to do is pick sides, select a uniform, and decide on a weapon. There are six different multiplayer game types to choose from. The only free-for-all mode is a standard deathmatch, and the rest of the modes are team-based. In demolition mode one team tries to blow up one of two targets while the other team attempts to stop them-- either by killing everyone, or by disarming the bomb. Infiltration is a capture-the-flag-style game, and the other modes are all similar in that the main goal is to gain control of certain areas of the map. Online play is decent, at least compared to many other PSP games, but it's hindered by a number of problems. For starters, there's no voice chat--you can only communicate via text messages. This makes it difficult to coordinate any sort of team play. The game appears to run smoothly most of the time, but it's extremely difficult to shoot anyone that's more than a few feet away, because human players are much quicker and craftier than the slow-moving CPU soldiers from the single-player mode. Part of this can also be attributed to lag caused by players with lousy connections. It's also not uncommon to suddenly wind up dead, with the game declaring you killed yourself--even though you were just standing around.
If you're playing alone and still want the multiplayer experience, the skirmish mode pits you in a deathmatch against up to 16 CPU-controlled enemies. The action here isn't very complex, and the game's got an annoying habit of respawning you in front of one or more enemies that are all too happy to blow your head off, but it's fun in short bursts and good practice for multiplayer.
Heroes' visuals are good but are in need of more polish. The frame rate is steady, even on the levels with snow and rain--though it does waver during multiplayer when the action gets heavy--and it's fast enough that it doesn't feel as if your character is wading through mud. The effects aren't striking when compared to what is found in previous Medal of Honor efforts on consoles, but for a PSP game, they're impressive. Grenades explode with a flash and cloud of black smoke, guns spark and eject empty shells as they fire, and errant shots leave bullet holes in walls. Enemy soldiers' animation could use some work. They don't have much in the way of transition animations, and because of the minimal effect shooting has on their movements, it's very difficult to tell if your bullets are finding their target, especially from a distance.
The levels are decent-sized, but they don't feature a tremendous amount of detail. For every lighthouse towering over a moonlit beach, there's an ugly, nondescript building containing nothing more than a few crates. The textures are blurry and repetitive, as well. You'll find trucks, planes, and tanks scattered amongst the levels, but they can't be driven, they don't move, and you can't even blow them up. After successfully setting and detonating a charge in the lighthouse, it's quite disappointing to not see it fall down. Instead, you'll hear the bomb explode, the game will tell you "mission accomplished," and the game fades out with the lighthouse standing tall, unblemished by your destructive efforts.
One of Medal of Honor Heroes' highlights is its audio. The main orchestral theme is gorgeous and gets you in the fighting mood. It would have been great to have music in the levels, at least in tense situations, but the only time you hear it is in the menus. All of the explosions and gunshot effects that you'd expect from a World War II game are here, but it's the ambient sounds that make the game so intense. Even when you're not firing your weapon, the sounds of war are all around. Your equipment rattles as you run, fallen soldiers cry for help, and the distant sounds of mortar fire and planes flying overhead fill the air.
If it had more depth, Medal of Honor Heroes would be a great game. No matter how you shake it, with a single-player story that's just four hours long, the game's over far too quickly. It doesn't even manage to stay fresh for that short amount of time. If you're planning on spending a good deal of time online, you'll likely get your money's worth out of Heroes. But, if you're planning to stick primarily to the campaign and skirmish modes, the $40 price tag is less justifiable.