A few weeks ago I was let in to Blizzard's latest game to make it to beta, Heroes of the Storm. Blizzard calls Heroes of the Storm a team brawler that at first glance seems to be yet another MOBA like DoTA or League of Legends. While the similarities abound there are some really huge differences and at the end of the day, for me, Heroes of the Storm is more my style.

Heroes of the Storm is part of Blizzards latest push into the Free to Play game genre. Starting with Hearthstone and now Heroes of the Storm, free to play is a pretty big push. Heroes of the Storm takes a page from League of Legends in that there are a few heroes that randomly unlock for you to play from week to week and if you want to use them permanently you have to buy them. You can buy them straight up with money or earn in game gold to do it. As with League of Legends and DoTA 2, Heroes of the Storm allows you to purchase skins to give your Heroes a unique flavor. Heroes of the Storm takes it a step further and also allows you the ability to purchase in game mounts.

Whereas DoTA 2 or League of Legends allows you to only play on one map, Heroes of the Storm ships with 4. Each map has a unique flavor and different objective to give your team a winning advantage. On one pirate themed level, beyond pushing to destroy the enemy teams base, you can collect gold coins to give to a pirate and if you collect enough he will bombard the enemy base.

One of the things that has kept me away from embracing League of Legends or DoTA 2 is how flippin' hard the game is to learn. Blizzard has stripped down the gameplay of Heroes of the Storm to it's basics and forgoes any kind of in game item purchasing. All you have is your hero and with each level you make choices about what skills to focus on. I really like the simplified gameplay and as such had no problem figuring things out. As someone that loves playing video games but doesn't have a zillion hours to master it, Heroes of the Storm is great.

I was skeptical Blizzard could bring another MOBA to the table that offered anything new but after playing Heroes of the Storm I can say, this isn't DoTA 2 or League of Legends, this is very different and it's good.

Oh right, the game is also beautiful. After turning up everything to the max the game looks incredible. The game didn't suffer from much lag either, but all the matches I played were against bots so that may be why.

I think it goes without saying that as a pretty big Blizzard fan, playing a game with Diablo, Starcraft and Warcraft characters in it all fighting together is pretty awesome. It's also pretty strange to have Jim Raynor deal a killing blow to Kerrigan and and then Diablo in the same game. Each of the different universes characters fit really well in the game and it didn't ever seem strange to have them together for a minute.

Heroes of the Storm seems really polished to me and I hope they unleash the beta to more players soon so you can check it out. If you have tried it out, i'd love to hear what you think of the game.