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Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 Review for PC
         
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Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 

Review for PC


- Tim Mellish, " Cloud890 ", Senior Editor
Friday, July 28, 2006 


Title:
Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30

..............................................
System:
PC
..............................................
Genre:
First Person Shooter
..............................................
Publisher:
Ubisoft
..............................................
Developer:
Gearbox
..............................................
Release:
03/01/2005
..............................................
Online:
No
..............................................
ESRB:
Mature (M)
..............................................
VGcore Silver Medal
Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 Screenshot Gallery

Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 Screenshot Gallery

Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 Screenshot Gallery

With the large number of World War II first-person shooters (FPS) on the market today, it’s hard to get excited when a new franchise emerges. That’s not the case with Brothers In Arms. True, there is much to be improved with this WWII game, but the title does hold as being the most authentic of WWII FPS'.

Gameplay

The gameplay of Brothers In Arms is both old and new. Old in the sense that the controls are similar to every other FPS on the Xbox, and new in the addition of capable squad mates who add a unique dimension to the art of WWII FPS'. In Brothers In Arms, the player takes the role of Matt Baker, an American solider enlisted in the 101st Airborne who has dropped into Normandy on D-Day. Throughout the game the player will encounter Nazi forces as Matt treks across the Normandy landscape, fighting for the United States of America. This general concept has all been seen in other WWII games (Call of Duty and Medal of Honor). But Brothers In Arms does things that the others have not.

The new gameplay element in Brothers In Arms is the addition of a squad the player commands. Players have a few simple orders to issue to his team: follow, move, suppressive fire, and assault. What is amazing is how well the squad A.I. reacts to the Nazi forces. For the first time, the player will actually want to use his squad for more taking bullets. These commands play an important role in the new type of FPS action found in Brothers In Arms. The idea is not to fire blindly at the Nazis. Instead the player wants to move across the map to a position where he has a clear shot at the enemy (ideally defensive as well) and then attack.

The player has available to him at any time a mode known as “Situational Awareness.” By hitting the back button, the camera pulls up and away from the action. It also pauses the game to give the player a chance to see where his enemies are. After checking out the area the player can return to his fight with a better idea of where to move his troops. The enemy A.I. will also react to the player’s movements. Nazi’s will move to better cover and try to find the best position just as the player is.

The result is a tense firefight of constant movement and yelling out orders. To help in this daunting style of gameplay, an icon appears over each group of Nazi soldiers. It turns gray as the Nazis get "suppressed". Suppression results from effective orders given by the player to his squad. The more suppressed a Nazi is, the less likely he’ll attack and--if he does--it’s sloppy. No other WWII title has attempted game play along this line. In Brothers In Arms it works.

To take out the Nazis, a player needs weapons. The typical assortments of American WWII arms are found in Brothers In Arms. In addition, the option to take German weapons from dead Nazi soldiers is also available. This gives the player numerous choices on what weapon to use. The player can carry two guns at all times in addition to his grenades.

It’s in the guns that Brothers In Arms encounters its first problem.

The firearms used in the game are not terribly effective. Many times I found myself lining up my scope for a perfect shot only to find that I completely missed my target. To have a gun completely miss when it shouldn’t is not acceptable. The guns’ ineffectiveness takes away from perfectly executed maneuvers. It’s frustrating.

Graphics

Brothers In Arms is a good-looking game. The environments are well done with some the best trees and bushes seen in an Xbox game. The water effects are also impressive. Just watch as a group of soldiers runs through the flooded fields outside Utah Beach. Players will be tempted to reload the game to witness the amazing effects again. American soldiers are re-created with all the correct patches on their uniforms, and truly look like human beings. Most shocking is each solider looks unique. No facial models are repeated.

This is because the developers wanted the player to become attached to each squad member he commanded; to really inspire the nature of the game's title. I must admit, I felt bad when they died. The explosions also look incredibly good. Any player will be surprised (if not scared) when he sees the mortar explosions erupting all around him. The most unique aspect of the graphics in Brother In Arms is that they do not look clean. They look gritty. Personally, I like this. WWII was hell, and gritty graphics add to this idea.

Sound

To truly enjoy the ecstasy of this game’s sound a player must own one powerful 5.1 surround sound system. This game sounds friggin' amazing. Guns sound deadly (even though they miss), and grenades will make ears ring. Add in Nazi and American soldiers yelling orders, and the effect is amazing. But it’s not just the action that sounds amazing. Between battles, even when briefings are being given, the sounds of war are all around the player. In the distance are explosions and occasional gunfire. Other times, planes will soar overhead and vanish into the distance. There is not enough to say about this game’s sound; it by far has some of the best.

Replay Value

Brothers In Arms' replay value is moderately high thanks to the inclusion of an online multiplayer component. Several game types are available, all based around objectives to be completed. Sorry guys, the popular "deathmatch" is not included. But with the guns handling like they do, it’s obvious why Ubisoft opted out. Multiplayer mostly has one team trying to complete an objective while the other team attempts to stop them.

Objectives come in the form of running orders across a map or blowing up anti-aircraft guns, with slight variation in different maps. Depending on the map, players will have between zero to three computer controlled men under their command, just like in single player. Unlike the single player, there is no real focus on flanking online. Generally, players will just order their entire team to assault the other in hopes of taking them out. With the poor accuracy of the guns, these types of assaults are pulled off more by luck than skill at times. It’s confusing and frustrating. The long load screens between each map and the difficulty of finding games requires the player to have real patience. This doesn’t help the online experience.

As for the single player, due to the short nature of the levels and same positions of the Nazi forces, the game only warrants another replay through on a harder difficulty. The extras unlocked aren’t that impressive, either. Only those who want every single thing in the game will find themselves playing through on the hardest difficulty.

Overall

Brothers In Arms does hold the title as the most realistic FPS WWII on the market. However, whether it is the best is still up in the air. The poor accuracy of the guns (for authenticities sake) and short levels take away from the gorgeous and amazing sounding single player campaign. As for multiplayer, the difficulty in finding a game and the long load screens dilute the experience. If you're looking for a game that will recreate what it felt like to be in Normandy on D-Day and after, get this game. For those of you who don’t want a history lesson and just want to bust the crap out of Nazis with guns that work and a multiplayer experience that has a deathmatch option, get Call of Duty for the PC.


  The Core Score
Overall
9
Fun
9
Gameplay
8
Graphics
9
Audio
10
Replay
8
   





 

 

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