Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30

March 15, 2005

[floatleft][/floatleft]FPS games have come a long way since the good ole days of [i]Castle Wolfenstein[/i] and [i]Goldeneye[/i]. FPS games are slowly evolving into more in-depth character involvement that almost transforms it into role-playing games. They’re not quite there yet as fully immersed role-playing games, but they’re definitely heading towards that direction. The squad-based FPS games are becoming a popular hit with combat-based games. For example, [i]Rainbow Six[/i] set the tone for squad-based FPS games on console systems. With the release of [i]Star Wars: Republic Commando[/i], the newly released [i]Brothers in Arms[/i], and the soon-to-be-released [i]Rainbow Six: Lockdown[/i], squad-based shooters are making their place in the FPS world. But what separates [i]Brothers in Arms[/i] from other squad-based FPS games?

On June 6[sup]th[/sup] , 1944, the United States, along with Canada and Great Britain, launched a major offensive against The Third Reich. [i]Brothers in Arms[/i] puts you into the boots of Sergeant Matt Baker of the 502[sup]nd[/sup] Army Paratroopers. Unlike other games, this game is a real account of Matt Baker who is a real war hero. Some of the men were based upon real men in his squad. You must command your squad in the most effective way possible and destroy your enemies. This is definitely not your regular run and gun FPS game. This is in a totally different column than [i]Halo 2[/i] or even [i]Republic Commando[/i]. Using military tactics will be the only effective way of taking your enemies out and ensuring the survival of you and your men. You will find yourself breaking your controller at times out of frustration. As you begin the game, you are given notes in order to use your military tactics in combat. As you progress, you are shown how to issue orders, how to use your squad to flank the enemy, and maneuver around enemy strongholds.

Issuing your unit orders is basic point-and-click with the use of your left trigger. The orders you can give your unit are suppressing fire, secure a location, or assault a location. By holding the left trigger and pointing to a certain location where an enemy is located, you are issuing the order to give suppressing fire. To assault an enemy unit is basically the same process, only you’re pressing the right trigger as well. In order to know if the enemy is being suppressed and undercover, you are given indicators over the enemy’s location. These indicators are circles which are one of two colors: orange which means they are not suppressed and are firing, and gray which means they are undercover. Positioning your team to give you suppressing fire will allow you or your assault team to flank the enemy and attack them. Using your cover is very crucial to you and your men in [i]Brothers in Arms[/i]. Without the proper cover, you will be killed instantly or you will suffer casualties within your unit. The controls in [i]Brothers in Arms[/i] are very user friendly and are similar to that of your regular FPS.

[floatright][/floatright]The development team at Gearbox did an amazing job in capturing the environment. Taking old WWII aerial reconnaissance photos and other WWII photos from towns within Normandy, they recreated towns and locations to be exact in [i]Brothers in Arms[/i]. The graphics teams wanted to make [i]Brothers in Arms[/i] to be historically accurate in every aspect of the game. Usually, console games don’t have the best graphics, but I must say that the graphics are gorgeous and realistic here. The lush green grass and foliage, the towns and buildings, and the vehicles and weapons are very attractive. Looking at the men face to face is fascinating, yet freaky as well. Not to mention this game looks spectacular on a high-definition TV.

The graphics aren’t the only thing that make this game authentic and genuine. The sound used in the environments is just stunning. The WWII weapons actually sound like real weapons. Firing the M1 feels so real in [i]Brothers in Arms[/i]; the sound makes it so authentic that it’s unbelievable. It’s amazing, but every single weapon in [i]Brothers in Arms[/i] has its own very unique sound unlike other WWII games. Using submachine guns are much more effective for close combat situations, and rifles are better for ranged combat. The sound effects in [i]Brothers in Arms[/i] are so amazingA

Score: 5/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.