|System: Wii, PC, Xbox, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Gearbox Software||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ubisoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 3, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
and that's a good thing
by Joseph Catalanotto
April 8, 2008 - For me and plenty of other like-minded gamers, the FPS genre is characterized by a dichotomy that essentially divides the genre into two equally distinct "sub-genres." On the one hand, you've got your sci-fi shooters featuring plenty of blood, gore, violence, and every once in a while an interesting gameplay mechanic.
Think of such titles as Halo, Gears of War, and Resistance: Fall of Man, and you'll know what I'm talking about. And on the other hand, you've got your war shooters. Specifically, your World War II shooters. It's a section of games that has been done, redone, and done yet again for good measure. And while many people have found the setting to now be stale and rote, the Brothers in Arms franchise is continuing with its WWII focus and is looking to deliver what should be an awesome game on the Wii.
The development team faced surprising success with its DS iteration of the Brothers in Arms franchise, and for the most part that title is an excellent sketch of what you'll get in the more fleshed-out console versions of the franchise. Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 was in fact released to critical acclaim on the PC and last gen consoles Xbox and PS2. However, don't expect a simple rehash of a game you've already played, because the Wii iteration of Road to Hill 30 features a number of Wii-specific inclusions that will certainly make this worth a second look for gamers who've already experienced it.
To begin with, the title of this game is mildly misleading. While the game does indeed include a Wii remake of the popular Road to Hill 30, it also includes another key title in the series: Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood. The developers have built this package from the ground up on the Wii, rewriting much of the code to ensure that it's as good an experience as you'd expect on a system as innovative as the Wii. Road to Hill 30 plans to bring Wii-owners up to speed on the series, especially as none of the Brothers in Arms games have found a home on the Nintendo consoles until now.
Naturally, the biggest draw of Road to Hill 30 is the Wii-specific control method -- methods, actually. The FPS franchise has already been given a second chance on the Wii, as displayed by such a quality title as Medal of Honor Heroes 2 which hit shelves late last year. However, Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 looks to push the Wii even further and allow the FPS genre to undergo an even more drastic re-imagining on the Wii. There will be two distinct control schemes: one of them will be quite similar to that of previous FPSs on the Wii. You'll use the Nunchuk's control stick to move and the Wii Remote to aim and rotate your character. The other control scheme, however, is entirely different from anything you've likely experienced before on the Wii. The Wii Remote will control only aiming, with the control stick allowing you to move forward and backward as well as change your angle using left and right.
Despite all this, there's an argument that these innovations of the genre don't necessarily warrant a purchase of Road to Hill 30 on the Wii. Naysayers will be silenced, however, by the fact that Brothers in Arms truly isn't the generic WWII FPS that you're probably used to. You can't dash headlong into enemy fire, you can't take out an entire enemy squad on your own, and you'll die easily from even a single well-aimed shot. Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 focuses on the strategy and tactics of warfare and brilliantly combines that with intense individual FPS action. So while you're blasting away at the German occupation forces, you'll also have to keep in mind such variables as the terrain, your weapons, the positioning of yourself and your foes, and different ways to take them out. Brothers in Arms is a thinking man's FPS, and in this way it truly will offer something new and fresh to even the most hardened veteran of WWII FPSs.
Brothers in Arms has always made sure that the WWII experience is completely immersive and totally believable, and you shouldn't expect anything different from the Wii version of Road to Hill 30. The franchise has always been noted for its ability to tell a story and allow you to connect with your squad partners. Rather than playing an unnamed and soulless soldier, you'll be taking control of a multi-dimensional character and following his story as he progresses through several different battles of the war. The game will feature plenty of scripted scenes between characters, which will not only further the plot but also ensure that you grow emotionally attached to the people around you. The game also looks great and features a wide range of environments, ranging from the beach you land on to fields, cities, desolate towns, and a host of other locales. All told, the game features more than 30 levels, all of which are unlocked from the start. Look for Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 to set a new standard for Wii FPSs when it launches early this summer.
CCC Freelance Writer