|System: X360, PS3, PC||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: Sep. 23, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-20||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Feb. 15, 2007 - It's certainly true that game stores are currently being flooded with World War II games. The popularity of first person shooters is on the rise and with today's modern cinematics and story telling, gamers want some depth and character development in their games. WWII games help deliver both incredibly realistic first person experiences and in-depth, often true stories.
With each new game, we see a new perspective on WWII and we see how different developers handle telling the story. Gearbox, the developers of the Brothers In Arms series, wants to use next-generation technology to help make a WWII game that not only feels more realistic, but delivers far more believable A.I.
You will be playing as Joe "Red" Hartsock, the main character from the first two Brothers In Arms games, and newcomer Matt Baker as they lead troops over Hell's Highway. This highway is the nickname for Operation Market Garden of September 1944 in Germany. Unlike the previous two games, Joe will command three teams of troops instead of only two. This gives you much more strategic options than in the other games, but luckily, the tactical action plays out faster than in the previous games.
Two of your teams will still have assigned missions, but your third team is your key to creative maneuvers. The third team will be assigned any role you give them based upon the particular situation. You can command the third team to attack any building you choose and use any weaponry you have on hand or you can have them reach a building and wait in stealth for further orders.
The commands you can give them can be quite helpful in the fight, such as attacks that effect the environment in a massive way. In one instance, you may tell your third team to throw grenades or launch mortars in a building to take out snipers. Not only will the explosions kill the snipers, the raining pieces of debris will wound or kill the enemy troops below the building. Such environment effects will be found throughout the game and will most likely be caused by the third team, but the amount of realistic effects and intelligent A.I. is vast.
Unlike some next-gen games that retain their current-gen graphics, Brothers In Arms: Hell's Highway will deliver breathtaking graphics with unbelievable detail. If you actually have time to stop and look around without getting shot at, you'll notice small details such as cobbled roads, the grain in wood, and more.
The realism doesn't stop with the graphics as Gearbox delivers a true Hollywood cinematic experience by using unbelievably realistic animation. Whenever you have to cross something or throw a grenade, you may see Joe's legs climb over walls or his hands gripping a grenade. Also, during movie scenes, you'll see incredible acts such as Joe pulling shards of glass out of his arm so he can continue to lead his troops into battle. It's understandable why WWII stories make such good games. They show incredible acts of heroism and care for others at all times during battle.
The graphics and the character animations aren't the only treats on the table. The voice acting is Hollywood quality, and the gameplay appears to surpass the Call of Duty series, as they use a similar system only with better targeting. It is unknown at this time how the command system works on the 360. There is no info on the multiplayer system either, but Gearbox does state that they are scrapping the old system and that most likely, this sequel will feature a larger number of players in the multiplayer mode.
I know this game will definitely appeal to WWII game fans, but for those who don't normally approach them, I believe every non WWII gamer will appreciate the quality and realism of this title. Rent it or buy it on April 2, 2007 for an unbelievable experience.
CCC Freelance Writer