Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway Interview
Game Facts: Systems: X360, PS3, PC | Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Gearbox Soft. | Release Date: June 3, 2008
Interview with Brian Martel,
Executive Vice President of Gearbox Software
by Adam Brown
April 11, 2008 – CheatCC and other media sources had the opportunity to attend a Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway preview event hosted by Ubisoft in San Francisco. We got our hands on the game and also got to speak with the Executive Vice President of Gearbox Software, Brian Martel. Read on to see what he had to say about the next best WWII title and don’t forget to check back soon for the detailed hands-on preview.
BM: Brian Martel – Executive Vice President of Gearbox Software
CCC: Cheat Code Central
CCC: First off, why was Operation Market Garden chosen as the backdrop for this game?
BM: Well, for us it is a continuity of story, so this is the natural progression for Baker. We wanted to basically continue his story, and so the logical next step would be for him to go into Market Garden. So when we get done with Earned in Blood, you really kind of know where he and Hartsock were. So from Hill 30 all the way to here it’s just a natural progression of story. The story side of that is really important, but the other side is as well; it is an interesting operation. It is the largest airborne invasion in history.
CCC: What has the extra development time from delaying this title allowed you guys to do that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise?
BM: Polish more than anything. Time with the game, understanding where we were having problems gameplay wise, and building on those things. Ultimately it is about finishing it the right way. We could have rushed it, and everyone would have had a good game, but I think what we have now is a great game.
CCC: The cinematic slow motion deaths are quite humorous to watch and add quite a bit to the overall experience of Hell’s Highway. What kind of events will trigger these cinematic sequences?
BM: It will give you views of obviously when you use ballistic weapons on your enemies like grenades, tanks, explosions, man-everything.
CCC: It appears as though there was a lot of effort put into the destructible scenery in the game. What kind of effect will this feature have on gameplay?
BM: It is mostly time. If you think about the old games, it was find them, fix them, flank them; that was pretty standard. You’re trying to figure out the puzzle of every encounter, and we still have that, but we’ve added [the concept that] instead of just a piece of cover that is always there it almost becomes about concealment.
There is a difference between cover and concealment. Cover is something you can get behind and bullets will not penetrate. Concealment is something that bullets will pass through, but if you get behind it and the enemy did not see you, they wouldn’t know you were there. So that’s how it really works for us too.
If the Germans don’t see you going there, they won’t be able to hit you, but if they know you’re there, you better move fast because you don’t have long in that spot unless you’ve done your suppression and now somebody else is flanking them. If you’ve used your tactics correctly, you can use those kind of destructible covers, but you have to be careful. It is all about time; that’s one of the new elements we’ve added that is a new feature, really: time as a component of tactical gameplay.