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Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30
(hx) 05:09 PM CEST - Mar,27 2005

Brothers in Arms (BiA) is squad based first-person shooter set in the Second World War. The game is based on the real-life missions of the same unit as in Band of Brothers, the famed Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne Division. Whereas Band of Brothers was based on the exploits of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Easy Company, you'll play the role of the 502nd, Fox Company. The game takes place over seven days, starting with the nighttime drop and ending with the action at Hill 30. Consequently, you can expect early missions to involve linking up with other paratroopers and taking out German defenses. From there you'll move on to clearing out towns, blowing bridges, and keeping Jerry from overrunning your command posts.

Now a lot of FPS fans will be comparing this game to Medal of Honor and Call of Duty. Both very fine games indeed. There are some differences between those two titles and BiA. First off, this isn't some arcadey run and gun game like most other WWII first-person shooters. As you go through the game, you'll have access to various squads. Since you're a squad leader you have to command your squads (Fire Team, Assault Team, and Tank Team) and tell them what to do. Basically, you must order your men to follow, find cover, give covering fire on a target you designate, and then order others to try and flank the enemy so you can eliminate them. Controlling your squad is easy enough. Just tell them where to go with the right mouse button. There's the "Situational Awareness" view (key [V] by default) feature which allows you pause time and get a birds eye view of the battle you're in at the moment. This gave you the ability to anticipate enemy movements as well as possible routes of surprise friendly forces might capitalize on. However, this aspect does not have a free moving camera - the only thing you can see is the positions of your troops and then, if you move the arrow keys, the position of the enemy troops. This simply does not work much well, as it moves so quickly to the enemy position that it is impossible to tell where that position is in relation to your current location. The game's AI is smart enough (most of the time) to do the right thing without you having to be much specific. The men on your screen are fairly alive, both Allies and Germans hide, shoot, swear and run as real people would in the heat of battle. However, Brothers in Arms isn't completely realistic, at least not on Normal difficulty. You and your mates can still withstand inhuman amounts of gunfire damage before falling, although not as long as in some other games. Another essential difference is that you only get one life, so to continue on to the next mission, you have to survive. And you can't get a medic or pick up a first aid kit to extend your health. Just like in real war. Trust me, you won't last long if you try to play BiA like Medal of Honor!

My biggest complaint about the game is that the levels are too linear. There's only a few fixed ways to flank/kill the enemy. There are also way too many barriers and fences so that you can only proceed in one direction. Sometime you feel like you are in a maze with only one correct path. It's pretty lame, especially if the game has been promoted a lot as "the most realistic" war game out there :]

Multiplayer modes in this game are different than what you might expect. It doesn't play like the others games (DM, TDM, CTF or objective-based). Instead, while the game is based on achieving objectives (or preventing it), there are only two to four human players. The players are given objectives such as taking codebooks or destroying german artillery pieces. These maps are all original, and are not copied from the single-player portion of the game.

People looking for more strategy and challenge would do well to try this one, but those looking for another "run-and-gun" shooter should avoid! It is important to understand that this is not another Call of Duty or Medal of Honor. If that's what you want, don't get this game!

related links: patch v1.01, patch v1.02, cheats, homepage

System requirements: 1 GHz Pentium III or AMD Athlon (2.5 GHz Pentium IV or AMD recommended), 512MB RAM (1GB recommended), 32 MB DirectX 9.0c video card *, 16-bit DirectX 9.0c-compliant sound card, 4x DVD-ROM (8x or better recommended), 5GB free Hard Drive space, Broadband with 64 kbps upstream (128 kbps recommended)

* Supported Video Cards at Time of Release: ATI Radeon 8500/9000/X series, NVIDIA GeForce 4/FX/6 series (GeForce 4 MX not supported)


snd: 4/5 - solid effects (you can hear the bullets flying past, etc), voice-overs are well done (perhaps a bit clichéd), patriotic music
gfx: 3/5 - mediocre, average textures, many clipping errors and other bugs
playability: 5/5 - surprisingly addictive, 17 SP missions (~12 hours), simple controls (but no prone or lean buttons!), some solid squad AI, interesting multiplayer, very linear, resource hog, ridiculous loading times
genre: squad based WW2 first-person shooter
platform: PC DVD-ROM (also available on Xbox/PS2)
release: March 2005
developer: Gearbox
the game is similar to: Medal of Honor, Call of Duty, Full Spectrum Warrior
publisher: Ubisot
Excellent
Overall: 85%


last 10 comments:

(10:13 AM CEST - Mar,28 2005 )
Additional info:

PC version
How to fix the BSOD on exit with the A64:
http://forums.ubi.com/eve/ubb.x?a=tpc&s=400102&f=7961032962&m=7551088392

BiA website tech forum:
http://forums.ubi.com/eve/ubb.x?a=frm&s=400102&f=7961032962

Gearbox tech forum:
http://gbxforums.gearboxsoftware.com/forumdisplay.php?f=28

Console version:
Best Buy is advertising the PS2 and Xbox versions of Brothers In Arms: Road to Hill 30 for $29.99 in their weekly flier that started today, March 27th. The game normally sells for $49.99 and the sale price is applicable to in-store and online purchases.

PS2
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=6971592&type=product&id=1099388424728

Xbox
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=6720168&type=product&id=1087340763756

lmer(11:47 PM CEST - Mar,28 2005 )
I began being sick of WW2 games when the 1st CallOfDuty emerged. Theese not-even-PS1 quality textures, and that godawfull bloom effect don't help it that much either.

POS Corporative mainstream no soul game.

die!

v1m(04:38 AM CEST - Mar,29 2005 )
Not only are these cookie-cutter WWII games tiresome. They represent a sad kind of indoctrination in the Land of Bush, glorifying war endlessly and uncritically. Interestingly, though, if the hope is that the population will respond enthusiastically for new wars, it isn't working. Even as the corporations grind out one more cloned game, enlistment is way down, and the US can't get enough volunteers to fight in its current military adventure...

Anonymous(02:04 PM CEST - Mar,29 2005 )
DELETED

Stumpus(03:13 PM CEST - Mar,29 2005 )
There's several problems with this;
1) The texture quality is attrocious! Compare it to HL2 and it's like exactly what someone said 'a PS1 game' It runs like a bag of spanners which suggest garbage programming.
2)There's no 'band of brothers' here, they die and rejuvenate for the next level!
3)The right mouse works ok in small levels, as soon as you get into open terrain it drops dead. What is the point of telling your men to attack a MG nest by standing up and right-clicking on it to tell them to 'suppress it'? Hello, i'm standing up eating bullets in my face to tell them the bloody obvious!

4)Tanks are useless around you men as they somehow have HUGE collision boxes around them that push your men ahead of it as soon at it goes past you.
5)tell your men to follow you and one IDIOT always runs infront of you and hides behind the wall that the bullets are coming from...

6)there's always only 2 paths that you use to flank the enemy with; case example, 'the bridge with the anti-tank gun and MG nest' I noticed a path leading down to the river under the bridge put there by the devs. So ill wade across and take out this damn MG! ermmm NOPE! there's a boundary box right at the waters edge :evil: Now some idiot at GEARBOX either forgot to make this part accessible? Or blew it by letting the player go down there in the first place and finding the obvious flaw.... either way, it's just soooo repetative.

Can't climb waist high fences,go prone or go through *A HEDGE* gee whiz what a balls-up! :roll:

CaptStar(05:50 PM CEST - Apr,29 2005 )
HX, you sissy, you have to play with crosshairs? You suck, play the game properly, using IRON SIGHTS!!!!!!!!!!

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