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This game is a successful blend of strategy and all out guns blazing action! You command several squads and can either lead from the front, playing like your typical first person shooter, or take a backseat view of the action and let your squads take care of the shooting. Either way it's great fun. The AI is very intelligent and will take cover anywhere it can, making logical moves to gain ground. The cover system also works very well for the player, allowing you to duck behind objects, then peek around or over them to shoot at the enemy. Some other cool features are the suppression and flanking options, which basically allows you to pin an enemy down and then send your squad or go yourself to flank and destroy them. The gore system is also worth mentioning and, whilst not for everyone, it does allow you to see visually the effect explosions and bullets have no your enemy. The only downside I can think of is that it doesn't give you as much freedom as you'd like, each mission follows a set path which gives the game a very linear feel to it.
Brothers in Arms: Hells Highway
I know what a lot of you might be thinking "oh no, not another WW2 shooter" but Brothers in Arms is different. Not just different but better. I mean, sure, its about Americans and I'd prefer to be fighting as British, but what can you do?
The first thing to mention is BIA:HH is the third game in a Trilogy. But more than that, its part of History. The game designers have put a lot of effort into making sure they portray the events accurately.
So, you follow (and play) Sergeant Matt Baker of the 502nd Airborne. We've seen him before in the older games and we are now reminded of it with a quick flash back.
The first striking thing here is the graphics. Sure, my high-end graphics card might help, but I'm pretty sure it would look sweet on any machine (that meets the spec).
The game plays out very atmospherically, with well placed cut scenes and flash backs, that make you get immersed and its done very well. It's not over done and you don't necessarily have had to played the other games to understand what is going on. After all, how hard can it be? You're the good guys and there's some Germans who need killing. This game is set during Operation Market Garden, the fabled, doomed plan to end the war early by cutting through Holland. Part of this means fighting through lush fields, with windmills and quaint village streets. As well as churches and various other locations.
The first field I arrived in had a group of sheep running about and I couldn't resist the temptation to pop them. Down they went with a spurt of blood. Not as satisfying as killing the Germans, but amusing nonetheless.
The best element and one that might appeal to those bored of the WW2 genre is the squad/tactical elements.
As a Sergeant, its your job to lead your squads. At various points in the game, these change and you can have up to 3 to command. They are the assault team, bazooka team and MG team. The simple control system allows you to deploy these teams or have them follow you. It is essential to use each team/squad well. Otherwise you will die and so will they. Unlike games like Medal of Honor, where you just waded in alone and killed hundreds of Germans on your own, this game requires planning, tactics.
As the game designers say, it is essential that you find the enemy, fix the enemy with fire, flank the enemy and finish them. This means instead of playing the game like you would play a normal FPS, i.e. trying to shoot the enemy with your first bullet, you will find alot of the time you are spraying bullets in their general direction to suppress them (keep their heads down) so you can flank round and shoot them in the side or back. Popping up where they aren't expecting you to be in order to finish them off. So, basically, much more like real life wars. Standing in the open will get you killed very quickly. Sure you could use your team mates to do all the suppressing, but its much more fun to get stuck in yourself as well. There's plenty of ammo to be had and if you are lucky enough to have bagged an MG42, then you can mount that bad boy on a wall and let loose. Zee Germans will soon be ducking for cover, then you can swiftly sneak around and put them out of their misery. I should mention at this point that you can tell where enemy squads are located by a red circle above their heads, this shows their levels of suppression. Red means they are un-suppressed, Grey means suppressed and half grey means they are recovering. In the hardest difficulty setting this suppression circle is missing, making your mission harder but even more realistic. It is also worth bearing in mind that the enemy can have different types of squads the same as you can. So you will come across enemy units with panzershreks, MG's, tanks and even 88mm cannons. Hitting from the side or rear is always the best option.
In other words, deploy your squads carefully, use cover well, use them to suppress the enemy, then move round and kill them.
There are key elements to remember though. Cover is essential. Some of the environment is destructible. So if you attempt to hide you or your squad behind a fence, that fence wont be there very long. Or as I found out when fighting in a church, neither will the pews. Don't worry though, there are plenty of concrete and stone walls as well as sand bags. Bazooka teams can destroy sand bags and even some walls. So you can eliminate groups of enemies or MG emplacements, with a well placed Bazooka round or even a grenade.
The rag doll psychics are excellent, as is the gore system. Get a good shot and you will see the top of an enemies head come off. A grenade or bazooka round will tear limbs off, blood flying in all directions. Its quite a gory game, there's plenty of swearing too. That much is obvious when you start the game using an M3 grease gun which you picked up from the corpse of a comrade and its covered in blood.
Its rated 15 but frankly I think it deserves an 18, but that's not a bad thing. Its awesome.
Like the majority of modern games, BIA has adopted the blood red "you are hurt get to cover" system that we all know and love. Dash to a wall and "dig in" to stay safe, so you can heal up.
In summary, its well worth a look. If only to kill a German, steal his MG42 and run about firing it from the hip.
I have to say I wasn't expecting much from Brothers in Arms Hell's Highway. Its release had been delayed numerous times. I was pleasantly surprised when I played it and it turned out to be excellent.
The graphics and animations really are top notch. You can tell the soldiers actions were motioned captured as they look so life-like. Your squad mates are quite intelligent, they will take cover automatically when being fired at and do a good job of taking out enemies. This make the experience more fun as you don't have to constantly micro manage your squad.
The campaign is very well told, featuring flashbacks to previous brothers in arms games. I found that a little bit of background knowledge into the series is needed to understand what is going on.
This is more of a simulation rather than an arcade shooter. If an enemy is behind cover you will have to pin them down and flank them. I really liked this realistic gameplay as it was more of a challenge than most shooters. It gets pretty tough towards the end when you are taking on multiple tanks but it's really satisfying to play.
The multiplayer offers all the standard modes and it feels a bit like an afterthought. This isn't to say its bad it just doesn't offer anything new.
Brothers in arms hells highway is a brilliant military shooter that fans of the genre will almost certainly enjoy.
Brother In Arms: Hell's Highway sees you in the closing days of the WWII as you take part in the crucial Operation Market Garden in the Netherlands (Holland). The game sees you and the 101st Airbourne Division fighting to ensure that they are able to open up the infamous "Hell's Highway" as you seek to ensure a quick end to the war with as fewer casualties as possible. The game has simply stunning graphics and sound effects that make you feel like you are part of the action and even the video sequences (I normally skip these on games) are fantastic and add to the story as you get a true feel for what it was like to be part of the division. The controls are simple to learn but it will take a lot of practice for you to master them and thanks to intelligent German enemies who have terrific abilities and use these to their fullest to ensure you don't succeed. The game will make you persevere and don't expect to walk into each room and kill all enemies without having to use some tactical game play which simply adds to the game and makes you feel you achieved the victory.
I was a touch dubious about 'Brothers In Arms' and I've never really appreciated 'squad' based shooters, but my love of World War shooters, in addition to my enjoyment of the downloadable demo lead me to purchasing the Collectors Edition of the game, and I've not been disappointed.
The mechanicals of controlling (usually) two different teams of three soldiers is pretty simple - no more than an exercising in pointing to the desired location and clicking to confirm. Team Mate AI is generally good, meaning your comrades will find cover and start to attack without much hassle.
One of the coolest things about Hell's Highway is the action cam which activates a dramatic slow motion of a bullet you've just fried piercing an emeries bloody skull, or off a group of unsuspecting enemies being blows into next week (severed limbs and all).
Wile the story is pretty solid, and while the game does have an invigorating soundtrack, most of the game (when not playing in the brief tank missions) is an old school shooting gallery which could, for some become repetitive, and while the game isn't graphically the most stunning game you'll ever see for the PS3, it's a well received slant on the well covered 'World War shooter', which is worth a look.
Gearbox's third entry in the venerable Brothers In Arms series heads up to the front as with the first of the series for next-generation systems. Delivering on the franchise's compelling story, unrivaled authenticity and intense squad-based action, Brothers In Arms Hell's Highway drops you into Operation Market-Garden, the largest airborne operation of World War II.