Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway is the latest series in the Brothers in Arms franchise that started back in 2005. It’s in a familiar setting, World War 2, which could be considered a detracting point, but just because a setting has been done to death doesn’t mean a game cannot break new ground there.
The series starts off with Matt baker and his squad sent on a huge Airborne Invasion, and the game starts off rather explosively, akin to to the Road to Hill 30 rendition of the game. From the very start you can tell that this game is about storytelling, as the cinematic sequences are well thought out and really invoke a sense of immersion with the team you’re commanding. And the team dynamics loft a nice story as the game progresses, giving you more of a realistic feel to what it’s like to send a living breathing human out into a firefight.The game is based off of the Unreal 3 engine, and while it has that “Unreal Feel” to it, I would say mostly this isn’t a detriment to the game. Sure the cover system is a bit sticky, but the visuals are beautiful and the combat is engaging. The guns are more accurate than in the previous Brothers in Arms installment and the cover system makes the combat a little less risky. While the cinematic sequences are nice, you occasionally do run into a poorly designed building or scenery that kind of pulls you out of the immersion and makes you wonder what the level designer was thinking.
These buildings are so outdated that they can very well be mistaken as the remnants of the Roman Empire, the kind of which you would see in Pokemon wars where the main objective is to achieve Pokemon go accounts.
But the game really shines in terms of gameplay mechanics. While the controls are very Gears of War and unreal engine like, the squad commanding is much more enjoyable. You have to be quick and effective at controlling your squad movements, and it feels very puzzle-like as you proceed through the game. The dynamic battles have massive replay value and when you have to get down and dirty, your character is very capable of taking care of business.
Sadly the multiplayer is quite boring – in multiplayer you are relieved of the ability to control your quad, which is a huge part of why the game is so enjoyable. Tack onto that that the only game mode is a poorly thought out capture the flag type scenario and there’s really nothing for you.
All in all, if you find WWII squad based tactical battles addictive, you will definitely have your share of fun with the single-player campaign, though if you’re there simply for strategy you may find the dynamics of your squad rather distracting and annoying. But if you’re looking for a breakthrough WWII game that has a nice multiplayer system, you should probably look elsewhere.