No Bullshit, Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway is a great game except for one major flaw. It should have came out last year when the games many, minor flaws would have been one that most gamers would have overlooked and praise what the game does right.
It’s obvious that the developers took the time to craft beautiful cut scenes with a truly cinematic score. It’s a shame that these aspects are plagued by a lazy effort to apply last generation, low resolution textures to many of the in game models. While this may not bother some gamers, it can be distracting enough to get in the way of becoming absorbed in the lovingly crafted World War II atmosphere. Make no mistake, in many scenes, the attention to detail is quite impressive, even if it is ultimately crippled by a seemingly half-assed approach.
The story also does a great job of creating the World War II feel with particular attention to detail, however, it sorely lacks in building any sense of emotional attachment to your squad mates. So while there is constant exposition of the story taking place, it’s often hindered by the fact that you can barely remember the main character’s name, which can leave you feeling like you’re merely going through the motions rather than fighting the good fight. It’s funny, but the only time I ever cared about any of my squad mates was when one of their deaths was announced by their rank and name popping up on the screen. As simple a game mechanic as this is, it was far more effective in getting me to care about my squad mates than any cut scene was.
Where Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway truly succeeds as a worthwhile experience is in accomplishing what the series is renowned for: providing gamers with innovative squad based teamwork. During intense firefights, your friendly A.I. displays an uncanny amount of intelligence. Your squad will quickly react to the orders you bark in the thick of combat, and will realistically adapt if things get to hairy. Often the most frustrating moments in the game were when my squad mates died as a result of my own stupid mistakes and tactical blunders.
But, (you knew there was a ‘but’ coming didn’t you) this game should have been called Brothers in Arms: Half-Ass Highway, because even though the squad gameplay shines, it’s often overshadowed by the sub par control over the main character, Whathisname. The controls are often plagued by the old school controlling a robot that’s not a robot FPS feel. Whathisname would often crouch when I didn’t want to crouch, sticking to cover when I didn’t want to stick to cover and vice versa. The run button is a joke, defeated by having no ability to strafe while running, so I would sometimes find myself running into walls instead of veering slightly to the left or right for cover. While most of these are nit picks, it’s a shitload of nit picks that take away from the final product.
While many gamers have turned away from World War II shooters, Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway does provide an entertaining experience, and as a nice bonus, the achievements are easy to get. The whole package would provide solid entertainment on a rainy day. I can’t reccomend it as a buy-right-now, but as a weekend rental or a bargain bin find during the lazy days of summer, it’ll be a sound investment. It’s a shame this game didn’t come out last year, as I probably would have recommend this for a buy.
By the way, in case your wondering why I have not said anything about the game’s multiplayer, well…. its because it’s a fucking joke that’s not even worth mentioning. It was tacked on for what appears to be no reason, and won’t be challenging COD4’s dominance anytime soon. After all is said and done, I have to give it The Gamers Pub rating of…