Borthers in Arms: Hell's Highway Review

Heading to the frontline with our brothers.

Review by Darren Cartledge
Published 25th November 2008

Borthers in Arms: Hell's Highway

  • Developer: Ubisoft
  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Release Date: 10th October 2008

It seems, for the first person shooter genre there’s no escaping the World War II setting as Call of Duty heads back there with World at War and just like its predecessors Brothers in Arms: Hells Highway once again focuses on a band of men in the midst of battle.

In Brothers in Arms: Hells Highway players assume the role of Sergeant Matt Baker, part of 101st Airborne Division in Operation Market-Garden, one of the most unsuccessful operations undertaken by allied forces during World War II. Your mission is to open the infamous “Hell’s Highway” to bring a quick end to the war.

BIA: HH is very much a squad based affair, so much so that if you fail to issue commands to your AI controlled squad members they will often shout at you to do so. You can control two different squads at any one time. These are usually made up of a basic assault squad and a more specialised squad, such as a bazooka or heavy machine gun team. The general premise of Hell’s highway, like other Brothers in Arms games, is to pin the enemy down with fire with one team whilst you and another flank them and take them out.

This approach gives the game a very staged feeling, so much so that battles in the game lack the intensity on offer in other WWII themed shooters. This is further compounded by the fact that enemies always appear in the same positions and move around the game maps the same way each time you have to reload a checkpoint and replay the action. This can make the game feel a little boring at times as you quickly learn the enemy’s movements.

Missions in Brothers in Arms are all fairly similar, although the game does throw up a little variety at times, for instance in one mission your squad gets to undertake their mission in a tank and in another your character becomes separated from the rest of his squad meaning he must face the enemy on his own for a short time.

Despite the staged feeling of Brothers in Arms the challenge on offer is pretty good, mainly due to the fact that the Germans you face in the game are all pretty good shots and if you or a member of your squad is stupid enough to stand in the open they have no quibbles about filling you full of lead. Add this to the fact that they don’t have a death wish and will stay firmly hidden behind cover while gun shots can be heard, then you really have to make use of the games pin and flank system.

Multiplayer support is sadly limited to a conquest style game, with two teams vying for control of two points on the map. One team plays as attackers and have to raise their flag over one of the control points in order to win. The other team obviously plays as the defenders and have to stop the other from gaining control of the points at all costs. The multiplayer aspect of Brothers in Arms in largely forgettable and doesn’t really offer any lasting appeal after the first few plays, which is fairly disappointing.

Graphics wise the game is very good, character models are all highly detailed and characters have a very rugged look about them from the ravages of war. Animation is very good with characters moving in a very realistic way. Environments look pretty good, although textures aren’t the sharpest you’ll ever see on the current crop of consoles.

Voice acting in Brothers in Arms is done very well and the characters portray the roles with a good deal of realism, although some of the in-game voice acting does grind on you after a while due to its repetitive nature. Sound effects used for weapons fire and grenades are very good and the games soundtrack fits the theme perfectly.

Brothers in Arms is very much a squad based affair, however it feels very different from other squad based FPS, the action is some what slower and feels staged kind of like one of those re-enacted battles you see on TV. This takes away a lot from the playing experience as the intensity of war is very much lost through this system. A good game, however it lacks the edge on offer in other games.

Review Score: 7/10

Please note, this review was scored using our old system. For more information please see our review policy.

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