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Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway Review

Published November 3, 2008 in Console Games
By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders
Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway
There must be a lot of people obsessed with World War II for there to be so many competing WWII games on the market. Obviously there are the main titles that get it right each time out, but expert gamers play through those faster than they can come out. A die hard WWII FPS gamer will need a fix, so a game like Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway could be his go-to backup.

Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway

All the tactics you can employ are cool. Taking cover and suppressing enemy clusters really feels more like a game than just running around shooting. It may take time to set up your team and aim your gun, but you’ll have to. I get most hung up on the controls. There are a lot of buttons to remember, but that’s me being a novice. I also kept wanting R1 to be the trigger instead of R2. I’ll learn.

The missions move like stories, so it’s not just blast all the people you see. You’re moving on because you cleared the first area. Each checkpoint is a mini-story about how they gained a little bit of ground or cleared a small objective. Of course, these are the hallmarks of all tactical FPS games, so Hell’s Highway is holding up in line with the top tier genre games.

I’m no expert at this, but I find it pretty intuitive to set up a cover with my team, then take cover around the side and zoom in to pick off the enemies. Finding the ideal cover or angle to strike is the nuance of the game. Checkpoints come often enough that you don’t have to restart from too far back, and the voices of your team are clear enough to let you know when they’re reloading and when they resume cover fire. This considering I don’t know military tech talk.

Even the enemies’ tactics are exciting, watching the Germans split up to flank you, knowing you have to cut them off at a certain point lest they get close enough to fire on your squad. Even with unlimited ammo in an MG depot, you have to aim and you have to figure out which way the enemies are coming.

I feel bad having so much fun with this. I’m having all the fun without the tragic consequences. I mean, kids die in wars. These were human beings, even the Germans. But man, throwing a grenade into a room and then seeing the bodies fly past the doorway is awesome. And I must admit a sense of pride when I score a headshot. To the game’s credit, this is my issue. They do address the very real tragedy of war.

Graphics are fine. I’m not blown away by the reality of it though the details are beautiful and it’s the interaction with the world that sells the game, not how real the backgrounds and enemies look. Feathers shooting up from mattresses and fence pickets splitting apart make you feel like you’re aiming for a covered enemy, although really, bullets can’t go through mattreses?

Unskippable cut scenes annoy me. The story is lovingly crafted with emotion and intensity, but I just don’t care about stories in games. I’m here to play, I don’t have time to watch the movies. So that’s just me.

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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of respective holders

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