source (teamxbox): http://reviews.teamxbox.com/xbox/900...to-Hill-30/p1/
War is hell. We’ve heard this adage with just about every war-themed film or documentary release, but the truth is most of us will never experience the ravages first-hand, God willing. For many of us, these horrible conflicts are nothing more than stories we read; movies we watch. But in fact war is drama we don’t need to fabricate because it has been all too real; just ask those that have taken part.
Perhaps no other war in history touched so many lives than the events of World War II. It was a time that ushered in many changes across the world, especially for the art of war. While tanks, machine guns, and other technological weapons of destruction had been used during the first World War, they didn’t show their true destructive power until the second worldwide conflict. This is one of the reasons that more than fifty-two million people lost their lives during both the European and Pacific Theaters of World War II. The invasion of Normandy alone saw nearly 30,000 US troops killed and 106,000 wounded or missing. War is hell…indeed.
So why would we want to relive the trying times of WWII in a videogame? The answer might be different for every gamer. Some folks are history buffs, other people simply like to shoot things. As for me…I like to think of it as a tribute to those men and women that died so that I can enjoy the life I have today. The problem is the majority of WWII-themed games have been more arcade like than an actual representation of how things actually were during that time. To that end I can honestly say that Ubisoft’s latest release, Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 is a TRUE tribute and the best WWII game to date.
Brothers in Arms is based on the real-life happenings of the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army during an eight day period of the Normandy invasion of 1944; particularly those revolving around squad leader, Sgt. Matt Baker. While preparing for their drop during D-Day, an artillery shell hits the plane, requiring the 101st to evacuate immediately. This causes the Baker and his paratroopers to be scattered all across the French countryside. Now he must not only attempt to reunite with his squad, but assist the Allied forces in eliminating the German military threat. It should be noted that the soldiers found in the game are fictional representations of the real “Screaming Eagles”.
This game feels special right from the very beginning. There is a sense of storytelling that no other war-themed game has managed to achieve. When coupled with the incredible accuracy of the events, locations, tactics, and weapons, Brothers in Arms raises the bar for WWII games from here on out. If you don’t get chills from the opening scene, then check your pulse. The virtual photo album of the 101st with the gripping score playing in the background had me feeling as if I was sitting down to watch a 3 hour war epic rather than play a videogame.
This realism of Brothers in Arms means that this is not a game for the kiddies. The dialogue and the very graphic depictions of war are something that only mature gamers should experience. Ubisoft and Gearbox Software didn’t pull any punches in Brothers in Arms and it is a better game for it.
The single-player campaign is spread across 20 missions that follow the eight day span from June 6 – June 14, 1944. The first few missions serve for little else than an in-game tutorial to the controls and command system, but the action picks up fairly quickly afterward. There is no co-op mode for Brothers in Arms, but honestly, it would have detracted from the overall impact of the campaign. This is something that you wouldn’t want to experience in split-screen, and it would have also taken away from the strong story. The campaign does use an auto-save feature that allows you to continue progress from the last save point. Chapters can also be accessed and replayed after they’ve been completed. The game has three available difficulty levels from the get-go (easy, normal, and difficult), with an “authentic” mode becoming accessible after beating the entire single-player campaign. Authentic mode uses no save points and a few on-screen indicators are also disabled (though these can also be manually turned off in the options menu in any mode).