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Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 (PC) artwork

Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 (PC) review


"I am a big fan of the genre of World War II FPS since Wolfenstein 3D, so I expected a great fun ride from this game, especially considering enthusiastic reviews. Instead this was a survival horror of intensively irritating dumbness and it all looked so bright in the beginning. "



I am a big fan of the genre of World War II FPS since Wolfenstein 3D, so I expected a great fun ride from this game, especially considering enthusiastic reviews. Instead this was a survival horror of intensively irritating dumbness and it all looked so bright in the beginning.

So as you may already know, the innovation about this game is that mostly you act as a squad leader, ordering teams through the battlefield. It might sound bad for someone who has a long training in lone ranger type of shooter games, but actually the command system is very easy and it works pretty well, at first it looks good and gets better while playing. Unfortunately soon enough you start to get into hilarious and irritating situations which ultimately spoil the game.

While graphics are getting better and better in modern games, AI development seems to stuck in a hole and this time it affects the player directly. You order a team to move to a spot nearby and then you watch them running around the whole map getting shot at by each and every enemy. You will be told that your team members are trained soldiers and they will take cover by themselves, however if you order them to a place too small for the algorithm, you will find some of them taking cover on the other side of it, that is, covering the cover by their own body. Tanks are another fail in the game, you are told that they can be destroyed by climbing up on them and throwing a grenade in, so you manage to get near a tank and you need to get to the back of it (as everyone knows a tank can be climbed on from behind only), but the tank as a hound dog can smell you and knows exactly where you are so it keeps turning around to get you. Now imagine dancing in circles with a tank in the middle of the battlefield.

Remember the scene from Pulp Fiction when a guy comes out of a closet fired the whole round at Travolta and Jackson and misses. It apparently inspired this game, you can sneak the enemy group from behind, fire the whole round of Thompson in the back and then watch them turn around slowly and and just shoot you. I heard that Tommys were not very accurate, but I didn't expect they would be that bad.

Sadly the levels are designed in strictly linear way and you have to touch the way through like a blind man, discovering such well known obstacles as super-dense bushes (impenetrable by a soldier), short garden walls (they seem 1 meter high tops, but you know a soldier can't jump that high), wooden anti-tank barriers and such. So the area can look like a city or a field, but in fact it's a Pac-Man maze in disguise. It might be especially frustrating sometimes, like when you get the idea to flank the enemy, only to discover that you have to walk back on your exact footsteps to the start point of the map, from where you can watch the enemy hidden behind a bullet proof steel fence (or maybe it's this inaccurate Thompson). In this respect Doom was better, at least you knew that, if there's a wall, there's a wall and you can't shoot through.

The final annoyance are spoken word introductions to each mission, giving you an insight on those dark war times - in short soldier's words, they are dumb, poorly acted and for worst, they can't be skipped. Altogether it managed to turn a war drama into a bad comedy. I gave up on the last mission and I have to say this game irritated the hell out of me. It's sad, as it really has a potential and the play scheme idea is quite good. Yet, it still needs years of AI development and decades of level design studies. I give two point for really nice graphics.

Rating: 2/10

stardeaf's avatar
Community review by stardeaf (July 26, 2010)

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