previews\ May 9, 2006 at 8:00 pm

Brothers in Arms Hell

E3 2006 First Look Preview

The Brothers in Arms games have been one of the hallmarks of the WWII shooter genre since the first game was released just a couple years ago. The next entry, Hell’s Highway marks the series’ first entry to the next-gen, with releases on the PS3 and the Xbox 360. This one promises to bring the series over in style, offering intense battles while maintaining the sense of camaraderie between the soldiers, as well as incredible graphics and a great feeling of atmosphere.

Hell’s Highway keeps you as Matt Baker, the war hero and veteran of the series. However, this time around, Baker has gained access to a recon team, meaning that he has a lot more assets at his disposal as he fights in the war against Axis forces.

One of the things that the team is working on putting together to make the game a fresh and compelling experience are the Brotherhood Moments. Dubbed “Bro-Mos” by the team, Brotherhood Moments basically occur when something unique happens on the battlefield. Similar to Burnout (where you can slow down to watch car crashes are they occur), Bro-Mos will slow down the world as something vital happens. One segment showcasing this had one of Baker’s fellow soldiers getting shot and then falling back, at which point Baker catches him in slow-motion, which actually looked very cool and cinematic.

The development team behind Hell’s Highway is taking a different approach than seen in previous First Person Shooters as far as your actual character is concerned. Whereas other FPS’s have made your character a camera with a gun on it, Hell’s Highway will have you playing as a full-on avatar akin to a third-person shooter, a living, breathing character with actual dimensions within the game’s universe. The character will be fully animated, casting real shadows and loading clips from his belt and so on, really adding to the game’s atmosphere.

The environments are also more realistic, teeming with details and ambience. If you shoot at a sheet hanging from a clothesline for example, the sheet will get holes in it and flap realistically in the wind.

Great AI has been a mainstay in the series for some time now, and Hell’s Highway is poised to deliver in this regard. There are lots of believable characters, each with their own personalities and approaches to battle. They’ll form relationships with each other, good or bad, and react in the fight in different ways as a result.

Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway is going to be quite the impressive jump to next-gen when it’s released later this year.


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