Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 is a WWII shooter that gives
you a sense of the HBO series Band of Brothers. Actually if there are any fans
out there, the first part of the game gives you the feeling that this title
should have indeed been called Band of Brothers. I would imagine that HBO was
not going to give the nod to let the publishers use their title so BIA is a good
substitue. You are SGT Matt Baker of the 502 Airborn, a young soft-spoken man
from the "show me" state who volunteered as a paratrooper, but never expected to
lead a squad.
As you progress through the game, you will gain the ability to
command players to give suppressive fire, or assault targets. The further you
progress the more teams you can command. This makes firing and flanking much
easier, and takes out the plain run-and-gun element of the game. This also adds
strategy to the game, further immersing you in to the real combat experience.
Though the missions are relatively short they do provide a good storyline and
follow the first few days after D-Day quite well. After you successfully
complete a mission you can unlock different historical information about the 502
and their battles. This is a really nice feature that will have WWII buffs
salivating for more. Furthermore, it’s a great way to learn about what the 502
went through and how tough it must have been.
Missions entail a variety of things like clearing out machine
gun nests, detonating explosives on various targets, meeting up with other
soldiers, helping and using a tank in different skirmishes, and the list goes
on. The missions are realistic and Sgt Baker does gain the ability to direct
vehicles to aid in his assaults on the enemy. If any vehicle has a gun that he
can mount you are welcome to it!
The multiplayer aspect of the game will add much in the
replayability department. MP games are really geared more to an
attack-and-defend type of game. These games are a blast to play, but
unfortunately if you are looking for a king of the hill, deathmatch or capture
the flag, you will not find them here. The games are indeed exciting and fun,
but are limited to 2-4 players per game. Yes, you will have some AI characters
in there too that you can control as members of your squad, but long gone are
the big player maps. Hopefully someday they will add at least a 16-player map
even if the current style of play is the same. As soon as the game was shipped,
a patch became available to enhance the matchmaking and game selection at
ubi.com. Finding and joining a
game is a snap.
There are about 17 different weapons and a handful of vehicles
that you will come across in the game. The weapons were nicely done each with
their own distinct sound. You can carry two different guns and some grenades.
When you run out of ammo you can pick up enemy weapons or if you come across an
ammo supply box, you can reload there too. You can even jump behind some of the
machine guns and mow down the enemy. I absolutely loved jumping behind one of
those guns and just opening up on the enemy and watching them fall all around,
while taking fire from my flanks. Talk about exciting … shoo wee!
If you ever watched the series Band of Brothers, or are just a
fan of WWII games in general, this is a must have. The new tactical strategy
element of the game really adds to the realism and will be sure to please fans
of the genre.
Review Scoring Details for Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30
There are few keys to remember and the layout for the most part is pretty
good. Game played great except for the occasional crash, which from the message
boards is quite common until a new patch is released. While playing, this game
does a great job of immersing you in the game.
The graphics were nicely done. The environments were very realistic and true
to life. Buildings were a bit bland, but the characters, weapons, and vehicles
looked pretty darn good. Changing environments also looked realistic.
Audibly the game is awesome. The sound effects were some of the best I have
heard in a WWII game. The voice-overs are top notch. I can’t say there is much
of a musical score, but I wouldn’t buy a game to hear music anyway.
You can toggle the difficulty settings so you can play as intense as you
like. Upon completion of each chapter you will be awarded medals based on the
difficulty setting you choose. Each medal unlocks extras that you can view at a
later time. If you finish the game at the difficult setting you can unlock the
authentic setting. Beating the authentic setting unlocks the remaining extras.
In the last year or two we have seen a ton of games of this genre. Though
there are many great games out there, this is another you can add to the list. I
liked the feature that you can direct your own fire teams to lay down
suppressing fire or assault a target. This added even more realism to the game.
Though MP games are my favorite and we do have a MP option in this game, I
was disappointed to only find four-player games at the time of review. Still in
it’s infancy there are some kinks to be worked out such as crashing, but if you
can get into a game it is a ton of fun.
Overall this is a great game that any WWII shooter fan will enjoy.
Unfortunately, with the limited MP games and buggy code, this game could still
use some fine tuning. Hopefully some patches will fix this. WWII fans will
absolutely enjoy this title and I would highly recommend it. Hopefully some
patches will be addressed soon to enhance the overall experience.