Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 (Microsoft Xbox, 2005)
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|Although it offers its share of authentically equipped, WWII shooter action, Brothers in Arms is a squad-based game that requires players to manage and deploy their three-soldier teams intelligently in order to meet mission challenges. Instead of a straightforward run-and-gun progression, the game's situations are designed such that players may need to move their men around the battlefield to recon the surroundings, provide cover fire, and pin down the enemy, before they move in for the final kill.
The adventure begins with the D-day airdrop over Normandy, and missions follow situations faced by various members of the real-life 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment. The player's character, Matt Baker, is also based on the stories of an actual World War II paratrooper.
In addition to its action and tactical challenges, Brothers in Arms also incorporates some role-playing styled decision-making. While the game's AI is intended to provide for competent, self-preserving squad-members, is also endows them with human wants and fears. Baker must consider his teammates interests as if they were real people -- his "Brothers in Arms" -- in order to keep their trust and have them follow his orders effectively.
Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 was a commercial success, selling 1.7 million copies by the end of March 2005.
Philip Morton of Thunderbolt gave the game a perfect 10/10 rating and called it as "exactly what the genre needed." He praised the gameplay that he described as "honed to near-perfection." However, the game's repetitive gameplay have also garnered negative feedback from other critics. Maxim gave the Xbox version a score of 8/10 and stated that "Gamers with short attention spans will likely find all the squad management tedious, but we think it adds a much-needed dimension to a very stale genre."
Detroit Free Press gave the Xbox version 3 out of 4 stars, saying that it "could have been a four-star game, were it not for a couple of things that don't work well. You can press a button to give you an overhead view during missions. But instead of helping to advance the plot, the swirling, zooming view left me dizzy. And the enemy intelligence is set pretty low, meaning they don't pursue you with much cunning." The Sydney Morning Herald on the other hand, which also gave the game 4 out of 5 stars, praised the AI which they described as intelligent, but also criticized the redundant gameplay saying that "most encounters are overcome using the same method: laying suppressing fire and flanking."
|Game||Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30|
|Genre||First Person Shooter|
|Number of Players||1 - 4 (System Link 2 - 4)|
|ESRB Rating||M - Mature|
|ESRB Descriptor||Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language|
|Game Special Features||
|Game Series||Brothers in Arms Series|
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