I’m not gonna beat around the bush here… Brothers In Arms: Road To Hill 30 is one of the best games I’ve ever played, hands down. You can’t even compare the dozens of other WWII FPS to it – there’s simply no comparison. BIA is such a unique experience that it soars above the rest in a place all it’s own.
It’s based on a true story with the highest level of accuracy and authenticity I’ve seen in a game. Not that I’m a WWII expert or anything – but they’ve included lots of ‘extras’ that you unlock as you play – which include ‘then and now’ photos of various locations used in the game as well as structural recreations that are mind blowing.
Before each mission, there’s a black screen with the title of your next mission and the date. A voice over plays as you await the battle. Most of the time, it’s off topic banter relating to other squad mates and your past history with them. He often mentions his family, more often his father and things he remembers being taught. But there’s this one that keeps coming back to me and giving me chills. During one mission, half of your squad is left under the command of another Sgt. At the end of the mission you hear the other Sgt. screaming your name and various other things. By the time you get to him, he’s on his knees in tears with your squad mate’s dead bodies lying around him. As if that wasn’t bad enough… the voice over that immediately followed is Matt Baker (your character) screaming at the top of his lungs; “How did this happen? Why did he leave them? Fuck!“… and so on, for about 30 seconds. Totally caught me off guard and actually gave me this very uncomfortable feeling.
During the first mission that you have someone under you, I had him suppressing the enemy who were pinned behind a wall. I snook around to the left side to flank them but one of them spotted me before I had a chance to shoot. He tapped his comrade on the shoulder, pointed in my direction and they both fell back to a position where they were covered from both angles. I nearly dropped the controller and shat my pants all at the same time. Best. AI. Ever.
I just beat it on normal mode and I’ve been given a couple cheats as a reward. ‘Old Movie’ mode is awesome! As you would imagine, they’ve stripped most of the colour leaving you with a grainy, sepia toned image. So cool! The other cheat I unlocked was infinite ammo – which I think is useless. I don’t remember running out once – but maybe I’m just used to conserving since playing Half-Life 2 and Halo 2 a couple times each.
Oh, almost forgot. By default, there’s no crosshair! You can’t imagine how strange it feels to play without a crosshair until you do it. You are able to turn it on if you want – but I think it cheapens the game and chose to keep it the way the developers wanted me to play it.
Like I said – this game is incredible on so many levels. Do yourself a favour and pick it up.
The sequel has been announced for end of this year. Can’t wait!