RSS

Brothers In Arms – Hell’s Highway

11 Oct

Just played about 5 hours worth of this game. Not bad at all.

A short introduction of the game,

It’s a FPS set in WWII (as fucking expected) focusing on Operation Market Garden. You control Staff-Sergeant Matt Baker and his squad, and according to Wikipedia:

The fictional Staff-Sergeant Matt Baker is a squad leader in the 101st Airborne Division. He and characters from the previous game are reassigned to the division’s special reconnaissance unit before the drop into The Netherlands. The game will follow the 101st’s assault and securing of Eindhoven, and the subsequent defense of the surrounding area from German counter attacks.

So basically that sums it up.

I’m not really going to go into details about everything, since you can get abit of info over at wikipedia and i haven’t really finish the game yet, so most things i’d be mentioning here would be mostly ‘first hand’ experiences and some of the things worth mentioning, good or bad.

The good

Artificial Intelligence

AI’s have always been stupid. But for once, Hell’s Highway’s AI are quite good, both your team and the enemies. Sure they suffer from a few quirks and there(glaring in bazooka squads) but overall it is still pretty impressive. Especially when you consider the fact that you are the one issuing the command.

You see, when it’s predefined at least developers can anticipate the problems and thus minimize the number of ‘bugs’ appearing, but its very hard when you, as the user is controlling the squad yourself, things become unpredictable as people have different styles of playing and the chances of something screwing up is very high. So to see such ‘bug-free’ gameplay in terms of the AI is really worth a mention.

Enemies are clever too, but they should all be. So nothing worth commenting on here.

There are STILL a few bugs here and there, but it’s pretty minor considering what I just mentioned before. overall a great job done I feel.

Gore and action cam(?)

Flying limbs! Exploding heads! spilled out guts! this feature turns me into a very very biased man. hohoho

The action cam is actually a feature where the camera will zoom in and things go slow motion when something ‘major’ happens. like say you ordering your squad to blow up the krauts with the bazooka or you throwing a grenade etc. A head shot sometimes activates the action cam too.

But it’s not always. sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. I’d say the frequency is moderate. not too much not too little.

Realism

Your squads actually does a good job of informing you when they see krauts. and for the added realism when they are close they will whisper and when things really get heated up they will scream like a bunch of orcs… some of the lines they say can be quite funny and overall, this is a good thing if you really wanna ‘immerse yourself into to action’, so to speak.

Cover

Anything that looks like a cover can be used for a cover in this game. It’s just a matter of whether it’s effective enough. It’s very vital as this is directly tied to your health: the longer you stay out in the open while under enemy fire, the faster ‘your health’ depletes, probably 5-10secs(depending on enemy arsenal) out in the open and ya pulp. Pretty unique i must say, at least now no one will say their main character has some sort of magical auto-healing device strapped to their back or something.

Strategy

Flank flank flank flank flank! this game emphasize this so much each map’s layout is designed to let you have a chance to flank. The rest is up to the creativity and brains of the player himself. But for those who’d rather be a hotdog seller than a strategist, fret not, for I feel that flanking in this game is not really crucial actually, as your teammates are rather efficient in killing off the enemy. Only adds to the realism and probably for those who wants a challenge. With that said, there are still some scenarios where you have to use a bit of brain, and the map the game gives you is pretty handy for this.

The Bad

The story

The single most irritating thing in a game that I dread. I’m a story based gamer. i don’t care about replayability, secret tokens to find and whatnot, what i want is to play the game, enjoy myself with a good story, complete it and chuck it one corner, never to touch it again.

But Hell’s highway does not give me that when it comes to the story! It’s EXTREMELY confusing. I donnoe whether isit I’ve not played previous instalments of the game or this game’s narration is really whacked up. Sudden flashbacks and twisted timelines really really pisses me off.

Or maybe it could just be I haven’t completed the game yet. but seriously, many times I get so confused I just feel like quitting. but meh. Other aspects of the game keeps me going.

Controls

Really needs abit of getting use to.. I donnoe whether previous instalments of brothers in arms uses the same control config, but everything’s rather messed up here. space is sprint, shift cycles through your weapon.. I’m not quite used to this configuration, but meh i adapted.

and since this game focuses on giving your squad commands, the usual ‘right mouse click brings up the iron sight/scope of your weapon’ config is replaced by mouse 3. while right click issues commands to your team. this is still ok since there are certain games that sets their controls this way too, but people who follows the old config might need a little of getting use to.

Cover and reloading animation

Since anything that looks like a cover can be used like a cover, there are chances where you use something as a cover that you are ‘not suppose’ to use, end up it kinda gets a little ‘glitchy’. it’s more of a minnor irritance than game ruining glitch. But in a war, a little screw up goes a long wayyyyy. just be careful what you use as cover.

While ya covering, the camera changes to 3rd person.. pretty nifty butttttt it affects the reloading animation in some way. Try reloading while ‘exiting’ from cover and you’ll get what I mean. pretty hard to explains here. Again just a minor irritance as long as you’re not in a very heated exchange with the enemy.

No melee

Or at least I couldn’t find the button responsible for it. It’s really very rare, but it does happen. The enemy sometimes charges towards you when you get too close, and once they do that, its bye bye to you. 95% sucess rate of killing you once they shoot you point blank. A melee here might help you, but too bad, this game doesn’t give you the chance to melee. so to avoid it, don’t get too close to the enemy.

Graphics

Hmmmmmm… I’ve never really liked the unreal engine specifically… so this might sound a little bit biased, but whatever.

The graphics are not exactly bad (hey it’s the year 2008 man!) but it’s not THAT good either. Quite glitchy when using iron sights.. and things just look either too plastic-ky or too ‘shiny'(which is quite common in the unreal engine for some reason)

If I have to compare, I’d say it loses out to COD4.

END REVIEW

As of now, there really isn’t much complaints but many praises for this game. the problems are really minor here so it’s worth a shot but be prepared for the confusing advancement of the story! I don’t know whether playing previous instalments will help you understand it better, but seriously, I doubt it.

A short video showing one of the early tutorials in the game:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I only just realized that there is no sound only after I finish uploading and etc. LOL. Well I’m too lazy to change, I’ll experiment with another video tmr.

Overandout!

**EDIT: I’ve finally completed the game (about 12 hours?) and i must say the story quickly unfolds itself near the end, so yah, you get mightily confused at first but after that it all falls into place.. i guess?

The only thing ya gona missed out if ya haven’t played the previous instalments is all those male bonding and etc. nothing much really.

overall a good game and worth a shot. encountered a few minor bugs plus one really irritating bug where one of my squad decided to go stoned on me and just took cover without shooting the enemy. Restarted the game(as in the exe) and problem solved!

Final score: 4/5 stars.

If you’re those that enjoy patiently planning before attacking, or planning WHILE attacking, and enjoy controlling a sizable AI squad, this game will suit you fine.

Not really recommended for those impatient rushers and thus those who hate covering, but hey, it’s your game.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 11, 2008 in Reviews

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: