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Brothers in Arms

If Full Spectrum Warrior was your idea of an exciting squad-based shooter, Brothers In Arms is going to make you just as trigger-squeezing happy.

The two games are similar - both set in the thick of war, both with you playing as an American squad commander and each high on strategy and non-existent on Medal of Honor-style running and gunning. The big difference between the two games, though, is that Ubisoft's Brothers In Arms is a real-time game where you have direct control over your character. Oh, and there's a 50 year gap between them.

Set in Normandy, the game starts as your division is dropped behind enemy lines, who end up scattered all over the place, leaving you with a relatively small squad. This changes as you progress, as you rescue other team members, making your team larger. The enemy also gets tougher, too, so every one of them is needed.

Realism is at the centre of Brothers In Arms - not only has each location been recreated using photographs from the time of the invasion, the events happening in the game are based on real incidents. Gun-fights have been designed to feel as real as possible, so when you're confronted with two Germans hiding behind a wall, the aim is to suppress them then take them out, as opposed to just firing at their bobbing heads.

Above each enemy's head is a grey icon that shows whether your squad has them pinned down and helps you find the best position to take them out. Likewise, if you're pinned down or under attack, instead of losing health with each shot you start to hear the sound of bullets flying past you. You've then got a few seconds to get yourself out of trouble before you get hit and killed.

It sounds tough, and it is. But Brothers In Arms has also been designed with the less experienced gamer in mind and aids can be turned on and off while your squad are very competent at looking after themselves.

It might be similar to Full Spectrum Warrior, but it's almost as accessible as Rainbow Six 3. And with online play as well, it's shaping up to be one hell of a game.

Brothers In Arms will be released for Xbox, PS2 and PC in February

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