Brothers in Arms is a game with a tactic. And that tactic is this: you can suppress the enemy with one lot of soldiers, then flank around and finish them with another. This is initially quite satisfying – and it’s a nice change from run ’n’ gun titles like Call of Duty – but notice how we didn’t say tactics, plural? That’s because there is only the one. The game revels in its single tactic like a dog with a bone, seemingly oblivious to the fact that flanking can’t solve everything.
You’ll be doing a lot of flanking and remote waggling in Brothers in Arms: Double Time, which marks the series’ first appearance on Wii. It’s two games in one, as the box proudly boasts. Well, sort of. The games are almost identical – that is, WWII shooters featuring a bit of squad management, no multiplayer, and a lot of boring ‘war is hell’ talk. These ports of Road to Hill 30 and Earned in Blood aren’t as needlessly fiddly as you’d expect. Motion controls, on the whole, are quite good; gimmicky gestures are thankfully restricted, and usually quite easy to pull off.
The world itself is atmospheric, if a little muddy and homogenous – we’re now sick to the back teeth of French countryside, and never want to return. It’s a world clumsily realised, however. Enemies don’t know how to react, with the typical response to a hail of gunfire being to stand perfectly still as it rains down on them. Battles are painfully formulated, taking any element of choice out of proceedings, while cover couldn’t be more obvious if it was glowing, neon and on fire.
Don’t be fooled by this double package – it’s one great idea spread across two mediocre games. While the other consoles enjoy Hell’s Highway, the latest addition to the series, the Wii’s been tossed two lazy ports of its prequels instead. We wouldn’t give this twinset the Double Time of day.
Dec 10, 2008