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 %26ndash; and it%26rsquo;s a nice change from run %26rsquo;n%26rsquo; gun titles like Call of Duty %26ndash; but notice how we didn%26rsquo;t say tactics, plural? That%26rsquo;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%26rsquo;t solve everything.
You%26rsquo;ll be doing a lot of flanking and remote waggling in Brothers in Arms: Double Time, which marks the series%26rsquo; first appearance on Wii. It%26rsquo;s two games in one, as the box proudly boasts. Well, sort of. The games are almost identical %26ndash; that is, WWII shooters featuring a bit of squad management, no multiplayer, and a lot of boring %26lsquo;war is hell%26rsquo; talk. These ports of Road to Hill 30 and Earned in Blood aren%26rsquo;t as needlessly fiddly as you%26rsquo;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 %26ndash; we%26rsquo;re now sick to the back teeth of French countryside, and never want to return. It%26rsquo;s a world clumsily realised, however. Enemies don%26rsquo;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%26rsquo;t be more obvious if it was glowing, neon and on fire.
Don%26rsquo;t be fooled by this double package %26ndash; it%26rsquo;s one great idea spread across two mediocre games. While the other consoles enjoy Hell%26rsquo;s Highway, the latest addition to the series, the Wii%26rsquo;s been tossed two lazy ports of its prequels instead. We wouldn%26rsquo;t give this twinset the Double Time of day.
Dec 10, 2008