"I can't shoot there, Sarge." Simple, scary and powerful words. When you hear them in Brothers in Arms, be assured that they carry more weight than Vanessa Feltz's slippers.
You're hunkered down behind a hedge with your fire team, bullets whistling past your ears. There are two machine gun emplacements buried deep in the foliage up ahead and you can barely make out the landscape, let alone the whites of their eyes.
You went out on a limb to get round the back and Hartsock and Leggett can't provide covering fire. If you're going to take those positions with your intestines intact this assault is going take a whole lot more... thinking.
Brothers in Arms places you in the boots of the fictional, reluctant squad leader Sergeant Matt Baker in the emphatically non-fiction setting of the D-Day landings. BIA is not inspired by real life as much as it's a virtual recreation of actual missions actual soldiers actually went through during The Longest Day.
No man won the war alone, and Brothers in Arms requires you to both command and lead your squad through crucial missions during the first nine days of the allied invasion.
Duff commands can mean Chuck ain't marrying his high-school sweetheart from Missouri, and that's the sort of responsibility you're going to have to handle and later confront.
BIA habitually exhibits that war is hell but, thankfully, ordering your troops about is not. For the majority of the missions (most of them based around taking and defending farmhouses, villages and towns) you'll have a fire team and an assault team to accompany you.
In terms of squad shooters this is one of the most accessible and successful implementations we've seen. However, as an FPS it can be occasionally exasperating.
Nonetheless, BIA manages to provide an entertaining and satisfying tour of Normandy without in any way sensationalising or patronising the subject matter.
Undoubtedly there are issues we'd like to see addressed in the inevitable sequel: more varied levels, more tanks, more proactive enemy AI, fairer firing. Despite these quibbles, BIA is the finest war shooter on Xbox. It's time to enlist.
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