Dec 20, 2007
The Brothers in Arms series has always been more thought-provoking than most: its focus on suppression fire, team orders and flanking maneuvers set it apart from the usual run-and-gun nature of your average shooter. Hell's Highway is no exception, and thanks to the new hardware it's gained a few tricks.
Sergeant Baker reprises his role as a squad leader in the 101st Airborne Division, but unlike protagonists from other WWII games (that shall remain nameless for now) he doesn't react well to taking a bullet. The brutal truth is that medi-packs and momentary pauses will not heal wounds, and with that in mind Gearbox have created a risk system that feels authentic. If you're taking fire the screen will start to blur and turn red. React to this risk and all should be fine. However, if you continue to stand around you can bet your bottom dollar that Mrs. Baker will soon receive a letter of condolence. In practice the system works like Halo's shields, but because you're increasing risk, not soaking up bullets, it feels more believable.
It's not the only likeable aspect of the game. Lock-to-cover moves are now in place and the popular suppression meters make a welcome return: the idea being that soldiers will inevitably hide if they're under fire. Spraying a few bullets toward a group of enemies will buy you a little time, letting you adjust your plan. If you order your team to lay down covering fire you'll be able to sneak up on foes from behind.