Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway review

Fierce action and bro-bonding drama worthy of an HBO mini-series

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A diverse variety of settings keeps the action from getting repetitive; Hell’s Highway starts off with familiar hedgerow combat in broad daylight (which shows off the dynamic lighting to great effect), but gradually transitions to more gloomy nighttime and rain-soaked missions. It’s a very deliberate transition - the not-so-subtle mood change reflects the twists and turns of the gripping story.

One day I was celebrated for liberating the town of Eindhoven in a radiant parade, and the next I was weaving through the burning wreckage of the same town after the Nazis retaliated with firebombs. Every mission in this game is grounded by a compelling story thread, whether it’s rescuing the wayward son of your local contact or chasing after one of your men who goes AWOL in the name of love. In fact, the best aspect of the game is how it never loses sight of its characters or the story, and forces you to face the taxing trauma of war as you watch buddies die.

In one cut-scene, a squad member remarks about how empty his jeep feels after a recent loss - those words are believable not just because of the superb voice-acting, but because the game succeeded in making me care for these fictional soldiers. Even if some of the plot is a little contrived and heavily inspired by HBO’s Band of Brothers, it still resonated with me right through the game credits.

The game benefits from excellent production values: best-in-class art direction, character animation, and graphics all contribute to the cinematic experience. Little details like dirt being splashed onto your screen and the shadow a soldier’s helmet casts over his brow really bring the game to life, and add up to make Hell’s Highway a tremendous success as a narrative-driven shooter.

PC Gamer scores games on a percentage scale, which is rounded to the closest whole number to determine the GamesRadar score.

PCG Final Verdict: 93% (excellent)

More info

DescriptionThis gritty, squad-based WWII shooter is still well made and gory as all get out, but it really doesn't stray from the formula of other games in the series, or WWII games in general.
Franchise nameBrothers in Arms
UK franchise nameBrothers In Arms
Platform"PS3","Xbox 360","PC"
US censor rating"Mature","Mature","Mature"
UK censor rating"Rating Pending","Rating Pending","Rating Pending"
Alternative names"BiA"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)