Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway

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Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway


A WW2 franchise that stands out is back

Iím On the Highway to Hell

In a market almost oversaturated with first person shooters, very few stand out as truly inspiring in terms of quality, production, and entertainment values. You can pretty much count the number that meets this description on one hand. But amongst cinematic giants like Call of Duty and the reinvigorated series like Medal of Honor none compare to the dramatic tension found in the Brothers In Arms series.

Born into the last generation of gaming, the series saw two titles released, both of which were quite successful. This newest addition makes the jump to the new generation with the subtitle Hellís Highway. For those folks looking to play a solid shooter Ė that actually makes you think beyond which direction to point your gun in Ė this game looks to be right up your alley.

Paved With Good Deeds

As stated before the Brothers In Arms series is rooted in drama and this new title looks to be no different. Taking place belong the almost laughably overdone Normandy breakout campaign, Hellís Highway occurs in the often overlooked timeframe of the ambitious Operation Market Garden in September 1944. The story of the game follows Sgt. Matt Baker, protagonist of the first game in the series and leader of 3rd Squad from the 101st Airborne Divisionís Fox Company. He is reuniting with Sgt. Joseph "Red" Hartsock, the hero of the second game and leader of Bakerís fire team. The two jump into Holland alongside several other returning characters from the previous games such as Corrion, Zanovich, and Obrieski. Should a character die in combat they never reappear which adds a motivating consequence to keeping your men alive and well.

Of course, as history will testify, Market Garden didnít exactly go as planned and this game makes no deviation in that regard. Baker has seen the harder side of the war in his time as squad leader, watching as his friends are riddled with lead and blown apart right before his eyes. As such, he is haunted by the memories of his peers and finds himself questioning his actions here to now. Hellís Highway looks to make this a relevant part of the overall gameplay experience. Utilizing a system similar to the one used by Bungie for the Cortana messages in Halo 3, the ghosts of Bakerís squad mates haunt him as he marches through Nazi territory and will appear when one of his memories is triggered.

A Work of Art

Like many other titles released lately Hellís Highway uses the Unreal Engine 3 and is graphically one of the best titles that in development on that platform. Even when first shown early last year the game looked fantastic and it looks even better now. The developers of the game are creating a truly immersive experience with one of the most realistic displays of environments ever created in a World War II game. Villages, such as Eindhoven, have been recreated to match to realism portrayed in the game. To quote the developerís historical Advisor, ďif you were to study the maps you could well walk the streets of the locations today as a tour guide, as Hellís Highway covers almost every nook and cranny actually built by human hands over sixty years agoĒ. While previous videos have shown frame rate slowdowns that could potentially hammer the performance of the game, now that the final version of the Unreal Engine 3 has been released its most likely that this will be smoothed over. The game will also utilize high dynamic range audio which, alongside being able to use localized sound, will be able to prioritize loud sounds from soft ones.