Review by ultramoogle

"Excellent depiction of combat as a Screaming Eagle in Normandy"

Brothers in Arms

In Brothers in Arms, you fight as Sergeant Matt Baker, 3rd squad, 3rd platoon, Fox Company, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne. During this epic first part of the Brothers in Arms saga, you will be fighting in Normandy during and after D-Day.

Graphics: 9/10

The game possesses magnificent graphics, but for some unknown reason, this area gets much criticism from its audience. The characters look a fair deal better than those of Call of Duty, not to mention that each has his own unique face (not the Germans, just your squad members). Trees look really real, as do the individual blades of grass. Explosions aren't the usually fiery catastrophes that the average gamers is accustomed to (realism). There is an excellent looking muzzle flash (which for some reason does not appear from 3rd person when playing multiplayer).

The textures in this game are decent for an Xbox, but good for a PS2 or PC. When bullets land near you, dirt will fly up and hit the screen; or if you get shot, tiny specs of blood will appear (but disappear after a second).

To add to the experience of the game, just about every piece of terrain found in Brothers in Arms is actually in Normandy. This means that you're virtually fighting on the same ground that the 101st and 82nd fought on.

To sum it up, it pretty much felt like I was in Normandy!

Sounds: 10/10

Sounds in this game are way better than those arcadey effects you hear in the average game (Medal of Honor). Explosions of any type actually sound like something exploding, and not a buncha air combusting somehow. Kar98, M1 Garand, and Thompson all have their own unique sound.

During combat, your soldiers sound just like real soldiers: they swear, scream (when a teammate is injured or killed), and talk casually (when not in combat). Each soldier (on the American side) possesses his own distinct voice. Apparently, Brothers in Arms is supposed to have over 8000 lines of dialogue, though I doubt this is true.

The only problem with the sound in Brothers in Arms is the automatic weapon glitch. Sometimes, when you fire a Thompson (it's only happened to me with the Thompson) and release the trigger after firing about a dozen rounds, the sound effect for the Thompson will fail to cease, and you'll continue to hear it firing. Then when you do fire again, you might hear it as an MG42.

Gameplay: 8/10

In Brothers in Arms, you will controls a maximum of two teams: a fireteam and assault team, a fireteam and tank, or just one plain old fire/assault team. The basics of commanding your squad is pretty simple: you can tell them to follow you, go to the designated area, suppress and enemy, or charge and enemy. Unfortunately, the suppressing and flanking gets kind of repetitive.

The campaign consists of 18 missions (of a decent length) and four different modes: easy, normal, hard, and if you beat the game on hard, authentic. The game proves to be quite short, but the different routes for the missions make up for it. Like I said earlier, the campaign takes place in Normandy, France, and is based off of actual events during the June of 1944.

There are 10 missions you can play in the split-screen mode of BIA. Unfortunately, you and a friend are not allowed to join the same team.

BIA features an online compatibility; thus you can play (the missions from split-screen mode) online if you have Xbox Live.

Many people complain about the aiming in this game, asking "How come this guy can't hold a gun straight?" and saying "I shot that guy, but he didn't get killed!" This is because Brothers in Arms is not Call of Duty or Medal of Honor. You are using a gun, not a railgun. Not all of your shots will connect, even if you are aiming right at the target. You must realize that humans do not have perfect aim like video game soldiers do. They cannot hold a rifle perfectly steady. This feature is in the game for the sake of realism, so if you don't like realism, I recommend you do not purchase this [gem of a] game.

There is an interesting feature you will find in the game, and it occurs when a mortar shell, grenade, or another time of explosive lands near you. You will get knocked down, your vision becomes blurred, things seem to slow down, and you recover after about 15 seconds.

Replay value: 9/10

Due to the authentic modes, the two or three different routes for each mission, extras that can be unlocked from completing the missions, split-screen, and the online MP, I'll give BIA a 9 in this category.

Overall: 9/10

Excellent game for anyone who enjoys realism or is a WWII buff.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 04/13/05

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