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When it was released earlier this year, Gearbox Software's Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 was lauded by critics and gamers alike as one of the most innovative first-person shooters in years. The game somehow managed to give the stagnating WWII genre a much-needed shot in the arm by introducing a powerful (yet surprisingly easy-to-use) command system, allowing you to perform complex troop maneuvers in battle. Now, merely 8 months after the game hit stores shelves, Ubisoft is releasing a sequel entitled Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood. While there's no denying that the game is outstanding, one can't help but wonder if it's too soon for a sequel.
In many ways, Blood feels like the game Gearbox wanted to make with The Road to Hill 30 but couldn't quite nail. It's one of those sequels where all of the evolution takes place underneath the façade -- a game you've got to pick up and feel all the subtle differences. And of course, if Blood is your first Brothers experience, well, it's hard to imagine going back to anything less authentic and strategic.
Where Road to Hill 30 succeeded as a WWII shooter, Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood improves. The single player campaign features an improved AI difficulty and the new skirmish mode adds plenty more hours of replay. While some will unfortunately be turned off due to the large amount of WWII shooters on the market, for me this one stands out as the best. With a next-gen Brothers in Arms already in the making, this already excellent franchise looks only to keep on improving.
XBox Solution (XBS)
This one is not an easy game and will take some time to get used to the controls and game style. It is a well made game that offers a different view of WWII. The voice acting is outstanding and the missions were well thought out. Any fan of the war games will enjoy Brother in Arms: Earned in Blood and it shows that with some extra details and a little tweaking a war game can look and play great.
Next Level Gaming
There are two WWII First Person Shooters that have been my absolute favorites. In March of this year, UbiSoft released a game that was so realistic powerful that it quickly became one of the top games of 2005, Brothers in Arms: The Road to Hill 30. The game's battles were recreated with such detail and precision that on the bus ride back from E3 2004 one day I was showing footage of the game to a history major who actually knew the area I was filming. Gearbox had really raised the bar for FPS's, and at the same time defined the World War II game genre with incredible storytelling and realism. Beating the game I really felt like I accomplished something. So Gearbox went right back to work on a second "Episode" of the Brothers in Arms series.
If you’ve already traveled the Road to Hill 30 then continuing the adventure in Earned in Blood is almost a mandatory tour of duty. Everything you loved about the original is back and for the most part the game has seen several improvements including the expanded multiplayer and improved enemy AI. Yes, a few things still need to be addressed, mainly the squad AI and pathing, but Brothers in Arms still offers one of the most challenging WWII experiences you can take on the Xbox, blending story and action for an authentic and insightful look into an epic war.
Het is ondertussen wel duidelijk dat Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood niet zomaar een sequel van een klasse spel is. De mannen van Gearbox Software hebben duidelijk belang gehecht aan de weinige kritiek die ze kregen op Road to Hill 30. Ze komen verrassend uit de hoek met een gedurfde verhaallijn, die ook nieuwe BiA-spelers de mogelijkheid biedt om ervan te genieten. Als ze bij Gearbox zo verder werken, zal ik de eerste zijn die in de winkel staat voor een Brothers in Arms next-gen-game. Voor we ons daar over uitwijden, rest er jullie nog één ding, namelijk deze game kopen!
I enjoyed Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood as much as I enjoyed the PC version of Brother in Arms: Road to Hill 30 which says a lot. If you enjoyed Road to Hill 30 then it goes without saying that Earned in Blood is an essential purchase on the format of your choice. Xbox owners will be impressed with how the game plays and whilst there are many enjoyable FPS games on the console, none offer the same mix of strategy and action as the Brothers in Arms games.
Despite all the improvements that have been made Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood feels more like a BiA 1.5 add-on rather than a complete sequel. I loved the original despite the aforementioned problems and where it set the standard so high, I don’t mind having more of the same, but some will be a little turned off by the lack of significant changes to the game. I doubt those who didn’t like the original will get any pleasure from the sequel, but if you didn’t buy the first game and have ever wanted a FPS with a bit of brains and a challenge then sell your gran for bus money and go buy it now!
Like a war-weary veteran trying to get some well-earned sleep, WWII shooters can't seem to stop coming back to D-Day. Brothers in Arms: Earning in Blood casts players as Sergeant Joe "Red" Hartsock, and opens as he's parachuting into Northern France in June 1944. While there's a little too much deja vu for some tastes, the game builds on the strengths of its outstanding predecessor, Road to Hill 30, to produce a tactically rich and deeply satisfying tour of duty.
Digital Entertainment News (den)
Let's face it, we're all a bit tired of shooting Nazis. We've done it a billion times in countless Medal of Honor games and seen it happen on the big screen plenty in movies like Saving Private Ryan. It's a part of what made us the American citizens we are today, forging our future on the backs of fallen Germans. Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 provided a fun, refreshing take on what has become the common knowledge of those who've struggled during that war.
The horrors and tragedies of war can bring out the emergence of unlikely heroes. Take Sgt. Joe Hartsock (or “Red”) for example. A drop over France gets ugly and members of his team are scattered around. The first objective is to round them up.
The decision to include more urban settings - which lend themselves perfectly to tense, drawn-out encounters - is a welcome one. Already punishing AI has also been toughened
up, meaning whether you're rooting out entrenched Nazis or executing a classic pincer movement, you've alive yourself against an unexpected flank. This isn't a game
anymore - this really is war!
Though improvements have been made to the AI, and you've got additional multiplayer modes available, it's somewhat difficult to call Earned in Blood a true sequel. In the end, it delivers a pretty similar experience to the first game, even going so far as to tell an overlapping story. Of course, if you enjoyed Road to Hill 30, then Earned in Blood is definitely worth picking up, both for the tactical gameplay and for the high-class presentation of the story. All told, Earned in Blood is an excellent shooter that offers a unique gameplay experience you won't get with any other shooter franchise.
There’s not too much to complain about in Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood. Sure, it is yet another war-time shooter that is unlikely to regain the attention of gamers who are sick of the overload of titles in the same genre that have hit retailers during this generation, but what it does offer will certainly please any shooter enthusiasts who wishes to get as close to the real deal as possible. The game certainly isn’t perfect, but it isn’t too far off either.
BIA: Earned in Blood gives us another authentic WWII experience with only the intensity and integrity that the Brothers in Arms series can provide. Yes, it's more of the same, but the original was so good. Earned in Blood is a welcomed follow up to one of this years best games.
In turn, Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood does a good job of picking up where its predecessor left off’such a good job, in fact, that it feels as if we never left the field of battle. Even with the improvements to the A.I. and enhanced multiplayer experience, the game feels more like an expansion pack than a stand-alone product. Don’t let that stop you from donning your helmet for another firefight, though. This is still one helluva soldier.
When Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 was first released earlier this year, it was a big deal. The game introduced several unique gameplay elements, namely the Situational Awareness View and the ability to precisely control multiple squads using a first person shooter interface. Combined with excellent graphics, crisp sounds and a compelling, character driven storyline, Road to Hill 30 managed to deliver to gamers what many had craved since the release of Call of Duty: a true World War II tactical shooter.
It was April 12th 2005, the day I wrote the review of Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30. Now, six months later, the sequel is already in stores. My initial thought was: “this’ll probably be an add-on”. But what I’ve learned after 23 years of studying myself is that I’m often wrong. Earned in Blood is a completely new game, at least, that’s what Gearbox wants us to believe...
Spieler des ersten Brother in Arms-Kapitels dürften bei Earned in Blood das eine oder andere Dejavue erleben. Dieselbe Landschaft, die gleichen Taktiken und die schon bekannten Mängel des Vorgängers. Keine Frage, auch Earned in Blood ist ein guter Taktikshooter mit spannender Geschichte und atmosphärischen Schlachten in der Normandie, doch letztlich bietet das Spiel für Solospieler kaum Neuerungen gegenüber Teil 1. Aufgrund dessen darf die Frage berechtigt sein, warum Earned in Blood nicht als Addon veröffentlicht wurde, sondern als Vollpreistitel für 40 €. Wem das egal ist erhält für das Geld allerdings eine spannende, aber wieder extrem kurze, Solokampagne und einen verbesserten Mehrspielermodus. Beim nächsten Teil sollten die Entwickler allerdings endlich einen anderen Kriegsschauplatz als die Normandie wählen, von Wiesen und kleinen Dörfern hat man erstmal genug gesehen.
Game Informer Magazine
Earned in Blood is the second Brothers in Arms title in less than a year, and I know that Ubisoft wants yearly installments to this series. However, even with the improvements made to this title, it's going to take a more than tweaks to justify buying this game on such a rigorous schedule.
Xbox World Australia (XWA)
Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood is great value for money but shows it age graphically. The enemy AI has been significantly improved but the story telling and mission objectives are lacking in parts. If you were disappointed by the multiplayer options of the original game you should be more than satisfied with the bolstered options on offer in Earned in Blood. If you enjoyed the original you will definitely enjoy this sequel and even if you didn't enjoy Road to Hill 30, Earned in Blood may still be worth a rental for its improvements.
Cheat Code Central
To call Earned Blood a sequel is pushing it. It hasn't even been a year since the last game and that's evidenced by the similar nature of the gameplay between the two games. It's fun and well produced but it's a console version of an expansion pack and nothing more.
Suivant la droite ligne de son prédécesseur, Brothers In Arms : Earned In Blood parvient tout de même à réserver son lot d'innovations, qui, si elles ne sont pas révolutionnaires, parviennent quand même à offrir une vision un peu différente du soft. Néanmoins, et malgré la présence de situations de combats toujours aussi passionnantes et immersives, ce dernier ne parvient pas à se séparer définitivement de ses lacunes et se montre décevant sur certains points déjà problématiques auparavant. Un bon titre tout de même, offrant enfin un FPS historique intelligent.
Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood shouldn't be classed as a sequel as it's near-identical to Road to Hill 30 (notwithstanding the fact that you can take control of a different character). Aside from its expanded multiplayer mode, there's little to separate it from the authentic action, sound and visuals of its progenitor - so maybe it should have been released as an add-on (much like Ubisoft's other successful franchises, Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six). It will undoubtedly prove enjoyable for those new to the series, but anyone expecting a fully-fledged sequel might be sorely disappointed.
Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood looks great on paper. The tactical combat is well executed, and the production values seem great…on the surface, After a bit, the visual and audio stuttering become nearly painful, and are both showstoppers. If you’re one of those people who can tolerate slowdowns, stalls and stutters when you’re doing your best to flank an enemy, then maybe you will love this game. Otherwise, it’s just an exercise in frustration.
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