Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood
|Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood|
Demiurge Studios (Xbox Live features & 2 MP maps)
|Engine||Unreal Engine 2 (Heavily-Modified)|
|Genre(s)||Tactical shooter, First-person shooter|
Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood is a video game and sequel to Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 and the second game in the Brothers in Arms series, developed by Gearbox Software for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, and Xbox. It was ported to the Wii in 2008 as a part of the Brothers in Arms: Double Time compilation.
Earned in Blood continues the Brothers In Arms saga as newly promoted Sergeant Joe "Red" Hartsock (Hartsock was the Corporal of Baker's Fire Team), who was part of the historic Normandy invasion in the previous game. Earned in Blood includes several new multiplayer missions, weapons and vehicles, plus a new co-op skirmish mode. The AI of enemies has also been improved considerably in this game, while level designs are more open-ended than the original.
The story is essentially told as a "reflection" on the events that took place earlier, as Army historian Colonel S.L.A. Marshall is interviewing paratroopers 15+ days after D-Day. The story is divided into three parts. The first part of the game is recollection of Hartsock's time in Sergeant Matt Baker's squad during the initial D-Day invasion. The second part picks up when he takes command of 2nd Squad, 3rd Platoon during the liberation and defense of Carentan, and the eventual link up between 82nd and 101st Airborne Division at the town of Baupte. The final part will take place in and around Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte. Although the first part takes place under Baker's command, every mission is one not included in Road to Hill 30. The player commands Desola, Allen, and Garnett from 3rd Squad, and some soldiers from 2nd Squad at first. Then the game switches the player to command the entire 2nd Squad after the Battle of Bloody Gulch (Hill 30).
Hartsock's squad consists of the remains of the original 2nd Squad (Cpl. Franklin Paddock, Pvt. Dean "Friar" Winchell, and Pfc. James Marsh) and the remnants of 1st Squad (Cpl. Jacob Campbell, Pvt. Will Paige, and Pvt. Derrick McConnell). In addition, the player will also be in command of Corporal (later promoted to Sergeant) Seamus Doyle of the 82nd Airborne during the initial D-Day invasion in early parts of the game.
The games uses the same graphic engine as Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30, which is based on the Unreal Engine 2.0
The gameplay in Earned in Blood is similar, if not identical, to Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30. The player usually assumes command of two teams of paratroopers to use the Four Fs—Find, Fix, Flank, and Finish—tactic against the enemy. The game discourages the use of solo run 'n' gun tactics by limiting the player's ability to aim, by decreasing the player's health, and by placing large numbers of enemies behind cover. To successfully complete a mission, the player has to study the layout of the battlefield, fix/suppress the enemy with overwhelming suppressive fire with one team (usually the fire team), and direct another team (usually the assault team) to flank the enemy by sneaking to the side or rear of the enemy to finish them off.
In Earned in Blood, the enemy will constantly reposition himself according to the player's action, regardless of danger. This change makes stealth and distraction important considerations when the player is attempting to flank the enemy. At the same time, new tactics such as forcing the enemy into kill zones is possible with the new AI system. The new enemy AI allows the player to be attacked more frequently than in Road to Hill 30.
- X-Play: 4/5
- GameSpot: 8.5/10
- GameDaily: 7/10
- Game Chronicles: 9.1/10
- Xbox World Australia: 80/100
- Game Master UK: 87/100
- Edge Magazine UK: 8/10
- Gamecell: 9/10
- VideoGamer: 8/10
Although the game has been praised for adding better enemy AI and more open-ended level design, the game has received criticism for being fairly similar to the original, while the extra features and content perhaps more worthy of a proper expansion pack. Earned in Blood has been released as a full priced sequel with little new content.
The PC version of the game contains the controversial StarForce DRM which may interfere with some CD/DVD burners, burning software and disk mounting software.
Purchasing the game on Valve's Steam does not include StarForce.
On April 13, 2006, Gameloft released "Brothers in Arms 3D", a mobile adaptation to "Earned in Blood." It featured entirely polygonal 3D graphics, and was praised for its console-like gameplay. The game allowed players to control one soldier, as well as a tank, in eight total missions in Normandy and Tunis.
- "Brothers in Arms 3D for Cell Phones - Brothers in Arms 3D Mobile". 2006.
- Buchanan, Levi (2006). "Brothers in Arms 3D Review".
- Brothers in Arms official website
- Brothers in Arms forum - Gearboxed
- Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood at MobyGames
- FilesNetwork launches a network fansite for 'Brothers in Arms'
- Mods for Brothers in Arms at ModDB
- Mods for Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood at StrategyInformer