Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30

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Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30
Brothers in Arms box cover
Developer(s) Gearbox Software
Demiurge Studios[1] (Xbox Live features)
Publisher(s) Ubisoft
Engine Modified Unreal Engine 2, Havok physics
Platform(s) Windows
OS X
Xbox
PlayStation 2
Wii
Release date(s) Xbox
  • NA March 1, 2005
Windows, PlayStation 2
  • NA March 15, 2005
Wii
  • NA September 23, 2008
Genre(s) Tactical shooter, first-person shooter
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Distribution DVD

Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 is a first-person shooter video game created by Gearbox Software for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox and Mac OS X. It is the first game in the Brothers in Arms series. It is published by Ubisoft and was released in early 2005. The game takes place during World War II and focuses on tactics. It was ported to the Wii in 2008, as part of the Brothers in Arms: Double Time compilation.

Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 was also used to recreate scenarios in a 2005 History Channel special, also titled Brothers in Arms.

Gameplay[edit]

In most levels of Brothers in Arms, the player is in command of one or two separate 1-3 man teams, with the exception of several sections in which the player is not in command of any unit. There are two types of teams, which are automatically provided before each mission:

Additionally, some levels provide the player with a tank in lieu of a team, providing players with heavy firepower and mobile cover. The player can also man the pintle-mounted M1919 Browning machine gun on the tank for additional suppression.

Brothers in Arms is notable for its intuitive command system. Teams and tanks can be ordered to move, lay suppressive fire, rally, find cover, and charge the enemy. The game stresses at multiple points the effectiveness of fire and maneuver tactics, known as the Four Fs actually used by the military during World War II, expressed in the game tutorial as "Find, Fix, Flank, Finish" describing the steps in suppressing and flanking an enemy.

The focus on team command is emphasized by providing the player with an inaccurate aim. Instead of having almost perfect accuracy with weapons in games like Call of Duty, Brothers in Arms models weapons with erratic accuracy, and enemy fire can interfere with a player's aim to simulate the effects of suppressive fire. The relative lack of accuracy is designed to simulate the difficulty in hitting targets in a combat situation as well as forcing the player to use team members to engage enemy units and provide better tactical opportunities.

Plot[edit]

Brothers in Arms is based on the true story of the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment of the famed 101st Airborne Division who were dropped behind German lines on D-Day. The game is based on the historical Mission Albany, in which the player has to complete true-to-life missions of the 101st.

The sequel Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood is also based on the last missions of the 101st, such as link up with 82nd Airborne Division and capture of Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte (which historically did not involve the 101st A/B as a whole, but some members volunteered to assist the undermanned 82nd Division). The player takes the role of Matt Baker, a paratrooper (based on Harrison C. Summers and various other people) and leader of an airborne squad from Fox Company. The missions range from dropping into France on June 6 to the final defense of Hill 30 eight days later. Baker must lead his men through troubled times and make decisions that may result in the death of a paratrooper, which causes him much heartache.

Characters[edit]

Baker's squad consists of Corporal Joe "Red" Hartsock, Cpl. Sam Corrion, Pprivate First Class Jack Courtland, Pfc. Stephan "Obi" Obrieski, Private Larry Allen, Pvt. Johnny Rivas, Pvt. Michael Desola, Pvt. David Muzza, Pfc. Thomas "Zano" Zanovich, Pvt. Michael Garnett and Pvt. Dale "Kid" McCreary. The Radioman is Pfc. Kevin Benjamin "Legs" Leggett. The squad is one of three under Platoon Sgt. Greg "Mac" Hassay. "Mac" served under Sgt. Baker's father, whom he had much respect for, in the First World War and has promised to himself to make Sgt. Baker into a good soldier.

Another character included is Sgt. Baker's best friend, tank commander Sgt. George Risner, with whom he spent his childhood. He commands a M5 Light Tank. George follows Sgt. Baker into a small French town outside Saint-Côme-du-Mont where his tank is hit by a panzerfaust. He soon dies while firing back at the Germans with Baker's M1911 pistol. Also included are real life personalities General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force and Lieutenant Colonel Robert G. Cole, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for leading a charge against a German position outside Carentan early on June 11, 1944. Another real-life character is Col. S.L.A. Marshall. Lt. Col. Patrick Cassidy is also featured in the series, he is the commander of the 1st Battalion of the 502nd PIR. Col. Howard R. Johnson (the commander of the 501st PIR) is also featured in the series.

Development[edit]

Brothers in Arms uses a modified version of the Unreal Engine 2.0,[2] with significant improvements such as the use of pixel shaders. The enhanced engine also uses a form of Soft Lighting bloom effect.

Reception[edit]

Road to Hill 30 was met with positive reception among game critics. The Xbox version currently holds an aggregate score of 88.43% on GameRankings[3] and a score of 88 on Metacritic.[4] The PC version currently holds an aggregate score of 87.97% on GameRankings[5] and a score of 87 on Metacritic.[6] The PS2 version currently holds an aggregate score of 85.04% on GameRankings[7] and a score of 82 on Metacritic.[8]

Remake[edit]

This game, along with its sequel (Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood), were remade for the Nintendo Wii and sold in a package called Brothers in Arms: Double Time. It was first sold on September 23, 2008.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]