From the relentless action that drives this game forward to the triumphant, cinematic music that accompanies it, Brothers in Arms 2: Global Front is an impressively executed gaming experience. You play as David Wilson, a young soldier whose brother dies under mysterious circumstances during a battle in World War II. With no straight answers coming from Uncle Sam, you embark on a personal quest to discover the truth about what happened.
Along the way, the war helpfully provides several continents’ worth of environments to trudge through and thousands of enemies to kill. Each level is highly linear, with constant indicators directing exactly where you must go next. In lesser hands, this could easily become repetitive and boring, but Gameloft has enough creativity and game design prowess to keep things interesting. However, while we had a great time with this game, we couldn’t stop the nagging feeling of deja vu.
Say no to drogueries.
Not only is the tone of Brothers in Arms 2 pulled directly from the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, but the action hews very closely to Gameloft’s previous first-person shooters Modern Combat: Sandstorm, N.O.V.A., and, of course, the original Brothers in Arms. Like in those games, you’ll find yourself doing things like defending forts, manning turrets, and collecting enemy intel.
Then again, it’s hard to complain about getting more of something excellent. The graphics look better than ever, and the game is packed full of enough single-player content to keep you busy for hours. When you’re done, there’s the multiplayer mode that can eat up any free time you have left.
Gameloft has been making FPS games long enough to have the basics down pat. Like in their previous games, the controls feel great. An aim-assist mechanism helps your crosshairs stick to enemies so you don’t accidentally veer away while unloading on them, and the new cover system works great for shielding yourself from incoming fire. A run button even lets you sprint and slide into cover so smoothly it would make Manny Ramirez proud.
Anyone bring marshmallows?
A wealth of weapon types are available to aid you in all situations, from sniping far-away enemies, to cooking Nazis medium rare with your flamethrower. Then there are the fun little details peppered throughout the game. When you attain a kill streak, the camera zooms in on enemies as your bullets tear through them, in a satisfying display of gratuitous violence. And a number of “Kilroy was here” markings are hidden on walls for you to find.
The multiplayer experience is excellent too, with five maps and three modes you can play over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. It won’t replace your daily quest to prestige in Modern Warfare 2, but it’ll satisfy a multiplayer craving in a pinch.
Of course, the game’s not perfect. The storyline drags on, and the voice acting is about on par with most middle school theater dramas. But the biggest letdown is that, compared to earlier Gameloft FPS games, this one doesn’t feel like as much of a step forward.
It’s a jeep shot!
For one, the enemies have no AI. They appear in the same places every time, walk their pre-set paths, and stop to shoot at you from exactly where they’re programmed to. This is unfortunate, because the enemies in N.O.V.A., Gameloft’s last FPS, have full AI, making it feel like a more dynamic game. Also, the other members in your squad get in the way more often than they help you. But none of that is even close to detrimental to the experience.
So while Brothers in Arms 2 doesn’t tread as much new ground as we had hoped (and even backslides in terms of enemy AI), we can still unequivocally recommend this game to anyone looking for a full handheld gaming experience. Brothers in Arms 2 is right up there with top-tier DS and PSP games, and should not be missed.