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July 22 2008
Brothers In Arms Hell's Highway - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
25/9/2008UbisoftUbisoftGearbox
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
12-16$109.95
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Looks like you're taking some damage there.
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Buildings around Hell's Highway are on fire.

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The amount of grass here is stunning!
The Brothers in Arms series is a welcome change from the numerous World War II FPS's (First Person Shooters) that have appeared over the last couple of years. While still incorporating a FPS perspective, and gameplay elements, this game is every bit as much about commanding your squads around the level to providing cover, move around the maps and fire on enemy positions. The two PS2 games (which also appeared on PC/XBox) sold in excess of a million units, and the appearance of Brothers In Arms Hell's Highway on the Playstation 3 so early in its life is most welcome. Wait a sec, so early in it's life? Well the game was due out over a year ago, but Ubisoft have given Gearbox a lot more time to polish the game off and we're now heading for a release sometime next month, hopefully.

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Battles around the streets in BIAHH.
Brothers In Arms Hellís Highway drops you into Operation Market-Garden, the largest airborne operation of World War II. Matt Baker, Joe Hartsock and the rest of the 101st Airborne Division fight to open "Hell's Highway" in a daring bid for a quick end to the war.

As with previous games in the series you play the role of Sgt. Matt Baker as he commands his platoon through Operation Market-Garden. One of the major changes to this new game is that you now have three different squads to command rather then two while the type of squad is more varied and includes machine gun crews to create intense fire, bazooka crews to destroy buildings and tanks, and mortar crews to pound the enemy from a distance.

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The town is pretty much destroyed.
With the added power of next generation systems the level of interactivity with the environment has been bumped up considerably. Objects can now be ripped apart by weapons fire including much of your cover, thereby leaving you exposed to enemies. Trailers from Ubisoft have shown wooden boxes, fences, walls and other objects being torn apart by gunfire

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Don't look at the scenery, start shooting.
Impressively the maps in the game have been accurately recreated with Gearbox making heavy use of actual spy photos taken during the war. The maps are several times greater then previous games in the series giving gamers more freedom to create strategies, and attack targets from different directions.

Multi-player will also be supported with Ubisoft claiming 'dozens of players on each side, combining all the intensity and accessibility of Deathmatch with the squad-based gameplay that helped make Brothers In Arms famous'. Now the one thing we do want to point out is that the game will not allow dozens of 'live' human players online at once. We're not sure though if this means you could have a dozen players, each controlling a seperate squad. I guess we'll find out soon.

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Now check out that for destruction!
Visuals in Brothers In Arms Hellís Highway look pretty good, but to be honest we've seen better. Gearbox have used the Unreal Engine 3 to power the game, however the developers have made some modifications including toning down the use of normal mapping on the characters faces to give them a more realistic look, rather then the shiny plastic look which normal mapping typically produces in video games. Animation and visual effects are impressive with smoke and particle effects filling the screen. Where this game will come into its own though is the level of destruction within the levels. Should this work as we hope then this game should be a winner - if it also holds up a solid frame rate.

Brothers In Arms: Hell's Highway was targeted for an late 2007 release, following several lengthy delays, but was then delayed yet again, and dropped off the radar. In mid-April 2008 a new trailer was released which listed an August 2008 release date, although according to retailers a late September release is now likely. Will that date even stick? Time will tell but BIA: Hell's Highway is shaping up quite nicely and we're keen to check it out for review.