Brothers In Arms: Hell's Highway


Key events

Gearbox: classic Brothers in Arms planned

Sgt. Baker will return post Furious 4.

The Brothers in Arms franchise will return to its more sombre, historically-accurate roots after the release of OTT left-turn Furious 4, developer Gearbox has announced.

Duke Nukem had "gay robot" sidekick

Plus: Randy Pitchford talks Borderlands 2.

Randy Pitchford has revealed that Duke Nukem nearly ended up with a "gay robot" sidekick which could still make an appearance in a future title.

Xbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 16

Digital FoundryXbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 16

Mirror's Edge, Brothers in Arms, Fracture, Guitar Hero, Baja, FIFA, Quantum of Solace.

The latest bloody skirmish begins here. Seven more cross-platform releases are appraised for your feverish attentions across the next few pages, backed - as usual - by the best range of comparison assets on the internet. That'll be full 720p and 1080p HDMI 24-bit RGB screengrabs, and h.264-powered 1:1 precision videos.

Before we begin proper, let's kick off with a bit of good news. 2K has just updated BioShock with a brand new patch for the disappointing PlayStation 3 conversion of the game. The numerous promised bug-fixes have all materialised, but better than that, the vastly annoying blur effect has been substantially reduced. What blur there is now appears to be down to the reduced sub-720p resolution and, alas, this combined with the wildly variable frame-rate remain. More details on the befores and afters at the author's blog.

Getting back to the present, there's an intriguing selection of seven games in the line-up, including one of my personal favourite games of the year: DICE's innovative Mirror's Edge.

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MotorStorm and BIA demos on PSN

DLC for TW09, EoJ, other abbreviations.

Sony has updated the PlayStation Store with PS3 demos of MotorStorm: Pacific Rift and Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway, neither of which ask you for a penny.

Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway

Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway

Middle of the road.

Brothers In Arms' first appearance in early 2005 was a shot in the arm for the battle-weary World War II genre. By putting a first-person spin on Full Spectrum Warrior's excellent 'cover and suppress' gameplay, it helped steer the genre in a more intelligent, strategic direction. Within each level were, essentially, a bunch of set-piece puzzles to solve: you'd face clusters of entrenched enemies and have to try and suss out ways in which to pick them off through cunning squad placement, and a mixture of suppression and flanking tactics. Running headlong towards the enemy was a one-way ticket to death.

This strategy-lite was hugely satisfying, but, by necessity, slowed the pace down to a crawl compared to the more cinematically-minded and gung-ho shooters. This amped up the tension, and made the action feel more like a gritty war of attrition than one man's Rambo charge down a corridor. Dialling down of the run-and-gun aspect meant there was generally a better sense of squad unity, and Gearbox took full advantage by zoning in on the trials that individual characters faced, as well as a greater emphasis on authentically recreating the real-life settings.

It wasn't for everyone, evidently, and was a little repetitive over the whole campaign - even more so if you happened to play the quick-fire sequel, Earned In Blood, which came out just seven months later. That we've had to wait almost three years for the third in the series is definitely a Good Thing in our book. Putting the franchise out to pasture for a while (by accident or design - you choose) has, in theory, given Gearbox ample time in which to reinvigorate the brand and build on the many good ideas, while giving fans a chance to recharge their enthusiasm for another merry round of Axis slaughter.

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Exclusive BIA: Hell's Highway vids

Exclusive BIA: Hell's Highway vids

Apparently not the M25.

With just four days until its 360 and PS3 release (PC owners don't get it until 3rd October), we've been busying ourselves with capturing the early action from Gearbox's third Brothers In Arms game.

Hell's Highway once again follows the exploits of the 101st Airborne Division, this time focusing on Operation Market Garden, the ultimately doomed mission [OMG spoiler?! - Ed] launched by the Allies in September 1944 that was intended to end the war early.

The four extensive gameplay videos listed below show action from the first four missions in the game - with the attendant spoilers you might expect, so consider yourselves warned.

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Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway

Take it to the bridge.

War is hell. That's a given. But war is also, increasingly, window-dressing: a thin historical veneer that allows developers to mine the past for easy brand recognition, while turning out arcade set-pieces that have little to do with the wider reality behind the uniforms.

Operation Market Garden - the daring late-1944 raid on the Nazi-occupied Netherlands, and the setting for the third Brothers In Arms game - ended badly for the Allies. It is this foreknowledge of certain defeat that looms uncomfortably over the historical fiction of Hell's Highway; offset, of course, by the broader awareness of ultimate victory.

Brothers In Arms movie in "talks"

Col. John wages war on Hollywood.

You've played the game, read the book, now watch the film? If you're a Brothers In Arms fan, the bloody adventures of Matt Baker and the 101st Airborne could be coming to a cinema near you, with the series' military expert revealing that talks are already underway on a Hell's Highway flick.

BIA: Hell's Highway in August

New trailer, shots, plus MP promises.

Those of you waiting for Brothers In Arms: Hell's Highway will need to hang around until August 2008, Ubisoft confirmed today, but will have a "totally redesigned online component" to enjoy when the game does pitch up.

Gearbox defends in-game ad deal

"Judge us from the result."

Gearbox has defended its recent in-game advertising deal by asking critics not to rubbish it "based on fears that may not turn out to be true".

Ubisoft sides with amBX

BIA and Far Cry 2 coloured in.

Ubisoft is to include Philips' amBX tech in some of its major upcoming titles, confirming today at Las Vegas’ CES that Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway and Far Cry 2 will both feature support for the ambient product.

FeatureEurogamer TV Show - Episode 21

Video Games Live! War! 2007 again!

This Christmas, spare a thought for our war veterans. Still on active duty, and deserted by their commanding officer, these brave men and women fight on in the face of intense media cynicism, wanting nothing more this yuletide than something to send to the kids back home.

Gearbox eyes up Portal model

Box bonus is way forward.

Bundled in with The Orange Box as an experimental bonus, Valve's Portal has proved the surprise hit of the year. And the strategy has attracted admiring glances from Gearbox Software boss Randy Pitchford, who reckons it could be the way forward for his studio.

Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway

Oh no - this is the road to hell.

Eagle-eyed readers will recall that only a couple of weeks ago, we ran a delectable news tit-bit in which Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford opined that, despite the departure of Call of Duty for pastures modern, there's plenty of meat left on the bones of World War II videogaming yet. Some of you agreed, and leapt to the defence of the WW2 games; others did that rude thing where you yawn loudly behind your hands.

Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford has told Eurogamer that the Second World War remains a rich vein of material for videogames - but he also believes that moving to a different era was the right decision for Infinity Ward's Call of Duty series.

FeatureBrothers in Arms Hell's Highway

Randy Pitchford speaks up.

Hell's Highway is the third instalment in the Brothers in Arms series and the first for next-gen machines. As Tom found out earlier this year, developer Gearbox has paid attention to criticisms of the previous games and is working hard to address them. And as we found out when we talked to president Randy Pitchford recently, the studio is confident they've not only moved the Brothers in Arms series forwards but also the entire WWII shooter genre.

FeatureBrothers In Arms: Hell's Highway

We invade France in search of answers.

Having not previously joined up with Gearbox's award-winning fraternity of Spielbergean flankers, I landed in France for my UbiDays briefing with intel rather than brutal experience ringing in my ears. Oli Clare's point-by-point dissection of 2005's Earned In Blood had given me an idea of what to look for, and my report back to him reads like a point-by-point rebuttal of his lingering doubts.

Hell's Highway turns to 2007

Ubi notes Brothers in Arms delay.

It only announced it last month, but already Ubisoft's announced a delay for the next Brothers in Arms game, Hell's Highway, which is coming to PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.

Brothers In Arms goes next-gen

PS3, X360, PC - this Christmas.

Gearbox is working on a new Brothers In Arms game for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC, in which you get to "do" Operation Market Garden with old pals Matt Baker and Joe Harstock.

Next-gen Brothers in Arms news

Gearbox CEO spills the beans.

Randy Pitchford, CEO of Brothers in Arms developer Gearbox, has revealed more of what we can expect from the next-gen instalment in the series.