Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood
It was April 12th 2005, the day I wrote the review of Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30. Now, six months later, the sequel is already in stores. My initial thought was: “this’ll probably be an add-on”. But what I’ve learned after 23 years of studying myself is that I’m often wrong. Earned in Blood is a completely new game, at least, that’s what Gearbox wants us to believe…
Why is Gearbox throwing a sequel at us in such a short time? It’s like you’re in a restaurant, still chewing on your steak while the waiter is already there with the dessert. My comparison isn’t completely true though. A dessert doesn’t count as a full meal whereas Earned in Blood does count for a full game.
There’s still some Road to Hill 30 stuck between my gums and there’s the annoying waiter called Gearbox already with the next dish. You can however ask yourself: “why change a winning strategy?” Throw in a new storyline, offer the player a new environment from time to time and he’ll be satisfied. This was clearly the idea of Gearbox, too bad they forgot to think of one player, namely: Mario Moris. I’m all but satisfied with my main dish! “Waiter, can I order something else please? This is awefull.”
What’s making Earned in Blood such a bad sequel? Well, first of the immense déjà-vu feeling that’s conquering me. From the visuals to the game experience, everything looks and feels identical to its predecessor. We can be glad that Road to Hill 30 was such a good game on all areas; otherwise this score would be even lower.
They are happily continuing what they started without making proper changes. The storyline is of course different but even the locations feel the same. This doesn’t mean that this game is lacking; the atmosphere is still very realistic. From the soundtrack to the hectic battles on the battlefield: everything throws you in the cold war atmosphere in which you’d rather not partake in real life.
The successful tactical gameplay, where you have to combine your own FPS-skills with the tactical control of your two teams is still intact and was lifted to a bit higher level making the enemy AI even better. The Germans now take initiative and no longer wait until you pinned them down with one team to finally kill them with the other. But I didn’t even want to take part in it in this virtual environment because of the fact that the last war experience is still to fresh in my memory.
All this wining doesn’t get me anywhere and I understand if you feel I’m completely wrong here. Therefore I’d rather not mention it but hell, let’s do it anyway: look at any other gaming site and you’ll see nothing but good remarks on the game. Apparently these reviewers had fewer problems with the early arrival of this second chapter. Or is it my appetite for first person shooters that’s just too small? I only need a few fps killers to satisfy my hunger.
Whatever you make of it, this is still the best World War Two shooter out there. You should ask yourself if you’re looking forward for a “been there done that” experience. I feel like the minor adjustments don’t justify a buy. I’m afraid to say they don’t even justify renting the game, but that would be a bit exaggerated. The epical storyline is still very enjoyable and the atmosphere is throat grabbing. It’s just that I didn’t finish my previous meal yet and they’re already serving the next. If you didn’t have any previous meal yet however, this next dish is very enjoyable and will satisfy your hunger.!