Brothers In Arms: HH, Character Trailer

By Jim Rossignol on August 6th, 2008 at 8:19 am.


Gearbox bossman Randy Pitchford says: “One of the things about videogames and story-telling is, well frankly I think the entire industry in the Stone Age.” The evidence from this trailer suggests that Gearbox are pushing for more of a Bronze Age with their new game, Brothers In Arms: Hell’s Highway, which is yet another game this year that I’m actually really keen on playing. Not sure if I really give a damn about the story though, and the idea that Gearbox have based its soldiers on the lives of real soldiers who fought in Market Garden, well that makes me feel a little uncomforable. I’m not even sure why. Interview-heavy trailer after the jump.


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30 Comments »

  1. Sartoris says:

    I think they’re overdoing the drama thing a bit, but I guess it might work out in the end. It’s the faces that are the problem for me: so static and poorly animated that they can barely communicate even the faintest bit of the emotion we’re supposed to feel. I hope they manage to fix that.

  2. Pemptus says:

    Feels kind of wooden. I have a feeling that this whole character depth thing will be a cutscene exclusive, much like the first games.
    Also, I hope the slomo won’t tick in after every explosion in the game…

  3. vinic says:

    It’s funny they’re claiming the rest are in the Stone Age when Blizzard was doing better facial expressions 15 years ago.

  4. muscrat says:

    “Ill be sending you off to see your friends IN HELL”
    -from the BIA:HH trailer.

    Amazing stuff.

  5. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    I’m not sure I’d count facial expressions as a good story telling device, but then, I much prefer the System Shock/Bioshock method of storytelling than lavish production values and uninteractive sequences.

    That’s just the way I’m wired, I guess /molly

  6. much2much says:

    World War II has been done.

    But not yet as a soap opera. Collectors Edition comes with box of tissues.

  7. Brian says:

    Call me when their facial animation can match the intensity of their recorded lines. I’m bored of hearing shouting and seeing these plain faces accompanying them.

  8. Piispa says:

    Oh, can’t wait!

    Guess I’ll just have to pick one of the dozen previous WW2 shooters of American Soldier’s personal angst in the West-European holiday from the shelf to ease the anticipation.

  9. Jochen Scheisse says:

    “The stakes…are no higher…than they are…in war.”

    To be fair, I chose to be incredibly picky with WW2 games long before BIA:HH came along. But they are making it easy. Also, the “storytelling in the stone age” thing was accurate and it would have sounded very reflective if it hadn’t been totally clear that guy meant everybody but himself.

  10. Andrew says:

    Randy Pitchford really is one of the best names in gaming.

  11. caramelcarrot says:

    I though Gearbox is all buddy buddy with Valve, why can’t they get decent facial animation?

  12. Okami says:

    I wonder if they’ve based the enemy soldiers around the lives of real people too.. So I can kill my grandfathers again. Well not really, they both fought on the eastern front. But I could at least kill some distant gradn-unlces or friends of my grandfathers..

    Playing WW2 games is allways mixed-feeling-city for me..

  13. Jim Rossignol says:

    BIA is one of those games that I really like the design of, but can’t care about the setting. I’d be quite happy it were set in a techno-war on the planet Zebulos, but still use the excellent suppression-fire/flanking tactics.

  14. Calabi says:

    So where’s the game, sounded to me like the were talking about some cliche movie.

  15. Muzman says:

    I don’t reckon I’m a graphics whore, but um… that didn’t really look very good. It looked like some four year old console game. (It’s not is it?)
    I don’t think I’d notice except for its movie-like pretensions in that clip. And it’s so not a movie.
    They talk about games in the story telling stone age. Well the other thing that games have to cope with is the acting stone age too. Across the board, motion capture acting and voice acting in games is overacting. I can’t think of anyone off hand who has really cracked it yet (not that I’ve played everything under the sun, mind. A couple of clips I saw of Heavenly Sword looked like they were trying pretty hard, complete with Weta scale ‘performance capture’ suite).
    The story might be great though, I dunno. It doesn’t seem to have that Band of Brothers ‘soldiering, warts and all’ thing based on that, sadly.

  16. Optimaximal says:

    I though Gearbox is all buddy buddy with Valve, why can’t they get decent facial animation?

    They’re using Unreal 3 rather than Source… Says a lot really :)

  17. MetalCircus says:

    ITT: elitism

  18. Charlie says:

    Wow that was a terrible trailer! They slag off other games story etc when the acting in that trailer looked awful! The lipsynching was bad enough but their faces didn’t even move!

    Oh and didn’t Mass Effect use Unreal 3? That had good facial expressions and voice acting.

    Diogo is right, cut scenes suck, they take you away from the game and make you feel dettached. I think Half Life 2 is the way to do it, not neccessarily exactly like HL2, maybe add some interactivity to them but you should always remain completely in game.

  19. The Poisoned Sponge says:

    Mass Effect used a heavily modified version of the Unreal 3 engine… so heavily modded it was basically another engine entirely. So hence why the character acting in that = good, and the character acting in this = bad.

  20. Okami says:

    I really love it, when developers talk about storytelling in games and how their game will set new standards in storytelling. And then show a couple of cutscenes.

    I like cutscenes. They’re great, they move the story along, they give me breaks from the action and they’re nice rewards for completing a part of a game.

    But they really are nothing more than an excuse. Your game isn’t telling a story, the cutscenes are. You’re not taking advantage of the medium, you’re not doing anything a movie couldn’t do better.

    Video game storytelling is still in the stone age? That might be true, but I certainly don’t see their game having evolved past that point.

  21. Valentin Galea says:

    Thank (or Hitler?) God that WWII happened so that game producers today have good material for yet another war game!

  22. Dracko says:

    I’m not convinced by the story-telling they’re going for: If developments and conflicts it’s mostly stuck in cutscenes, it will be a hard sell. But I’m still keen on the gameplay, so I have no doubt I’ll be playing this as I did the previous ones.

    If they do manage complexity and true character growth and conflict within this context, then so much the better. But they should really find other techniques: The pathos is lost the moment one of your squad member’s deaths is rendered irrelevant once they respawn in the end of level cutscene and are up and running for the next chapter. In that sense, Hell, even X-Com has this game beat.

  23. Flackon says:

    Well, I think they are gonna need better animation.

  24. Jochen Scheisse says:

    XCOM has 95% of games beat.

  25. a-scale says:

    I treated a bazooka like my girlfriend once. Just once.

    No really though folks, this game has huge promise, but I really don’t think the mechanics will hold up to their dreams. The ragdoll physics is obviously lacking, with bodies flying in a seemingly unrealistic manner and the faces are very unimpressive.

    I don’t know about all of these people who whine about WW2 being dead though. I think I am in the majority when I say that I am completely interested in another WW2 game, provided it brings something new to the table. I’d kill for a game that was done as well as Call of Duty 1, but with today’s graphics and physics technologies.

  26. Novack says:

    Jim Rossignol wrote:

    the idea that Gearbox have based its soldiers on the lives of real soldiers who fought in Market Garden, well that makes me feel a little uncomforable. I’m not even sure why.

    Imagine yourself playing a game of a war happening right now, and your neighbors and friends (who are currently fighting and dying in the war) are the characters. Its quite simple, isnt? The “Why” is because it has an enormous lack of decency.

    This thing of realism and extreme storytelling in the games its getting even more cynical than in hollywood.

  27. Masked Dave says:

    They’re right story telling in games is in the stone age. You aren’t going to improve it by telling your story in a movie cut up around chunks of your game though!

  28. Piispa says:

    a-scale wrote:

    I don’t know about all of these people who whine about WW2 being dead though.

    It’s not about WW2 in general but the few months in the five-year-long war that they keep doing over and over again.

    When the next game of the Normandy.. no wait, the OMAHA landings comes out, I’m going to kill someone. Probably myself.

  29. EyeMessiah says:

    As long as those cut-scenes are skippable, I’m sure it will be great.

  30. Bhazor says:

    It was actually a really good story. The writers really took relish in killing almost every character and snuffing out every positive aspect of the events. The result was wonderfully bleak and far more mature story than you’ll get in any other shooter from last year. Though with the identical uniforms it was tricky trying to tell who was who.

    Though it also relishes in booms and it appears that a dozen Americans and a single scottish tank were able to take on the whole German army.