Brothers In Arms: Furious Four Still Alive, Has “Evolved”

By Nathan Grayson on July 10th, 2012 at 10:00 am.

By 'evolved,' he of course means that Gearbox will soon unveil Brothers In Arms: Four Fast, Four Furious, the most realistic WWII-era street racer the world's ever seen.

If a big-budget, trumpeted-to-the-high-heavens sequel goes silent for more than a year, that usually means one of three things: 1) It’s been canned, 2) It’s been significantly reworked, or 3) It was never real at all, you only imagined it, and you are – in reality – straight-jacket-straining mad. I was absolutely certain Brothers In Arms: Furious Four was a case of the third thing, but according to Gearbox, it’s actually the second. And I guess I believe those guys. Now could someone help me out of this straight jacket?

Gearbox CEO and former professional magician (seriously) Randy Pitchford told his game’s sordid tale to the sordid tale specialists at CVG:

“I’m looking forward to being able to talk about Brothers in Arms: Furious 4 soon. The game has evolved. I think people are going to be surprised by what they’ll see, and it’s still evolving. One of the reasons why we’re not talking about it now is that it’s evolving and we need to make further changes before we can start talking about it.”

When Gearbox first revealed the new face of its favorite war (no, not that one) last year, reactions to the out-of-left-field focus on cartoony co-op were incredibly mixed. News, however, soon broke that this was merely a “test bed,” with the slightly less crotch-tazing-prone story of Sgt Matt Baker and his company of heroes to continue at a later date.

So then, with any luck, this “evolution” will benefit all involved. That said, I probably have a higher opinion of the Furious Four’s original furious form than most. I mean, that very dumb debut trailer made it look like a low-brow Inglorious Basterds, but – having seen the game in action during E3 2011 – I don’t really think that’s accurate. It struck me more as WWII meets Borderlands meets Left 4 Dead, and the demo looked like solidly silly, though largely unspectacular fun. In a pinch, I’d probably pick a better Hell’s Highway over that, but still, Furious Four’s existence was far from a personal affront to my own.

There, now you have my two cents. You may, if you please, use them in your brain’s vending machine – perhaps to purchase food for thought.

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52 Comments »

  1. Tuggy Tug says:

    WARFACE?

  2. Heliocentric says:

    I thought the first game was good, the 2nd exceptional and the 3rd mostly okay and occasionally good. To be fair, I don’t care about the styling as long as the game is up to scratch.

    • Bhazor says:

      The third game would have been the best if it wasn’t for the rubbish third person camera which meant you often shot the cover you were hiding behind and meant it was pathetically easy to kill MGs by just lining a headshot while in cover and popping out.

      Certainly the destructable cover added a lot for me even if most reviews either egnored or dismissed it.

      But really the core gameplay of controlling two squads made it leaps ahead of any other first person shooter of the year.

      • marbled says:

        “The third game would have been the best if it wasn’t for the rubbish third person camera which meant you often shot the cover you were hiding behind and meant it was pathetically easy to kill MGs by just lining a headshot while in cover and popping out.”

        This. The whole reason I loved the 1st BIA was playing with no crosshair and no suppression meters, having to use the iron sights and adjust for the rifle’s movement. I get that adding a cover mechanic makes sense for a combat game but going to the third person camera meant that you had to choose between having no chance at all of hitting your target, or having crosshairs so you could line up perfect shots. If they’d just had you stay in 1st person view while taking cover, and have to pop out to line up shots, it would have been damn near perfect gameplay.

        • Ringwraith says:

          The being able to line up shots also probably had something to do with them removing the effect of personal suppression from the third game. As previously, while being shot at even while aiming down the sights, your accuracy suffered, although they weren’t perfectly-accurate even without that for the most part, and this was designed to stop you sniping guys behind cover. Thus forcing you to flank.
          With the removal of that from the third game, you could just grab a Kar98 and snipe everyone very carefully even on Authentic, (which at least didn’t remove checkpoints anymore, who thought that was a good idea?!)

          • Bhazor says:

            That is what pisses me off most about third person shooters/cover systems. In BIA 1+2 or COD 2 getting pinned by a mg nest was fucking terrifying. Lying flat on the ground, cowering in the tiny blind spot behind a single breezeblock, not even able to see where the fucker is without risking your neck for a peek. In third person you’re so far removed you can pick out every individual enemy without any tension or challenge.

          • Ringwraith says:

            Well, you could try and shoot MG gunners through the slits in the first two games, but wasn’t really going to happen, with the prospect of death and inaccuracy combined, but with pre-aiming and pin-point weapons you can do it reasonably easily in the third game.

    • MistyMike says:

      The Art of War according to Gearbox:
      Past the ditch, past the outhouse, past the fallen log, past the wooden fence there is ALWAYS the exposed flank, that will lead you to victory.

      • Gap Gen says:

        Normandy: A region in the north of France, noteable for its waist-high bullet-proof hedges.

        • GraveyardJimmy says:

          To be fair many levels were made using reference photos and the hedgerows in normandy were pretty impenetrable, they had to stick snowplough-esque metal onto sherman tanks to break through them.

          • Bhazor says:

            Completing the levels unlocked bonus behind the scenes stuff including some surprisingly accurate location shots.

            Also yeah Hedgerow combat was a pretty big thing.

    • Gap Gen says:

      The 3rd game’s FEAR-style sections were just weird. I get what they were trying to do, I guess, but, weird.

  3. Player1 says:

    Oh no… another body murdered… Maybe I’m one of those romantic purists which don’t like to see their favourite games evolve into some blood splattering messes, but come on…. this is just… too Tarantino to be fun…

  4. Alec Meer says:

    Interested to see what they do with this, if still a bit confused by it. While I can understand some folks’ disappointment at leaving the pseudo-realism of BIA behind, I’m totally behind devs having a playful reaction against the achingly earnest wargames of the moment.

    • Bhazor says:

      They have completely abandonded the gameplay of the originals. This has nothing to do with the series and given the series is renowned for it’s surprisingly authentic and sincere approach this is an outright insult. The originals were based on real missions, they were grounded in reality and didn’t shirk from the brutality and horrors of war.

      I would love to see what Randy said to his former consultants
      “Sorry the real Matt Baker, sorry the veterans who we consulted, sorry to all the people who died in the actual missions but you weren’t pulling enough of the cretin demographic.” The kind of crowd that thinks Englorious Basterds actually looked like the trailer and keep calling this cartoon nonsense “Tarantino style”.

      This isn’t a mistep. This isn’t a bad decision. This is an insult.

      • RegisteredUser says:

        This smacks of the XCOM issue.
        Why on earth call it the name of a franchise known for something else?
        Should have just given it its own thing and people wouldn’t be upset.

        My feeling insulted is, I fear, fairly certain going to come from the classic stuff.
        They develop for console, PC gets crappy port, gameplay design and mechanics revolve around what the console platform is used to..that kind of thing.
        Although here at least there’s a small chance that if there is enough focus on melee instead of shooting, simply taking a gamepad and playing it as a brawler as opposed to a shooter might be its salvation. I wonder just how it is supposed to have evolved.
        Usually what “they” think they’re doing well isn’t what “we” think..

        I would actually love a “low-brow Inglorious Basterds” game that centers on enjoyable gore-splashy-bashy, _IF_ its well done and not just same old same old in a slightly awkward different costume.
        We don’t exactly have a lot of those.

        Another major question mark for me is going to be whether you even want to play this SP / offline or whether its made in a fashion that it only makes sense to play as 4 player-co-op.

        • Ringwraith says:

          Seeing as they’ve promised a lot for the PC version of Borderlands 2, it’s not too unreasonable to extend that to their other games, so it should be good.

      • Guiscard says:

        I agree. All they had to do was not use “Brothers in Arms” in the title, and we’d all be a lot happier. It’s the notion that this belongs alongside Baker and his squad that’s wrong.

        • Ringwraith says:

          This is basically it, as for such a story-driven series, spanning multiple games, it’s simply jarring to have some weird spin-off with the same name and has nothing to do with it other than a World War II setting.

        • bear912 says:

          To be honest, if the “evolution” they speak of is just removing the Brothers in Arms from the title, I think most folks (including me) will be fairly happy. Massive tonal shifts generally do no favors for narratives.

      • Baines says:

        Gearbox is making an Aliens game without even bothering to make a playable female character. Most other franchises, okay… But the established-Sigourney-Weaver-as-an-action-hero pro-women Aliens franchise?

        Gearbox thought Duke Nukem Forever was a good idea.

        Is their vision for Brothers In Arms really a surprise?

        • Ringwraith says:

          But Brothers In Arms was a really good series!
          They’re also basically fixing everyone’s complaints about Borderlands with its sequel by the sounds of it, so yes, a surprise.

  5. Gap Gen says:

    Schindler’s List 2: Lists of Fury
    Come and See 2: The Burnination
    Enemy At The Gates 2: HEADSHOT

    (I’m aware that there are plenty of silly WWII action films and games, but Brothers in Arms was not that.)

    • Gap Gen says:

      Wait, this is what the Red Alert series did. Although I guess it wasn’t about a real war, where fifty million real people didn’t die.

  6. Hoaxfish says:

    Furious Four Still Alive, Has “Evolved”

    So is it now the Famous Five? Did they add a dog character? will they solve mysteries in a whimsical English setting?

  7. GraveyardJimmy says:

    Really don’t mind the premise for the game. Just completely dumbfounded as to why they stuck the BiA name on it. I really enjoyed BiA 1,2 and even loved hells highway (apart from the 3rd person cover mechanic) so why they think tying the two vastly different games to the same name was a good idea is a mystery to me. Its not as if BiA was as hugely renowned and as recognisable as call of duty for example.

    • grundus says:

      If they dropped the BIA name and just called it Furious Four I would be fine with it. I’m only mildly perturbed as it is though.

      • GraveyardJimmy says:

        I think its made worse by the fact that the original games showed how faithful they were to photos taken and the additional content was images of dead man’s corner lined up with the game along with images of their team visiting the site they were to map, all showing how they were serious about trying to make it as authentic as possible. I came to associate that with the name Brothers in Arms.

        I agree, call it Furious Four or something like that and there wouldn’t have been a problem for anyone, especially since Randy has said they are likely making another BiA like the first 3.

  8. Nick says:

    Part of this evolution consists of bloom and vaseline.

  9. Mattressi says:

    “low-brow Inglorious Basterds” – is there any other kind? Perhaps the one I watched was the low-brow version and there’s one out there that has artistic merit and a meaning, that hasn’t been shoe-horned on by Tarantino fans?

    • Nick says:

      It was an odd film.. it did have some excellently tense dialogue driven scenes though.

      • brulleks says:

        It was fun, and that’s pretty much all Tarantino ever achieves, no matter how stylistically divergent his films are from those of other directors. They’ve never held any deeper meaning for me, but they’ve rarely been less than entertaining.

        Except for Jackie Brown, which bored me senseless.

        • Bhazor says:

          I don’t understand where the idea that Tarantino directs super slick hyperviolent films come from. Apart from Kill Bill his films are pretty unremarkable in terms of violence. Hell theres more time spent dancing than killing in Pulp Fiction and Basterds was absoultely nothing like the trailer.

          It just seems to have become short hand for glamourised violence when thats never been the focus and he certainly wasn’t the first to do it.

  10. Kollega says:

    Now, does anyone think that a WW2-era street racing game mentioned in the alt-text is actually a good idea?

    • Gap Gen says:

      Reminds me of the United Offensive Sicily level, or Call of Duty’s jeep sections.

    • Sisco says:

      I would SSOOOOO play that!

      • brulleks says:

        Then buy Saboteur and play the race missions.

        And the rest of it of course, as it is a great take on open-world gameplay.

        • SominiTheCommenter says:

          This. Saboteur is just like that but with bad Irish accents. And french. And posh british.
          Bad in a good way.

  11. dsch says:

    It’s ‘straitjacket’.

  12. wodin says:

    People moan..oh another WW2 shooter..so they try to do something abit leftfield..fairplay I say.