Brothers In Arms: “Realism”

This latest trailer for Hell’s Highway is long and detailed, with loads of commentary and explanation from the development team. It covers the change in tactical balance to make the player-commanded squads more powerful, the destructible scenery, the gore, and the tweaks in detail that make the game more realistic. I’ve been lucky enough to play an early version of this, and I’m enormously excited. Not only because it’s clearly going to be a splendid game (and like the best BIA so far) but also because it proves just what a mature, competent studio Gearbox are now. It bodes very well indeed for their other title, Borderlands. Anyway, you’ll want to watch this trailer, after the jump.

Hell’s Highway is out September 23rd for North America, and September 25th for Europe.


  1. Jochen Scheisse says:

    Oh look! It’s that game I hate!

  2. Martin Kingsley says:

    I thought that the original Brothers in Arms had some really ace elements to it (the narrative was really put together, for one, and the actual fighting mechanics worked great when they worked) but some of the squad-side and cover implementation was simplistic, occasionally broken, and, as they said, able to make the player feel more than a little impotent. This looks like Gearbox have thought seriously ’bout these things and fixed ’em right up. I’m actually, surprisingly, looking forward to this with a vengeance, now. Gore system? Yes, please. Destructible cover? I’m there. Providing I’m not faced with endless, senseless respawning-of-enemies and checkpoints I’ll need to conquer all by my lonesome to progress the mission while my squad stands idly by (hello, Call of Duty 4, I’m looking at you), by all means, rock on, September.

  3. Mister Yuck says:

    It’s cute that they talk about realism while showing footage of a tommy gun ripping apart wooden fences and frag grenades throwing people around in ultra-slow-mo-gore-o-vision.

    That said, I’ve put up with stupider things in games. I suspect I’ll ignore the ridiculous physics if the game’s fun.

  4. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    John Antal has the look of a man who has seen much. Probably to the sound of Wagner, too.

    Also, when do we get an HD trailer of just Corinne Yu?

  5. Jonas says:

    I didn’t realize Brothers in Arms features VATS.

    No just kidding, it’s not what I’m looking for in a game, but it looks splendid.

    (Still though… eeeeeeeeww.)

  6. Koopa says:

    I got totally distracted by Corinne.

  7. megaman says:

    Gore-o-vision? Yikes. Destructible cover is great, but jeez … are torn-off limbs really adding that much to the atmosphere? I, for one, could live without them and still like the game.

  8. Jonas says:

    Koopa, I assume you’re attracted to Corinne because of how smart she is, and how fantastic she is as a programmer.

  9. N says:

    What is unrealistic in having limbs blown off by a grenade? Hell, finally a ww2 game that has satisfying amounts of gore…

  10. Jonas says:

    Is the slow motion zoom effect actually an in-game feature? Because then I think we’re moving way past the any wish to realistically depict the goryness of war (or whatever) and straight into violence-porn territory :?

  11. Okami says:

    There’s something about their gore system that’s bothering me. No, it’s not the gratitious use of flying limbs and ruptured bodies. I mean, this is a game about war and people tend to die in really horrible ways in it.

    It’s the look on the enemy faces. Or better: the lack thereof. You’d think that someboy getting blown to pieces would be in a certain ammount of pain, but their expressions never change. I guess it’s just one of those uncanny valley things: You make one part of the game more realistic, so everything else that doesn’t match that level of detail and realism just stands out..

  12. N says:

    With that I totally agree, the painless expressions could use some work…. it’s like watching ballistic gel dummies get blown apart, not human beings…

  13. LoTekK says:

    Some of that destructible cover was pretty laughable. The way pieces of the fence were simply detaching and flying away when hit by MG or Thompson rounds looked ridiculous and comical.

    Also, to echo another comment, typical frag grenades simply don’t have the explosive punch (nor produce sufficient shrapnel) to cut a person in two, unless said person were to lie directly on top of one. They certainly don’t produce enough force to SEND SOMEONE FLYING.

    I dunno, the more hyperbole they use when talking about this game, the less impressed I am with it.

  14. Feet says:

    Not played the previous games but I really liking the look of this. The Jim hype is working on me. I’m hoping you can turn off the slow-mo-gore stuff though, that looks like it would break immersion and the flow of the game to me.

  15. The Sombrero Kid says:

    and aliens!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! my most looked forward to fps of 2009 i think :/

  16. Optimaximal says:

    I wonder if Col. John Antal – US Army (Ret.) is the historical consultant on Borderlands as well?

    He’s like bloody Sheriff John Bunnell…

  17. Shadowmancer says:

    Realism in a VIDEOGAME what will they think of next!

  18. spd from Russia says:

    never liked BiA series forcing its tactic formula on you instead of providing a versatile fps experience

  19. Jubaal says:

    It is a shame that they have dropped co-op out of the game. It does look nice, but I doubt I will get it now.

    Randy Pitchford, the president of Gearbox Software said the following in an interview about co-op: “We chose not to invest there because I don’t think we’re quite there yet. And I mean “we” as an industry. You have to design levels just for co-op, and we decided to invest the time and money in a strong single-player mode because most of the people who buy our game do so for the single-player experience”

    He seems to be a bit out of touch here, co-op is the new black, did nobody tell him. This strikes me as the kind of game made for co-op right down to the tactics of supression and flank. I would have prefered them to spend their time on co-op rather than showing a man being (unrealistically) being blown in half by a grenade.

    Here is the full interview: link to

  20. phuzz says:

    I’d like to think there’ll be a menu option to turn off the slowmo events, but somehow I don’t think there will be.
    and surely if the levels are designed for squad combat, they can’t be too inhospitable to co-op play?

  21. Tom says:

    The tanks are like desert :-D

    Also, three cheers for the bald guy!

  22. Optimaximal says:

    He seems to be a bit out of touch here

    Agreed. Pitchford is clearly the Cevat Yerli of US developers, spouting reams of incorrect, incomprehensible tripe from his voice hole without any sort of reference to the modern video game era.
    Halo for the Xbox had a quite comfortable co-op mode, yet did he remove it from the PC version because ‘we just weren’t there’ or because his programming team were a bunch of talentless mules? Given the games awful DX9 implementation, i’m guess it’s more from column B than A.

  23. Bhlaab says:

    Notice that every time they show the woman they have to pull out the camera for a full body shot

  24. Rii says:

    “It bodes very well indeed for their other title, Borderlands.”

    Don’t forget Aliens: Colonial Marines. =)

  25. Joshua says:

    I don’t even know why they bothered to finish this game. The first two game out when WW2 games were at the height of popularity, and they offered surprisingly fresh and complex action, a good story and characters, and great authenticity.

    Then they went right into this and, well… WW2 games are yesterday’s news, and nobody is excited about this game. I hope its good, but I simply don’t care anymore.

  26. Scott says:

    Am I the only one that thinks all of the visual elements look really cartoonish?

  27. EyeMessiah says:

    Yes, coop is the new single player, they are clearly out-of-the-loop. Coop is the only thing I have ever played a BIA game for.

  28. Optimaximal says:

    I just noticed… Yu says ‘chunkawaw’ :D

    Also, when he’s cutting the fence to pieces with the Tommy, the dead german drops his gun in mid-air, which then floats to the ground. The original BiA did that!
    Realism my ass :)

  29. EyeMessiah says:

    EDIT: I too love Corinne.

    She’s so hot she’s making me sexist.

    Also, the slow mo gore cam looks a bit tiresome.

  30. Aubrey says:

    Realism is a very important part of ensuring your game isn’t fun*.

    Verisimilitude, fine. Realism can go suck it.

    *Okay, okay. Subjective.

  31. Kent says:

    “Realism in a VIDEOGAME what will they think of next!”

    Well, what? Don’t leave me hanging!

  32. Weylund says:

    What about that game looked even remotely realistic? The environments that fall apart in giant Lego chunks? The bodies that fly apart at the slightest explosion? The sentry who doesn’t notice a pair of soldiers with a bazooka ten yards away? Or that the soldiers waste a precious bazooka round on… yes… the sentry?

    And the faces were very, very bad. CoD4 had better faces.

    Corinne’s pretty.

  33. MetalCircus says:

    the reason this game isn’t realistic is because it would largely involve huge amounts of time sitting doing nothing, interspersed with shocking, gut wrenching horror and destruction, blood, guts, screaming and death. Thats why.

    The gore thing is admirable, but the way their limbs soar through the sky is a little too cartoony for my liking. Can’t we just have them flopping off, as the bodies crumple to a heap realistically like in GTA 4? (but with added dismemberment of course)

    I also think it’s a bit wierd how the Gearbox team seem to masterbate at the mention of gore, despite it looking rubbish and that. Still, I love the BiA series, and it seems as though they might get it just right with this one.


    Wow. Well done. Clapity clap. Most intelligent comment of the thread.

  34. mister slim says:

    It’s convenient how the body parts always detach at the same exact place.