Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
I almost never hear people mention the Brothers in Arms games anymore, and that’s a shame. While we all tired of World War 2 games and the Brothers in Arms series was never as popular as Medal of Honor or Call of Duty, they were each smartly designed games about first-person squad tactics. Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway was the third and seemingly final entry.
Brothers In Arms games could be played by running and gunning between its myriad cinematic sequences, but they shined most if you stopped, took cover, and instead directed your squad of friendly soldiers to do part of the work for you. This is where they offered a sense of military tactics far greater than its rivals. You’d soon learn a rhythm to progress in the game: tell two men to lay down suppressing fire, tell another two men to flank from the east, and then wait for your moment to break between hedgerows in order to overwhelm the enemies holding a gun emplacement. It still felt like heroism, but of a dogged and methodical sort.
Not that Hell’s Highway was perfect, of course. The game aimed to deal with the superstition of men at war, though may have inadvertently confirmed the existence of ghosts. I am fairly sure the last line of the final cutscene is a grizzled, “Snow? I can handle snow,” as a setup for a Bastogne-set sequel that never happened. There was this Scottish (?) accent.
But if I think of World War 2 games, I think of Brothers In Arms, and I wish that some of that era was still with us now.