Don't you just love those "target render" screenshots and videos that come out, containing an artist's rendition of what a game is supposed to look like after it's actually been completed? Yeah, we don't either. But we do love it when the developer can follow up one of those trailers months or a year later with a playable game that does look quite a bit like that overly polished artwork. That's what Gearbox Software has done with Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway, for which it released one of those flashy, overly produced trailers at last year's Electronic Entertainment Expo. After getting an impressive guided demo of the game itself from Gearbox's head and enthusiastic mouthpiece Randy Pitchford, we're more than willing to forgive the developer a little smoke and mirrors early on.
Hell's Highway isn't radically changing the game over the last two Brothers in Arms games--it's just subtly refining the formula that has worked nicely twice before, and it looks a lot prettier. We saw a sample mission set in Zon, Holland, sometime during the ill-fated Operation Market Garden's massive paratrooper drop. The mission simply tasked the player with crossing a courtyard and gardens surrounding a manor house--though the pockets of German soldiers entrenched in the area made that task easier said than done. Hell's Highway's new addition of a secondary bazooka team made for some explosive results, however, as Pitchford commanded his two teams to advance, flank, and take cover--you know, all the sorts of activities that Brothers in Arms' hybrid action strategy gameplay is known for