Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood Demo

The demo for Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood is now available, offering the chance to sample Gearbox Software's World War II shooter sequel. The demo offers one single player mission as well as a skirmish map with solo and multiplayer support. The 615 MB download is available on 3D Downloads, 3D Gamers, 4players.de, Boomtown (registration required), ActionTrip, Boomtown (registration required), Computer Games (Romaina), FileFront, Filerush (torrent), FileShack, Fragland.net, Gameguru Mania, Gamer's Hell, GameSpot DLX (registration required), PC Gameworld, Strategy Informer, VGPro, and Worthplaying.
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Impressions
Sep 21, 2005, 21:05
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Impressions Sep 21, 2005, 21:05
Sep 21, 2005, 21:05
 
Well, I was unimpressed with the original Brothers In Arms and some might remember the response I got on here from Randy Pitchford. It was nice to see a developer responding to a critic and it seemed like he cared what we had to say. As such, I decided to give this demo a run to see if they had improved on the original game. Unfortunately, I have to say they didn't. Virtually all of the original technical problems with the game are still present and the gameplay is just more of the same:

* Despite what is claimed, this is VERY clearly an Xbox port. The textures are low resolution and washed out and the controls and enemy responses seem tuned to the limitations of playing an FPS on a console.
* The surround sound problems are still there. Yes, they finally fixed it so 5.1 support actually functions, but when playing I had no center channel whatsoever and if I was looking straight at something, I couldn't hear it. I tested my speakers with Chaos Theory and my sound setup is fine.
* The game performs very poorly for how it looks. I ran it on my X800XL 256MB in 1024x768 with 4x antisotropic filtering turned on and in a firefight, it choked. Without AS filtering, is still noticeably slowed. I can run Chaos Theory in 1280x1024 with 4X AS filtering no problem at all and Half-Life 2 with even higher AS. Again, this to me indicates is was made for consoles first and the PC a distant second.
* The squad AI still regularly gets stuck or doesn't do what you ask. They often stop dead in the middle of an open area (consequently getting shot), don't find cover and will sometimes assault enemy positions, only to pause for several seconds (and taking damage) before opening fire.
* The gameplay is still very repetitive. Lay down supressing fire, flank the enemy and kill them yourself (if you don't want to risk your squad getting themselves killed), rinse repeat. I appreciate that you can only do so much in a squad-based game without it getting too complicated, but this just seems too simplistic to me.
* Your squadmates only seem to know three phrases for each situation and they insist on repeating them over and over again. Hearing the same three lines every five seconds while they are supressing breaks the experience. If they couldn't put in more dialogue, it should have been spread out some.
* This is just another series of missions for the same game. It is an expansion and worth expansion price. It is NOT worth full game price just to play another series of missions. This is the EA Sports yearly purchase idea cutting into other genres.

I don't know, some people liked the original Brothers In Arms and if you did, you'll probably like this (though you might not want to shell out full game price for it.) I'll definitely be passing on this one and I'd have to recommend others do the same, at least on the PC version. I'm way more excited about Call of Duty 2. I don't know, for all the people that hate Irrational over T:V, I personally think Gearbox has a lot more redeeming to do.


Parallax Abstraction
Ottawa, Canada
www.pxa.ca

This comment was edited on Sep 21, 21:09.
Parallax Abstraction
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