December 13, 2013

Hawke's Eye: Brothers in Arms Road to Hill 30

Now that Kyle has finished worshiping the aforementioned game in his sugary sweet "Review", I decided that for people who are looking for a less biased review should get their attention.

Welcome to Hawke's Eye, where I, Hawke Zechariah, give an unforgiving and brutally honest rundown of an otherwise "great" game. I was originally gonna go with "Eye of Providence" for the title, but I decided against it because I don't want internet loonies on my case all day, everyday!


We older gamers pride our gameplay over needless brotherly drama. First thing's first, the gameplay is smart, slow-paced and very very good.

Let me give you a quick Gameplay Sitrep:

-Players control squads of multiple soldiers, divided into the categories of Support, Fire Teams and Assault. Support squads are usually three rookies who are ideally placed at the back of the action to Suppress enemies. We will get to Suppression in a moment.

Fire Teams are better for middle lane combat, who slowly advance on and flank the enemy. These are usually two, more experienced yet extremely fragile soldiers.

Assault squads or units are ideal for just that: Assault. These are usually your tank units who are useful for taking out normal enemy squads with machine gun fire and that cannon thing that makes stuff explode.

Hey, I'm not human, so don't blame me for misplacing the dang thing's name!

The actual "commanding" of these squads may leave a lot to desire for newer "gamers", but it's simple, fast and efficient. Even if the actual control scheme may cause a few frustrating dog-ups.

Oh, and the difficulty is highly challenging, as it should be for a Tactical Shooter. You may have to try several sequences over and over again, but that only adds to the eventual satisfaction when you get it right.


In a word, beautiful. Not because it has Blu-Ray quality so good that you can make out the curvy stubble on your character's grizzled face, but because most of the action takes place in less cinematic environments, like gardens, townships, around lakes and wherever else.

Occasionally we have the standard trenches, but these are to be expected. I'm tempted to say I LOVE the attention to environmental detail, but Hawke never loves, so I'll just stick to LIKING them instead.

The voice acting is serviceable. It's your typical soldier "gravel" with a few exceptions. The soldiers sound like ordinary people, which is probably what Gearbox was going for, so I guess it's good for what it is.


The Controls are your typical shooter's for the most part, with Left Mouse button firing your gun, as it ALWAYS should be. My homie WASD makes his millionth return. And switching between weapons is.....

I forgot. I think it's Middle Mouse button, right? No. That zooms your weapon. Not Right Mouse button. That orders your units.

So here I am, in the middle of the battlefield, next to a farm, and have spotted an enemy squad I aim at them, and press Right Mouse button. Fifteen seconds later, three soldiers are sleeping soundly in the farmer's tarnished little garden.

When it comes to Controls, it's mostly good. But if you're used to the standard Shooter control scheme, you're pretty much going to have a hard time adapting.

Box Art:

Okay, so what's up with the title? It's about as generic as you can get! Why not just call it Guns and Soldiers: Linear Gameplay Remixed!? Simplicity is the best title. 

This is not an academic paper on the Road to Hill 30. This is a deeply personal journey, just so happening to be on the Road to Hill 30. Not like I care for human sob stories, but if you are going to make one, at least just say so!

Secondly, the cover art depicts an event which never takes place in-game. That may have been a smart move on Gearbox's side to provide us with a red herring, but deception is not the best thing in the world. Especially not when it's the first thing gamers are faced with!

Thirdly, the box art doesn't give you a clue as to where the game is set. Crimson Plains? Hell Sky? Valley of the Slightly Red Mountains?

Final Verdict: 8/10

Gameplay: 9/10
AudioVisual: 8/10
Controls: 8/10
Box Art: 6/10

Right off the bat, you may not like this game if you're into newer more hand-holdy shooters like Call of Battle and Dutyfield.

But for the people who truly want and deserve a challenging Tactical Shooter, this is a classic.

*mic drop*

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