omali's Brothers in Arms: Double Time (Wii) review

Brothers In Arms: Double Time

Brothers in Arms: Double Time is the first, and currently only, Wii version of the Brothers in Arms series. Double TIme takes the games Road to Hill 30 and Earned in Blood, and sticks them on a motion controlled system in a try to emulate war on a more personal level. 

Brothers in Arms: Double Time takes you through the storyline of the first two BIA games, following Matt Baker and Joe Hartsock, as you meneuver your squad in urban environments, building on the concept of team play and cover, more importantly being suppressing fire, on the fly tactics, and cover. Lots and lots of cover.

The first question that might come to your mind is; Is Double Time a gimmick? The Wii, as is the case with the DS, is known for shovelware and ports, games that are brought over from other consoles that just don't work right when given half-hearted Wii motion controls that wind up with the player flailing their arms in frustration, trying to get a response out of their avatar on screen. A relieving no, Double Time can hardly be considered a gimmick game, and plays very differently to the previous console and pc incarnations under the same names.

Double Time uses the Wii controller to create one of the better first person shooters around on the platform. You'll need the nunchuck, which is used to control movement and strafing (up down, strafe left and right) as well as zoom and crouch. On the Wiimote side of the controller, the trigger button is a given, the A button is used for your squad functions (move, fire, charge) while the D-pad is used to change squads you're giving commands to and reload. 

Graphics: Unreal 2.0, you can tell. The game doesn't look all that different from the PC and console versions, but there are some toned down graphics in the character models, where you'll see some jittery animation at times (Heads jerking 45 degrees, some mouths not moving while talking).

On the PC and console versions of Brothers In Arms, the game introduced an artificial sway to your aiming as well as very poor aim at longer ranges, in order to emphasize on the need to get closer to your enemies and use cover, flank, and suppress. The Wii version, somehow, did not get this feature. I'm assuming that Gearbox believed player's arms, with their natural sway, would more than make up for the lack of this feature; however it makes the game very easy for those of us with steady arms. If you can hold your hand still enough, you won't need to take advantage of the cover system, and can pick off quite a few enemies from a distance. Where the original BIA's didn't appeal to gamers who like to play solo, as with the right aiming it is very possible.

Doing so may be one of the better decisions, as your AI allies are not the brightest of the platoon. While the PC and console versions where allies dynamically take cover in regards to where their enemies are, and the battles play out quite intelligently. In Double Time, I can count numerous moments where my allies rushed right out of cover, sat in the open, and proceeded to make themselves into a bullet cushion for the German soldiers. I had several other moments of my allies standing in place, shooting at a wall or a low concrete wall (Because if we learned one thing from WW2 games, there are a lot of waist high concrete walls in France)

The Wii controls aren't the greatest in the world. In order to call your squad to you, you have to spin the nunchuck over your head. I had trouble getting this to work without clubbing myself with my own arm, and even then it wouldn't register until after I put my arm down. The melee, butting your gun, requires shaking the Wiimote, which I never managed to get down. You rarely get within melee distance of your enemies, so your first practice with meleeing will most likely be your last. Another issue I faced is that the exaggerated motion needed to melee would usually trigger the "follow me" from the nunchuck.

The gameplay involves keeping fire on enemy squads, as indicated by circles above their heads, and keeping them suppressed long enough for you to catch them at a point where they are no longer under cover, and blasting away. The game gets more complicated, adding new squads with their own purposes, as well as a constantly changing environment where the enemy is also using tactics to get at you.

The enemy AI is not nearly as dim witted as your allies are, but displays an odd character of personality. At some times, the AI will rush you, coordinated perfectly to keep you in cover, while they march their own tactics of flanking and suppression. Other times, you get the feeling they just don't care too much about the war, and would prefer getting killed than fighting it out in the trenches; by running in a straight line towards your gun. The AI is also not leniant, at all, on aiming. While some Wii shooters give you a second or two of pause time so you can aim properly, if the enemy knows where you are, and you're not covered properly, you will be shot at, and most likely you won't live long.

Speaking of Allies; Previous players of the BIA games will know about the series' popular storytelling feature; to tell the story regardless of how you play it. Your allies can, and will regularly on their own accord, die. Rather than continue on with that character dead, in order to proceed you must agree to either have the player revived, or restart the chapter completely and keep him alive. For a series that bases so much on story, this detraction from realism is a big hit to the immersion.

For drama buffs, the storytelling in the game is great. The story is narrated by your character, and it does tell a good story. You will have to deal with some lame jokes, "Time to say good morning to the krauts" "You mean shoot them right? I've never said good morning like that!". Wah wahh. If you've played the Brothers in Arms games before, the non-skippable cutscenes are still here. Some of the jokes get downright painful, even more so knowing that you can't skip them.

Anyway; Brothers in Arms is a port, that doesn't feel like a port, but feels very much at home on the Wii. The game runs smoothly with a few hiccups, and a few graphical/sound glitches at times, but otherwise was a fun experience. It's a great story that ends up being hampered by the revival system. Considering you're getting 2 games for the price of one, definitely look for Double Time at your local gaming store. I personally picked up Double Time used for $15 USD at my local FYE.

Brothers in Arms comes on two discs, one game per disc. I gave it a 4/5 because most of the problems are negligable.

Other reviews for Brothers in Arms: Double Time (Wii)

    War has been remade for the love of the Wii. 0

    Even though its called Brothers in Arms Double Time, the two games believe it or not is actually the titles from the Xbox, PC and PS2 titles, Road to Hill 30 and Earned in Blood to put it in order. It will be tough to review the two so I'll try my best to keep it as simple as I can.I'll start with the story. Road to Hill 30 is about sergeant Baker experiencing as a squad leader and has to take eight days to get to where the war is in France. Earned in Blood has sergeant Hartsock as a new squad l...

    0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

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