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Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 is a first-person shooter video game created by Gearbox Software for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, and Xbox. It is the first game in the Brothers in Arms series. It is published by Ubisoft and was released in early 2005. The game takes place during World War II and focuses on realistic team strategy and tactics rather than the faster paced run and gun gameplay of the Medal of Honor series. It was ported to the Wii in 2008, as part of the Brothers in Arms: Double Time compilation.
Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 was also used to recreate scenarios in a 2005 History Channel special, also titled Brothers in Arms.
Brothers in Arms is based on the true story of the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment of the famed 101st Airborne Division who were dropped behind German Lines on D-Day. The game is based on the historical Mission Albany, in which the player has to complete true-to-life missions of the 101st.
The sequel Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood is also based on the last missions of the 101st, such as link up with 82nd Airborne Division and capture of Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte (which historically did not involve the 101st A/B as a whole, but some members volunteered to assist the undermanned 82nd Division). The player takes the role of Sergeant Matthew Baker, a paratrooper (based on Harrison C. Summers and various other people) and leader of an airborne squad from Fox Company. The missions range from dropping into France on June 6 to the final defense of Hill 30 eight days later. Baker must lead his men through troubled times and make decisions that may result in the death of a paratrooper, which causes him much heartache.
Baker's squad consists of Cpl. Joe "Red" Hartsock, Cpl. Sam Corrion, Pfc. Jack Courtland, Pfc. Stephan "Obi" Obrieski, Pvt. Larry Allen, Pvt. Johnny Rivas, Pvt. Michael Desola, Pvt. David Muzza, Pfc. Thomas "Zano" Zanovich, Pvt. Michael Garnett and Pvt. Dale "Kid" McCreary. The Radioman is Pfc. Kevin Benjamin "Legs" Leggett. The squad is one of three under Platoon Sgt. Greg "Mac" Hassay. "Mac" served under Sgt. Baker's father, whom he had much respect for, in the First World War and has promised to himself to make Sgt. Baker into a good soldier. 7 men of the 13-man squad are killed during the Normandy campaign. The men of Baker's squad who die are Allen, Garnett, Desola, Rivas, Obrieski, Muzza,and Leggett. By the end of the Normandy campaign only 6 members of the original 13-man squad are alive; Hartsock, Corrion, Courtland, Zanovich, McCreary and Baker himself.
The game has been highly praised for this gritty,violent,uncensored and realistic portrayal of the sacrifice made by servicemen during World War II, "Gameratings.com" announced that Brothers in Arms is "The Highest Rated WWII Action Franchise of All Time", the series also has been fully endorsed by the V.F.W.(Veterans of Foreign Wars), the National D-Day Museum, The Patton Museum Foundation, The National Ordnance Museum, and was even introduced and played at West Point Military Academy. In December 2005, the History Channel acknowledged Brothers in Arms and released a 2 hour documentary about the untold story of the 502nd PIR, it was hosted by Ron Livingston (who starred in Band of Brothers as Lewis Nixon) and featured in-game graphics, and interviews with veterans and historians.
Another character included is Sgt. Baker's best friend, Tank Commander Sgt. George Risner, with whom he spent his childhood. He commands a M5 Light Tank. George follows Sgt. Baker into a small French town outside Saint Côme-du-Mont where his tank is hit by a panzerfaust. He soon dies while firing back at the Germans with Baker's Colt .45 pistol. Also included are real life personalities General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force and Lieutenant Colonel Robert G. Cole, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for leading a charge against a German position outside Carentan early on June 11, 1944. Another real-life character is Col. S.L.A. Marshall, who interviewed hundreds of Allied soldiers after their fighting in Normandy, Lt. Col. Patrick Cassidy is also featured in the series, he is the Commander of the 1st Battalion of the 502nd PIR. Also Col. Howard R. Johnson ( The Commander of the 501st PIR) is featured in the series.
Brothers in Arms uses the Unreal Engine 2.0, including a modified version of the Unreal Engine 2.0,  with significant improvements such as the use of pixel shaders. The enhanced engine also uses a form of Soft Lighting bloom effect.
In most levels of Brothers in Arms, the player is in command of one or two separate 1-3 man teams, with the exception of several sections in which the player is not in command of any unit. There are two types of teams, which are automatically provided before each mission:
- Fire team: Made up of soldiers with the M1 Garand and the Browning Automatic Rifle and should be used for fixing the enemy with suppressive fire. Sometimes M1A1 Carbine or Thompson submachine gun.
- Assault team: Made up of soldiers usually with the M1A1 Carbine and the Thompson submachine gun and is good for flanking the enemy while they are pinned down by the players fire team. Sometimes M1 Garand.
Additionally, some levels provide the player with a tank in lieu of a team, providing players with heavy firepower and mobile cover. The player can also man the pintle-mounted Browning machine gun [disambiguation needed] on the tank for additional suppression.
Brothers in Arms is notable for its intuitive command system. Teams and tanks can be ordered to move, lay suppressive fire, rally, find cover, and charge the enemy. The game stresses at multiple points the effectiveness of fire and maneuver tactics, known as the Four Fs actually used by the military during World War II, expressed in the game tutorial as "Find, Fix, Flank, Finish" describing the steps in suppressing and flanking an enemy.
The focus on team command is emphasized by providing the player with a highly unstable firing capability. Instead of having almost perfect accuracy with weapons in games like Call of Duty, Brothers in Arms models weapons with erratic accuracy, and enemy fire can heavily interfere with a player's aim to simulate the effects of suppressive fire. The relative lack of accuracy is designed to simulate the difficulty in hitting targets in a combat situation as well as forcing the player to use team members to engage enemy units and provide better tactical opportunities.
A number of Second World War era weapons feature in the game, these being:
- Colt M1911A1
- M1 Garand
- M1A1 Carbine
- Springfield M1903A4
- M1A1 Thompson
- M1918A2 BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle)
- Rocket Launcher M9A1 "Bazooka"
- Browning M1919A4
- Mk.IIA1 Fragmentation Hand Grenade
- Walther P38
- Mauser Karabiner 98k
- Mauser Karabiner 98k ZF
- Maschinenpistole 40
- Sturmgewehr 44
- Panzerfaust 60
- Maschinengewehr 42
- Mod.24 Stielhandgranate Offensive Hand Grenade
- GameDaily: 9/10
- GameSpot: 9/10
- AtomicGamer: 92/100
- Xbox World Australia: 91/100
- Gametrailers: 9/10
- Gamer 2.0: 9.1/10
- NTUC uk: 6/10
- Game Chronicles: 9.7/10
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- ↑ Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30.
- ↑ Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 for Xbox
- ↑ Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 for PC - Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 PC Game - Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 Computer Game, gamespot.com
- ↑ Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 Review - AtomicGamer - Free video game downloads, patches, videos, demos, reviews, previews, and screenshots, atomicgamer.com
- ↑ Brothers in Arms : Road to Hill 30 Review / Xbox World Australia | Xbox 360, xboxworld.com.au
- ↑ Brothers In Arms: Road to Hill 30 Video Game | Reviews, Trailers & Interviews, gametrailers.com
- ↑ Brothers In Arms: Road to Hill 30 review for Microsoft Xbox at NTSC-uk, ntsc-uk.com
- ↑ Game Chronicles - Review, gamechronicles.com