Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 is a first-person shooter video game created by Gearbox Software for the PC, PlayStation 2, and Xbox. It is published by Ubisoft and was released in early 2005. The game takes place during World War II and focuses on team strategy rather than the faster paced run and gun tactics of the Medal of Honor series.
On Thursday, February 24, 2005, Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 went gold and was shipped the following week. The Xbox version arrived at stores on March 1 and the PS2 and PC versions released later on March 15.
Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 was also used to re-create scenarios in a 2005 History Channel special.
In most levels of Brothers in Arms, the player is in command of one or two separate 2-3 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:
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 M2HB .50cal machine gun or a M1919 .30cal 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, expressed in the game tutorial as "Find, Fix, Flank, Finish" describing the steps in suppressing and flanking an enemy. It is impossible to run and gun your way through the missions and using the tactics is necessary, which some players found to be repetitive.
The focus on team command is emphasized by providing the player with a highly unstable firing capability. Instead of having 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.
The game is based on the historical mission Albany (misnomered as "Operation Chicago" in the game), in which the player has to complete true to life missions of the 101st. From securing Exit 4 to the capture of Saint Côme-Du-Mont, Brothers in Arms delivers one of the most authentic WWII experiences to date. The sequel 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). The player takes the role of Sergeant Matt Baker, a paratrooper (based on Harrison C. Summers and various other people), and the leader of an airborne squad from Fox Company. The missions range from dropping into France on June 6th 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.
It started with Baker waking up from his unconsciousness and get up to join his unit to fight the Germans in Hill 30. While Baker and the other paratroopers are fighting, Leggett, the platoon radioman is calling help for armor support from the 2nd Armored Division and Mac, the platoon sergeant commanding the paratroopers to hold the line. Baker is soon knocked out again by a tank and saw Leggett shooting the tank and asking it to kill him, the Panzer shoot Leggett and killing him, Baker witness it and goes unconscious again.
It flashback to D-Day where the 101st Airborne Division are ready to parachute down to Normandy. Baker is commanding 3rd Squad as a replacement for the squad leader who died in training, Baker is nervous as he doesn't want to command a squad plus the bad luck they have with 13 members in the squad. The squad soon is ready to jump off the plane but was interrupted by a Flak fire which kill Muzza. Baker was the first one to jump out the plane but lost his equipment in the jump. He managed to land and tries to find any paratroopers. He managed to find Mac and was given a pistol to defend himself, they later encounter some Germans checking on a dead paratrooper. After they dealt with, Mac checks his map to see where they are, they continue forward until they encounter Lt. Col. Robert Cole and Leggett. They asked a nearby local for a location which revealed to be northeast of Saint Mere Eglise. Cole leave them to find any paratroopers lost in the drop while Mac's team destroy nearby AA guns that wreck havoc to the planes.
After completing their objectives, they headed to Exit 4 to help the 4th Infantry Division in Utah Beach. On the way, they meet and reunite Red, one of the members of 3rd Squad and Fire Team leader. As they fight their way to the beach, they reunite with Allen & Garnett and fight off the retreating Germans. The squad rest up and restock in Utah Beach before continuing their missions in Normandy and hope they find their squadmates.
They starts off in a unnamed village titled Objective XYZ by the US Army to clear off a German company. Baker's squad managed to neutralize the Germans in the village and obtain a Opel Blitz as the squad vehicle. Their next mission is Foucarville where they have secure it in order hold the Northern flank of the invasion, only four men, Baker, Red, Allen and Garnett to uphold the task. Baker was commended for managing to kill a German platoon and mortar teams with his squad alone. Their final mission of the day is to destroy the poles planted by the Germans in order to harass the glider landings, Baker's team managed to destroy all of the poles and regroup with the glider for resupply.
The Next Day
They are in Vierville, a town to the highway that lead to St. Come du Mont and Carnetan, the 101st's objective and tasked to clear the town as a checkpoint for the attack through the causeway. They are supported by a Stuart tank who is lead by none other than Baker's best friend, George Risner. Together, they managed to defeat the Germans, destroy 2 StuG tanks and repel a German counterattack.
Baker spent his time talking to his best friend before joining the 101st's attack on the causeway, the paratroopers managed to push through the road and clearing every obstacles in the way. However, as they reach the corner of the road, they are ambushed by Germans which one of them use Panzerfaust to disable the tank. George was killed by Germans as he forced to defend himself. After Baker finish the defenders, Baker meet up with Mac who report that two of his squad members, Corrion and Desola are with the 506th PIR and joining Baker's squad and preparing to capture St. Come in the morning.
Half Dozen Reunited
In the next morning, Baker's half dozen squad and the 506th PIR are attacking the Germans defending the path to St. Come with navy artillery providing support. The Americans managed to capture the machine gun post that was defending St. Come. They rest up for the rest of the morning and prepare to capture the town by noon. They were surprised by mortar fire and German Fallschrimjagers (Paratroopers) and engage battle with them. After pushing towards the city center, they are reported there is a tank in the area and the anti tank weapons are on the enemy side. While his men are engaging the Germans and distracting the tank, Baker charge towards the enemy lines and grab a Panzerfaust and destroy the tank. This impressed Mac for Baker bravery and joke for Baker's refusal for squad leader.
The next day, Baker's squad is tasked to capture a farm to eliminate the remnants of the St. Come defenders and used as a base. Leggett is tasked to lead a flank along with Allen and Garnett much to the their chagrin while Baker lead the frontal attack. Baker's team along with a Sherman tank, killing all the Germans in the path and clearing the farm. However, they are surprised by mortar fire and proceed to the open battlefield, they managed to defeat a German squad, a mortar team including a StuG tank. Later, a scream by Leggett is heard and when Baker's team come to the scene, they found Allen and Garnett dead with 3 Fallschrimjagers dead as well.
Due to Leggett surviving the scene, the team except Corrion blamed Leggett for letting Allen and Garnett killed and cowardly hiding while they died. Baker's team have one task to destroy the bridge of an alternate route as although they can use to attack Carentan, the Germans can flank the Americans with their tanks. The team with a Sherman tank fight their way to the bridge and destroy it with planted TNT.
Battle towards Carentan
Baker's team is now reunited with the remaining members of the squad and they are pushing cross the causeway to their city objective. As they fight their way, they regroup Cole and his battalion under the bridge and prepare their attack. The Germans are killing every attackers while the paratroopers are charging towards Bridge 4 where it is blocked by an obstacle. The crossing was delayed by machine gun fire which Baker's squad dealt with. As the 101st are crossing, the bridge is under bombardment of German bombers and many soldiers were killed.
Baker was knocked out and woke up by Corrion and revealed that Desola was killed in a gruesome death. Red frustrated throw his helmet away before regrouping with Cole's men where their squad are at. Cole is preparing their charge towards Ingouf Farmhouse where they are setting up a CP for the invasion of Carentan. As artillery fire smoke into the battlefield, the paratroopers charge their way with Cole leading the charge towards the farmhouse. After securing the house, Baker's squad finish the remaining defenders around the surrounding house. Once that was done, Baker's men received rest for the morning.
Their rest is cut as they have a new objective of saving Lt. Combs and his patrol from the Germans. Only half the squad is sent to save the patrol. They fight their way through the Germans and neutralize the Germans that was harassing Combs and his men. They went back the path and fight their way back to the farmhouse. The squad is reported that a counterattack on the farmhouse is happening and along the 101st defend the line. The paratroopers managed to hold their line and Cole celebrated with wine with the 101st.
The next day, Baker's squad is tasked to clear the industrial section of Carentan since the are is at the entrance of Carentan. Mac joined the squad in other section with a depressed Leggett. Baker's squad fight off the professional Panzergrenadiers and their Panzer tanks. After clearing the warehouse of Germans, Mac ordered the rest of the squad to move towards the church that was captured by the 101st already.
Defense for Carentan
The cathedral served as viewpoint for the paratroopers to look for any German attack as the 101st already capture the town but risk of a counterattack. While the men was talking on the cathedral roof, Obi was shot in the head which force the rest to laid their heads for sniper. Red and Zanovich went down the church to join the ground defense where Corrion, McCreary and Courtland are down there with some 101st squads. Baker provide sniper support from the roof and kill many Germans that were attacking the plaza. Baker, Mac and Leggett move downstairs as Germans attempted to attack the flank and the bad news of tanks providing support for the Germans. After dealing the attack in other field, a tank arrived in the battlefield which forced the team to move to the other side with Bazzoka located. Baker use the Bazzoka to disable the tanks entering the battlefield. This result in Carentan defense but it is not over.
Baker's squad are late for the battle of Hill 30 where the 101st are engaging the German attack and holding their defense. As the squad arrived, Mac brief Baker the situation before knock out by mortar fire. This returned Baker to the scene from the beginning. Baker wake up from the second unconscious and Mac tasked Baker alone to find the armor reinforcement that Leggett was calling. Baker alone face himself Germans along and avoiding tanks. As he reach the bridge, the tanks have arrived and provide Baker support including fighting off the tanks Baker avoid. Baker was on the tank machine gun and commanded the tanks to head to the battlefield. The tanks swiftly dealt the Germans and concluded the Battle of Hill 30.
The End of the Beginning
Baker's depleted squad rest in the cathedral before called by Mac who gave a speech and gave Red a promotion to Sergeant. Mac personally talk to Baker before interrupted by mortar fire. Baker lead his squad to fight the Germans once more.
This here detail the list of chapters in the game, There are 20 Chapters in the game:
- Brothers in Arms (Chapter)
- Rendezvous with Destiny
- Silence the Guns
- Ambush at Exit 4
- Objective XYZ
- Foucarville Blockade
- Rommel's Asparagus
- Action at Vierville
- Dead Man's Corner
- The Crack of Dawn
- The Fall of St Come
- Buying the Farm
- Alternate Route
- Purple Heart Lane
- Cole's Charge
- Ripe Pickings
- Push into Carentan
- Tom and Jerry
- No Better Spot to Die
- Victory in Carentan
This list shows all the characters in the game:
- Sgt. Matt Baker
- Cpl. Joe "Red" Hartsock
- Cpl. Sam Corrion
- SSgt. "Mac" Hassay
- Pfc. Kevin Leggett
- Pvt. Larry Allen
- Pvt. Micheal Garnett
- Pvt. Micheal Desola
- Pfc. Thomas Zanovich
- Pfc. Stephan Obrieski
- Pfc. Jack Courtland
- Pvt. Dale McCreary
- Sgt. George Risner
- Pvt. Johnny Rivas
- Pvt. David Muzza
Real life characters
This list shows all the characters that appears in the game also appears in real history on D-Day:
- Lt. Col. Robert Cole
- General Eisenhower (mentioned)
- Lt. Col. S.L.A. Marshall (mentioned)
- Lt. Homer Combs
- Col. Robert Sink (mentioned)
Brothers in Arms uses the Unreal Engine 2.0, albeit with heavy modification. It makes heavy use of pixel shaders. It also uses a form of Soft Lighting bloom effect. All the characters have much more visible facial hair than in Hell's Highway, giving them a grizzled look.
- There are minor differences between the PS2 version and PC and Xbox Versions, here is the general list:
- Private Boyd is a Lieutenant.
- The Player cannot heal him/herself or his/her squad.
- Joseph Hartsock is having black hair instead of orange.
- Another Paratrooper is present in some Levels: Private First Class John Kings.
- Some of the NPCs are using different weapons in some Levels.
- The "Leaves" on some of the characters' helmets are absent.
- If anyone in the Squad "Fell",The Medic sign appears instead of an red x.
- When the Player dies a sad song starts to play.
- The graphics and textures are significantly downgraded from the much more advanced graphics of both the PC and Xbox versions. As seen here:
- Brothers in Arms official website
- 'Brothers in Arms - Gearboxed' - community of fans with current news and forums
- Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 at MobyGames
- FilesNetwork launches a network fansite for 'Brothers in Arms'
- An Original Playthrough of the Game on Brighthub.com
Brothers in Arms Series
|Main Games||Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 · Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood · Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway|
style="background:#66691b; padding: 5px 10px;" | Phone games
style="background:; text-align:left; padding: 5px 10px;" | Brothers in Arms: Hour of Heroes · Brothers in Arms 2: Global Front · Brothers in Arms 3: Sons of War
style="background:#66691b; padding: 5px 10px;" | Spin-off Games
style="background:; text-align:left; padding: 5px 10px;" | Brothers in Arms DS · Brothers in Arms: D-Day · Brothers in Arms: Double Time · Brothers in Arms: Art Of War · Brothers in Arms (N-Gage)
style="background:#66691b; padding: 5px 10px;" | Printed Media
style="background:; text-align:left; padding: 5px 10px;" | Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway · Brothers in Arms Journal · Brothers in Arms Comic