Review: Brothers in Arms 2 HD for iPad

Brothers in Arms 2 is a First Person Shooter game set during World War II. The game was originally released for the iPhone and has been optimized and punched up for the iPad. You do battle in five different WW2 theaters: Pacific, North Africa, Sicily, Germany and Normandy. If you have ever played the Call of Duty series, BIA is more than just reminiscent of those.

Brother in Arms 2 HD Review

World War II was a horrid event, but it sure does set the stage for some great battlefronts. You are compelled to kill different enemies; but mostly, it is a whole lot of Nazis. I found myself speaking in that weird accent Brad Pitt used in Inglorious Bastards. There aren't many bad guys you won't feel guilty pretending to kill, but the Nazis fit the bill.

General

The game looks good. The optimized HD graphics are also good. There is plenty of blood and close-ups for your particularly brutal kills, including headshots. You have the option to zoom in and get a good look at the guy you are about to waste. The sound and music are acceptable and don't distract from the game. The game can only be played in landscape mode.

The game moves fast, and there is a lot going on. Perhaps too much is going on. The game lags occasionally, and it even commits the cardinal Apple sin by crashing. That being said, there isn't enough of it to deter you from playing.

You get to drive some different vehicles, including a glider/airplane thing which is pretty cool. As you would expect, there are a variety of different weapons you can play with, sniper rifles, grenades, rocket launchers, flame throwers, etc...

There is a campaign mode where you pursue a storyline involving your brother who died during the war. There is also a great multiplayer feature. They have a free server where you can play against strangers and other modes that allow you to play with your friends. This was a terrific feature to add, and Gameloft should be commended for it. They have also added score tracking and the ability to earn trophies, so you hurt or help your fragile ego as appropriate.

Playability

The game controls are difficult and will take some getting used to. The developers have tried to replicate a console controller on the touch screen. This is a difficult task, and I'm not sure it can be completely achieved to satisfaction. If you've played Call of Duty on your X-Box or PS3 then you will see what the developers were trying to do. The difference is that they don't have the multiple controls and buttons the console games do.

There is a virtual joystick/toggle control on the left. On the right, you have a series of virtual buttons that allow you to shoot, switch weapons and that sort of thing. They have basically provided for a dual thumb toggle control via the touch screen. However, unlike the console controllers, there are no triggers. The problem comes with changing your viewpoint/perspective. This is imperative in a game like this. You need it to aim at enemies, look around to find out who is shooting you, and generally to just figure out where you want to move. You do this by swiping the screen, which is very responsive. The problem is that there are just too many things to do, and getting your fingers to do all of them is difficult. You have to move, shoot and aim. In hot spots, inevitably I found that I focused on shooting and moving and, as a result, aiming was sacrificed. This made game play difficult.

There is definitely a learning curve as far as the controls go. It definitely gets frustrating at times. That being said, I don't know that it could have been done any better. The developers provided different controller configurations so you can find the one you are most comfortable with.

Re-Playability

This is where you see if you get value for what you bought. The game is $7.99, and you get quite a lot of game time for that, arguably unlimited game time.

You get to play in the various war theaters mentioned above and over ten levels. You can always replay the game in one of the three difficulty levels. But c'mon, who plays on easy difficulty. Anyone who does should be exiled and forced to live in shame.

Pros

  • Game looks nice
  • WW2 always makes for nice gaming
  • Lots of game play and a terrific multiplayer option
  • Killin' Nazis

Cons

  • Controls are tough to get used to and are somewhat lacking
  • Some choppiness and crashing

Should You Buy?

Yes, you should. The game is well worth $7.99. Even if you aren't normally a big FPS fan, you will like it. The multiplayer makes this game really worth the money.

Rating: 4 (out of 5)

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