Brothers In Arms: Hour Of Heroes REVIEW

Discussion in 'iTunes App Store Reviews' started by Superperson, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. Superperson

    Superperson New Member

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    iPhone gaming has come a long way. We've seen 3D games with finicky controls like Super Monkey Ball, addictive, simple games like PapiJump, and full-fledged RPGs like Vay. Gameloft's iPhone version of the popular Brothers in Arms series breaks new barriers in iPhone and mobile gaming. Let's take a look.

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    Overview:
    The game takes a while to download and costs 9.99 (totally worth it, but I'll get into that later). REMEMBER to reboot the iPhone before you open it up for the first time - this should resolve any crashing. This game is very much an adaptation of the Brothers in Arms game that was released for Verizon mobile phones a year or so ago - a couple missions are copied over and slightly expanded. When the game loads, you're taken to an intro movie similar to Asphalt 4's - you can skip the movie, but sometimes the game would not let me. You're taken to the main screen, where you can select a mission (it starts you on the first, but I would STRONGLY suggest taking the tutorial, which is actually one of the coolest levels of the bunch).

    Story:
    It's World War II. You're fighting some Nazis. You don't have a name. You'll be going to Normandy, Ardennes and Tunis. Shoot anything that makes your crosshairs turn red. 'Nuff said.
    7/10

    Graphics:
    The graphics are some of the best seen on the iPhone. The textures are smooth and never blurry, you, your squadmates, and your enemies all look nice (albeit the same, save uniform coloring), and there are great special effects. When you shoot the ground, a puff of smoke comes up...bullets fly through the air, planes tumble into the ground right in front of you. This is especially evident in the visually stunning tutorial, an experience that isn't really replicated until the final mission, where you must run to safety even as your squadmates are picked off around you and cannons blast holes right behind you. Another complaint I had was that explosions never feel substantial enough - when a tank explodes, it simply sends up a little fake puff of smoke and immediately turns black. Not really thrilling. But don't be fooled - this is still a great-looking game.
    9/10

    Gameplay:
    BiA is a third-person "over-the-shoulder" shooter, much in the vein of Resident Evil 4. Movement is controlled via a circle in a bottom corner of the screen. Drag your finger forward through it to go forwards, back to back up, and side to side to strafe. It works generally well, although occasionally your finger will get lost. It's a steep learning curve, but it generally works well once you get the hang of it. You can control aim via one of three schemes - by dragging your finger across the screen, using another "control circle", or dragging the reticule around the screen. The best option by far is to use the first - (dragging your finger) the others are unintuitive and occassionally unresponsive. There's auto-aim to a degree, so if you drag your cursor into the general vicinity of a target, it'll lock onto it. That is a welcome addition. There's also an aim mode that is pretty much only required if you're using a sniper rifle. Each mission lasts about 5 or 6 minutes (if you don't die) and although it's mostly "run here, shoot that, run here, blow up that" it still feels varied and exciting, as a house may blow up, or even a lighthouse might collapse at any moment. You can switch guns (you can collect some during a mission, and once you beat the game once you unlock more), throw grenades, and perform melee attacks. Sometimes you hop in a tank - this controls pretty much the same as the on-foot sections, only much slower, more lumbering, and with more reload time. You also will have to use a jeep in some of the game's lowest points. Gameloft, obviously trying for innovation, forces you to control the jeep using forward and back buttons and a virtual steering wheel. Half the steering wheel is below the screen. This is incredibly frustrating, as the wheel is very finicky and inconsistent. You'll often find yourself stuck on a wall as the enemies blast you. This is incredibly frustrating. Luckily, these sections don't come often, and there's a gunner who auto-fires for you - although he can be retarded sometimes.
    8.5/10

    AI:
    Enemies pretty much always know where to shoot and when, and are pretty smart. If you sneak up on them, they don't see you right away, which is great for flanking missions. Your squadmates don't really do anything, though. Occassionally they'll kill someone or blow up a tank, but really you have to do most of the heavy lifting, including every menial task such as planting charges on buildings. They don't even cover you when you're running through enemy territory on a task. Expect to have to fend for yourself.
    6/10

    Difficulty/Lasting Value:
    The first time you play through the game's 12 missions (not counting the tutorial), it'll probably take you about 2 days if you're somewhat skilled. Luckily, there's much more fun to be had. There are two higher difficulty levels, new guns to unlock, new ways to try every mission (the game is actually not so linear in how you progress, although occassionally the game will lock you into killing enemies a certain way even though another way works fine), and even an Xbox Live-style achievement system. All in all, you'll get a good amount of time out of this game, especially since missions don't easily get old. The game isn't too hard, although it has patches where it's especially punishing. Luckily, there are liberal checkpoints where the game auto-saves and even refills your health for you. The game takes you right back to this checkpoint if you press "restart" when you die, quit to the menu and start again, close out of the app and start it back up again, put the iPhone to sleep, and even if you reboot.
    9/10

    Sound:
    Nothing special. Menu music, occassionally overused compressed sound loops. Not really a big problem.
    8/10

    All in all, this is a must-have iPhone game if you don't mind the learning curve or the minor issues associated with the game. It definitely shows what the iPhone can really do, showing that it can house such a large, intense game. Kudos to Gameloft.

    Final Score:
    8.75/10
  2. MrCrawley

    MrCrawley New Member

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    im getting sad i sold my iPod :S i would have loved this game
  3. iPTF_BROWSER

    iPTF_BROWSER Active Member

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    The thing still crashes on me

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  4. Functional Disorder

    Functional Disorder New Member

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    @Superperson, super review!

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  5. Meikura

    Meikura Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I hear installing SBSettings, then respringing into safe mode solves this. Unfortunately I don't have it, so I can't confirm.
  6. keven99

    keven99 New Member

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    even when i respring my itouch and put to safe mode my ipod continues to turn off randomly like 2 minutes in the game plz pm me if u know how to solve this problem
  7. Wats Doing Boyz

    Wats Doing Boyz New Member

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    Great review it is a pretty damn good game i must say.
  8. SumDaii

    SumDaii Active Member

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    Yeah, thats what happened for me... but i fixed it...

    make sure you have like 2.2 or 2.1

    then when you open it...

    wait

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    thatsa it, it takes some time to load, so give it about a minute or so

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    trust me, it'll work

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  9. joshman99

    joshman99 New Member

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    It doesn't work for me. Trust me. I left it from full battery to empty to see it load. It didn't. Everyone offers this solution and it DOESN'T WORK! I think that it only works on Touch 2G or anything non-JB (or without mobile substrate)
    Can anyone confirm?
  10. Meikura

    Meikura Super Moderator Staff Member

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    No, it works on iPod 1st gen from what I've heard.
    Seriously, have you tried what I said?

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