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Brothers In Arms Interview & In-Game Footage

C&VG has an interview with Gearbox Software’s President Randy Pitchford about the awsome looking FPS Brothers In Arms: Hell’s Highway. Here are a few of the interesting comments:

C&VG: We’d love to get a few examples of the environments we’ll be fighting in in the game…

Randy Pitchford: The Operation Market Garden battlefields are diverse and interesting. There is Hell’s Highway, of course, which earned its nickname because of the thousands of vehicles and men that were destroyed along its length during the fighting. There are cities, like Eindhoven, that were populated as fighting pushed control back and forth between the Germans and the Allies. Some of the cities were heavily bombed during the operation creating a landscape of destruction and death that the men had to fight through. There are many waterways cutting back and forth along the highway – this creates rivers and bridges and even marshy areas, all of which became battlefields or obstacles for the fights. There are wooded areas and open fields. Hills and plains. Lots of diversity – makes for tough, but interesting fighting.

There’s a lot of varied terrain in there. It will be interesting to see how the different environments will affect the way you battle & move about. Will there be mines in the open areas with snipers waiting to target you?

C&VG: In terms of scale, are we still looking at squad-level combat, with size of maps/levels similar to those in BiA and BiA 2?

Randy Pitchford: You are a squad leader, but the scope of the battle and the scope of the environments is much more vast. A typical Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway mission area is at least 4x the size of a mission area in BiA 1 or 2. The scope of the combat is larger as well. There are more allies and enemies involved than ever before.

You’ll have command over your squad, and your squad is larger. And you’ll have other squads around you doing their thing. Sometimes they are supporting you and sometimes you are supporting them. The enemy is also bigger and better. They have a lot more equipment and vehicles and there are a lot more of them.

The whole sense of scale and scope is strongly multiplied over the previous Brothers in Arms games. It’s fortunate that we have the next-generation technology to support the demands of the historical operation.

I’ve never played a Brothers in Arms game before so I don’t know what the the AI is like but we definitely need to see the AI of your allies & enemies taken to the next level using next gen hardwear. Squad based games like the Conflict games had OK AI but sometimes it would infuriate you as they wouldn’t do as you ordered them & wouldn’t react to their surroundings by retreating or taking cover if they were taking heavy damage. Something any normal person would do automatically.

C&VG: What are the key new gameplay features in Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway?

Randy Pitchford: There are many new features that are very relevant and very cool. There is a third team added to the squad. It is a special team that can be a machinegun crew, a mortar team, a bazooka crew or a radio operator. Soft cover, like wooden doors and fences and wood sheds, can be destroyed – torn apart by fire.

The command system has always been very elegant and easy to use, but we’ve enhanced it with some new capabilities that allow me to co-ordinate sneak attacks or group teams together to make it easier for us to manoeuvre together over distances.

One of my favourite new advances is the addition of what we’re calling a “first person actor.” The idea is that the player character is no longer a floating camera with a picture of a gun bolted to it at the bottom of the screen. The player character is an actual character in the world. You can see your own shadows, you can see your own body and your hands and feet. You can look down at your chest and see how many grenades you have left. When you vault over a wall, if you look down, you can see your hand plant on the wall and your legs swing over. There are tons of examples of where the first person actor really puts you in the world. It’s great.

Now that sounds cool! Finally you’re not just a floating gun & you can actually look at yourself & see your equipment. Hmm I wonder if your clothes will rip & deteriorate & get dirty over time & if you get wounded will you be able to see the wound & if you get bandaged up will you see the bandage on the relevant body part? I hope so….

C&VG: What has Unreal Engine 3 allowed you to bring to the title – from a gameplay point of view, a technical point of view and also your ability to realise the environment?

Randy Pitchford: Unreal Engine 3 is amazing. From my point of view, it’s the best total videogame technology package that has ever existed in the world, ever – that is coming from a guy who has seen and used a lot of different tech. I think the results speak for themselves. Take a look at the screenshots.

I guess he likes Unreal Engine 3 then….

C&VG: Are you making any additions to multiplayer for Hell’s Highway? If so, could you tell us about the stuff you’re adding?

Randy Pitchford: What I want everyone to do is to simply erase anything they’ve ever had in their minds about what they think Brothers in Arms multiplayer is. We’re turning multiplayer on its head. Soon we’re going to talk in great detail about multiplayer in Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway. We’re really excited about it.

Hmm what could he mean by “turning multiplayer on it’s head”? I’m intrigued. Could every single person in the game be controlled by a real person online?

You can read the full interview by clicking the link below:

C&VG – Brothers In Arms Interview

You can also check out some fantastic looking screenshots from the official website:

BIA Official Website – Screenshots

And finally you can see some gameplay footage from IGN:

IGN – First Gameplay Footage

Edit: Click the link below & you will see a longer video clip of in-game footage. Just click on IGN Weekly Episode 9 & behold the awsomeness:

IGN – More In-Game Footage