As if the winding road to Hill 30 wasn't long enough, the Brothers are back for more D-Day shenanigans in Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood. We follow the saga of Sergeant Hartsock, formerly under Sergeant Matt Baker's command in the first game, as he is separated from his unit and fights through the first 15 days after 06 June.
Set in the same time frame as the first game, this parallel narrative dips in and out of the original story, though there's obviously a completely fresh set of missions to get your teeth into. The quality of the script, coupled with the excellent voice-acting and atmospheric setting (with an almost pedantic attention to historically accurate detail) makes this just as deep and involving as the first game, and encourages players to develop a genuine consideration for every character.
Gameplay is exactly like the first game, where players must use their squad strategically to move flank and suppress enemy positions, and work through each varying mission objective. Obviously the graphics have been given a buffing, and the smooth and intuitive interface makes dishing out orders on the fly and under heavy fire dead simple.
The Live aspect of the game is what we're more interested in, and if the first title boasted a covert strike from behind enemy lines, this is a full-on assault. Better designed, strategically taxing maps are on offer, for up to four players to blast through.
Like the first game, missions are a great mix of objective-based gameplay, where four players can either work together or scrap two-on-two, with an entire squad at their fingertips. Skirmish is exactly what it sounds like, with players free to go at each other over each environment.