The invasion of our fair shores by all manner of Dubya-flavoured shooters has been overwhelming in recent years. Mostly, they've been easily swatted away, but we've had to duck for cover: that sneaky bugger Brothers In Arms has gone and outflanked us and put a hole in our helmet. Now it's called up reinforcements in the form of follow-up Earned In Blood.
That's follow-up, not sequel. Brothers In Arms: Earned In Blood is more of an expansion to previous effort Road To Hill 30, with a lot more emphasis on gritty urban combat and less traipsing through wide open fields. That means more action, lots more manly, coarse language and even more blood. Which means it's great.
A SHOOTING MAN'S THINK 'EM UP
Go into this fresh from Medal Of Honor: European Assault and you won't last five minutes. Each move is potentially deadly unless all options have been considered, and it's all the more tense for it. Like Road To Hill 30 before it, Earned In Blood takes the inch-by-inch, one-shot-kills gameplay of Full Spectrum Warrior and mashes it with a traditional first-person viewpoint. The action-freezing map also remains, allowing tactical options to be assessed at any time.
Enemies are now far more intelligent. Less likely to be hemmed in by your squad's suppressing fire, they themselves will try to sidle down the blindside of your position and take pot shots at you. Fatalities will be sustained if too long is spent in one place. Online modes include instant-action Skirmishes, and a cooperative mode. All told, this invasion of your PS2 should be welcomed open-armed.
Moving into more built-up areas means higher tension, and the enemies will use similar tactics to yours to keep you on your toes.