The Brothers in Arms series has always been recognised as the thinking man's World War II shooter, although when compared with the likes of Medal of Honor it looks like it's been programmed by Stephen Hawking. Now reinforcements have arrived on PSP you might think it would relax and lighten up, but D-Day is every bit as tactical and demanding.
Go into it with an itchy trigger finger and you won't last one minute, let alone five. Before taking a step you need to consider all your options, look for cover, and freeze the map to use the zoomed-out tactical view showing the position of you and your squad in relation to the enemy. Then it's a case of ordering one of your potty-mouthed team-mates to lay down suppressing fire while you move inch by inch in a sneaky flanking manoeuvre.
Shootouts can be drawn out, testing your patience as well as your strategic brain, and sometimes it's difficult to resist the urge to make a run for it blasting anyone in a grey uniform. Fortunately each mission has loads of checkpoints and is broken down into smaller objectives, so gamers on the go are never too far away from a natural break.
Missions play out pretty much the same all the way through. You traipse through towns and farmland, stumble across a German squad tucked behind cover, and must figure out the best way to flank them while keeping team-mates safe. Sometimes that's easier said than done thanks to the occasional soldier who mongs out and refuses to obey an order, and too many times an enemy is clearly in your sights yet the bullet never registers.
For their part, enemies resist your flanking attempts and launch one of their own, and if you stay too long in one place expect to be sitting in a pile of grenades.
The game requires a methodical approach, yes, but you've also got to be adaptable and act fast. That transfers to the co-op mode where you can play with a friend to complete objectives, kill enemies against the clock, defend against waves of enemies, or complete six missions for either the Germans or Americans with only one life and one team at your disposal.
D-Day doesn't change anything or bring anything new to the table sadly, but if you want the same Brothers in Arms experience on a handheld, then this is faultless if a bit unambitious.
Warning: the gritty combat will offend commuters and onlookers. Especially if they're German.
- Challenging missions
- Brains rather than brawn
- Fun two-player mode
- Adds nothing new