Brothers In Arms® Hour of Heroes was Gameloft's first shot at a shooter on the iPhone and iPod Touch, and it was pretty good at the time. Now the sequel, Brothers In Arms® 2: Global Front, is out. This time it's a first-person shooter. It looks great, but does it provide a good enough experience?
Brothers In Arms® 2: Global Front includes local and online multiplayer, five locations, thirteen levels, three difficulty levels, vehicles, voiceovers, a diverse amount of weapons from a rifle to a grenade launcher, and scenes in which you will have to make a decision and interact with your squad mates.
Brothers In Arms® 2: Global Front promises great graphics, and it delivers. The weapon models, character models, textures, and animations all look impressive and make for a whole lot of eye candy.
The cover system is also something that has never been implemented before on the iPhone and iPod Touch, and it provides a refreshing way to take cover from enemy attacks and line up a bead on your opponents.
The gameplay is quite varied, including missions where you have to blow things up, pilot a glider though a flak cannon barrage, heal your squad mates, mount machine guns on jeeps to clear paths, use a tank to take out bunkers, and the classic "take out all enemies" mode. The variety of objectives make the game never get too old or stale as you're going through the campaign mode, and it also helps liven things up.
After finishing the game once you probably won't go through it again. Though you unlock a grenade launcher after finishing the campaign, there's not much incentive to play through the game and do the exact same things as you did last time.
The online multiplayer is a great feature, except for one thing. It's not balanced. A submachine gun does more damage than a machine gun, sniper rifles are essentially useless, the standard semi-automatic rifle takes a full clip to kill someone, and grenades explode as soon as they hit the ground and kill you instantly. With this kind of major imbalance, you will still get enjoyment out of playing your first few rounds, but by and by you'll see that things need some major tweaking to actually be fair. Grenades and rocket launchers seem to be instant kills, and I even encountered and reproduced a bug multiple times in which your character gets stuck in a wall and cannot move.
While the controls are the standard Gameloft scheme, they just don't seem as good this time. In N.O.V.A. you were able to shoot, adjust your aim, and move at the same time. In Brothers In Arms® 2: Global Front, you'll need three fingers on the screen to do that. If you put your finger on the shoot button, and try to shoot and aim at the same time, the screen will only move a minimal amount or no amount at all. With such seemingly high production values, it's unacceptable Brothers In Arms® 2: Global Front has even the smallest problem with its tried and true control scheme.
The voiceovers are better than other Gameloft games, but not by much. The people that talk always seem either emotionless or pubescent, neither of which are appealing. However, the voice of the main character while he recites his diaries is well done, but that doesn't make up for the majority of the other bad character voiceovers.
Brothers In Arms® 2: Global Front is a game that strives to emulate console experiences, but it falls short of what it aims for. The graphics and cover system are nicely implemented, but the other features of the game just don't cut it. Brothers In Arms® 2: Global Front just barely worth the $6.99, and if you're looking for a good first person shooter experience, I'd suggest Gameloft's sci-fi styled one, N.O.V.A., for better control implemenation, and ngmoco's free game Eliminate for a better online experience.