Developed by Gearbox who was also behind the Brothers in Arms series released on consoles, you can expect a similar design and experience to this mobile version.
While previous iterations of the series consistently retained the ‘Brothers In Arms’ title without any numerals while adopting a different sub-title for each release, this mobile version is curiously named ‘Brothers In Arm 2’, apart from its trademark suffix sub-title. Could this mean a separate product identifier for the franchise’s mobile version? Only time will tell, but fans of Brothers In Arms should be happy to learn that much of what they know and love is in this mobile version.
On the 5.3” screen of the Galaxy Note, the menus are well-spaced out. The game has both single player and multiplayer campaigns and a built-in shop for you to purchase items and ammunition. There is no ‘depletion of energy’ that is ever so frustratingly famous in many Facebook browser games however, in its place there is something similar but less momentum-breaking.
The first mission starts you off with adequate ammunition and tutorial to get you acquainted with the controls within minutes. Taking damage will cause a ring of injury to form incrementally on the left side of the screen. Once the ring becomes whole, you are deemed to be badly wounded and would have to restart the mission.
Instead of auto-recovery, you need to instinctly tap on the medkit button on-screen to heal. The screen will cue you on how badly wounded you are – take too much damage and the corners of the screen will turn red, a popular indicator that is applied in many console shooter games.
As you play, you earn experience points (XP) which cause you to level up and earn rewards in the form of upgraded health, medals and dog tags. Medals are used to let you return to the battlefield immediately when you’re down (or mission fails), which otherwise requires a cooldown time of a few minutes. Medals are scarcely available so you have to be diligently in using them. Dog tags are used to buy ammunition and upgrades and it is wise to stock up on your supplies before heading out on a mission.
Keeping it true to the Brothers In Arms flavour, the developer has also added hidden Killroy collectibles – a chalk drawing on walls and corners for the player to spot for while traversing the landscape. There are a total of five maps across various historic war towns and regions.
This being a mobile phone game, the absence of a mouse/keyboard or controller pad requires a slight learning curve. With the thumbs on screen, your vision is not obstructed but the smooth nature of the touch screen will affect your orientation in the beginning. It helps that you can adjust the sensitivity, and if you’re a left-hander, the game has a special left-hand mode as well. Inverted controls are also available.
A good design element of the controls is in its flexibility. You don’t have to precisely place your thumb on an exact spot of left analog button (used for moving). A slight deviation is allowed. As for the right analog button (used for looking around), the game also allows your fingers to swipe across the screen to quickly scan the area. This is useful when facing multiple enemies.
Multiplayer & Networking through Social Media
Everytime you level up, the game allows you to share your progress to your Facebook. However, the game offers it as an option instead of automatically posting for you. This is good if you do not want to overload your (and your friends’) Facebook profile with such incremental updates.
Apart from single player, the game allows you to engage in multiplayer sessions through local or online network. Local play should have you connecting through Bluetooth while playing through online mode requires you to sign in to a Gameloft user account, which can be done in minutes if you have yet to register for one.
If you are so inclined to rank up to speed and join your teammates online, the game allows you to purchase Medals and Dog Tags using real cash. The items are quite reasonably priced.
Tips for the Soldier
I spot a few design limitations in the game which I believe could be fixed with a patch update. But for you soldiers out there, here are some tips to get around those limitations:
1) While there are weapon drops, it seems that you cannot pick up ammunition from fallen enemies. Therefore before starting out a mission, be sure to check how much ammunition you have in your weapon. The only way to check this is to go to ‘Shop’ and select the specific round for your equipped weapon. Before you commit to spend dog tags to buy more, you can review how many you have in your stash. Also, there are bonus items for logging in daily.
2) Medkits (or referred to as ‘Medic’) is critical in your mission. When attempting a new landscape, you will inevitably take more damage because you are not familiar with the choke points. So unless you’re a careful or conservative shooter, you will encounter a mission failure. This means you have to spend your hard-earned Medals to immediately restart the mission or wait for the cooldown time to pass. Take this opportunity to note how many medkits you have. Then, from the Main Menu, decide how much to spend for additional Medkits.
3) If you’re short on Medals and have to wait for a mission cooldown time to be over, you can replay an earlier (and easier) mission to pass time and level up, while earning more dog tags and medals.
4) If you run out of ammunition during a mission, unless you have another weapon, you’re usually stuck as you cannot pick up from fallen enemies or request from your teammates. In this situation, exit the mission, make a cup of coffee and replan your strategy.
This mobile game was tested only on Samsung Galaxy Note.
Coming soon to StarHub Games Portal: http://mobilegames.starhub.com/web/index.jsp