E3: Brothers in Arms: Furious 4

E3: Brothers in Arms: Furious 4

image

Despite its namesake, Furious 4 has more in common with Borderlands than Gearbox's other series.

As a fan of Brothers in Arms, especially Hell's Highway, I was disappointed to see that the latest entry in the series forgoes all the strategic depth and serious storytelling. Gearbox plans to continue Matt Baker's story in a different game, but for now we have Furious Four: An unexpected, offshoot that has little to do with the BiA series and a lot to do with Borderlands. Four-player co-op, cartoonish visuals, comedic dialog, leveling and character-specific abilities, for starters.

The live demo of Furious 4 centered around a mission with the goal being to kill Hitler, by invading Nazi grounds while they are in a drunken post-Oktoberfest haze. The Inglorious Bastards inspiration is obvious, even if Randy Pitchford and Gearbox continue to dodge the comparison.

The characters are ridiculous and macho, bordering on 80s action film parodies. The cast includes Chok, a Tomahawk-wielding Native American, and Montana, who you can tell is the group's heavy because he carries a Gatling gun. The differences between the four characters aren't as drastic as the ones in Borderlands at first, but once individual characters unlock abilities (by killing Nazis) they start to gain their own identity. During the demo, Montana unlocked the ability to set bear traps with grenades within - a brutal, makeshift landmine.

"Over the top" doesn't begin to describe the absurdity Furious 4 embraces. The game revels in propelling the player through a mindless onslaught, where points and achievement progress bars (a la Gears of War 2) pop-up every second. The game even applauds your accuracy and combos with flashy text ("double kill", "bullseye") The HUD is a bit cluttered from the constant feed of points/achievement information, but the game makes nice use of Splinter Cell: Conviction stylized floating, in-game text. Mission names and goals are written within the game world, even enemy helicopters are accompanied with "Wreck this thing" commands.

Even though Gearbox seem to have no qualms with taking you out of the game's world, they didn't slack off in designing it. The Oktoberfest level is wonderfully rendered with a giant Ferris wheel centerpiece, which eventually collapses in spectacular fashion. The interiors of Nazi cabins have warm tones, while the outside had a bright, cartoony look. It's similar to Borderlands, but you wouldn't mistake one for the other - especially, when you factor in Furious 4's destructible buildings.

Chainsawing jetpack-Nazis while three buddies on your couch fight beside you isn't exactly the direction I expected Brothers in Arms to go. The only thing wrong with the game is its name. Regardless, fans of Borderlands and other absurd, co-op adventures will have much to look forward to when Gearbox releases Furious 4 around this time next year for HD platforms.

image
See all our coverage directly from the show floor.

Permalink

Oh my God they could not have fucked over this franchise any more.

Hey, it COULD be good. But the jarring change can only be seen as a giant shit and an insult on the previous installments.

Oh Brother where art thou?

Hey. I kinda hate the old Brothers in Arms.

I really like Borderlands.

Count me in on whatever this is.

I think it'll be awesome, personally. Then again I've never actually played any game from the franchise before, so this is my first real exposure to the series.

But yeah, I like it. Then again I also like the look of the new DmC game so apparently among the gaming population I need to be hung drawn and quartered.

Can we please get them to drop the "Brothers in Arms" part? I would buy the game if it was just called Furious 4. I swear I would. It looks like a ton of fun. But as it stands, there is no way I'm even going to touch this. Please, Gearbox. Just make it a new series.

I say this because when the new Cole from inFamous 2 was first announced, everyone hated it so much that they changed him back. Perhaps we can do the same here?

HankMan:
Oh Brother where art thou?

Most definitely some of your best work so far. (slow-clap)

OT: Never really played any of the Band of Brothers games, but I rather liked Borderlands. That said, they really didn't need to make this game and add the Band of Brothers name to it just to piss off the fans, just call it something new.

It does seem strange that they've put the "BiA" name on this. It's not like it was going to appeal to this existing fanbase because the game is just so different. It seems a strange marketing technique.

However, I'll be willing to give the game a chance before writing it off completely =)

ProfessorLayton:
Can we please get them to drop the "Brothers in Arms" part? I would buy the game if it was just called Furious 4. I swear I would. It looks like a ton of fun. But as it stands, there is no way I'm even going to touch this. Please, Gearbox. Just make it a new series.

I say this because when the new Cole from inFamous 2 was first announced, everyone hated it so much that they changed him back. Perhaps we can do the same here?

This. Just remove the Brothers in Arms from the title and make it a whole new serie. This game has got NOTHING in common with the Brothers in Arms franchise except that it's set in a World War 2 theme.

The previous Brothers in Arms games were games that showed the horrors of war, required a tactical approach and basically honored WW2 vets. How is this in any way related Ubisoft?!

It all sounds really fun, but... what does this have to do with Brothers in Arms? Apart from being set in WW2, they're nothing alike.

What will they call the games that continue Baker's story? Will those be Brothers in Arms games, or a new franchise? If they're BiA games, how will Gearbox plan to deal with the fans of this game wondering where all the carefree killing went? If they go with the new franchise route, why didn't they just make this game a new franchise instead of turning BiA into this and continuing the actual series in a new franchise?

Again, this game looks really, really fun, but it just doesn't seem to have anything to do with Brothers in Arms.

As I've mentioned before, I am very dissapoint with this game, for a number of reasons:

- It's obviously trying to cash in on the success of 'Inglorious Basterds'. The similarites between the film and the game trailer are so numerous, it's not even worth pointing them all out. Suffice to say, where Inglorious managed to combine wartime propaganda films, ludicrously over the top violence, and a sharp eye for history (as well as some genuinely tense, un-nerving Nazi scenes), this looks like its trying to ape the violence of Tarantino's film without understanding the wit and flair that made it such a hit.

Oh, what's that? The main characters are being sent on a guerilla mission to kill Hitler? Well gee, there's a surprise...

- That heavy is wielding a weapon which simply wasn't around during the period. Gatling guns during the WWII period were still based on the hand-crank design of the 1800s, and quite simply had been outclassed by practically every machine gun of the period. Electronic pull-the-trigger-to-unleash-hell miniguns wouldn't get invented for another few decades. I know Gearbox aren't exactly going for historical accuracy here, but this is as bad as making a World War i shooter where everyone's wielding Kalashnikovs. There's poking fun at historical conventions, and then there's just flat out not doing the research. Especially galling considering that Inglorious Basterds, for all its mucking about with the events of history, actually had a sharp eye for historical detail.

- That guy's supposed to be a Native American? That's funny, I thought he just looked like a white guy with a mohawk and facepaint. Giving your character a tomahawk and a haircut does not make him a Native American, especially with those caucasian skin tones...

Fuck it, I'm going to end it here before I fill the whole thread with my bile. Suffice to say, I am not impressed. At all.

I'm going to jump on the bandwagon here and ask;
Why the f**k is this being called Brothers in Arms when:
(A) The only thing this.... thing has in common with BiA is the time period
and (B) If it's for marketing purposes why tack on the BiA title? BiA isn't that big a francise compared to, say, Borderlands. Naming this BiA only annoys BiA fans like me and doesn't attract anymore potencial buyers as a new francise would attract from the way I look at it, why not call it "Borderlands: Inglorous Bastards edition"? 'Cause thats certainly what this game looks and sounds like.

Sorry Gearbox, but to me, you have screw up. Big time. Change the name, then we'll talk. That is all.

Seeing as Brothers in Arms was probably the most original World War 2 game of the 21st century, this is a little disappointing.

When everyone else was out aping Call of Duty 1 and Medal of Honor, BIA made a more focused, squad based shooter based around a single team's individual efforts. It took the little soldier, big war routine, and then made it a personal story. As well as having viciously smart AI opponents.

I would be kind of excited about this game if it did not have the Brothers In Arms title.

I'd rather play a different kind of WW2 Game like this than just another same old WW2 Game which has been done and dusted ages ago. What's wrong with adding axes/chainsaws with Bulletstorm humour. Nobody gave a fuck when Dino D-Day added Dinosaurs in WW2. Most of the ppl on Youtube who are whining like big babies are BiA Fanboys who just want the same old WW2 Game over and over again. They didn't turn BiA into another Modern Borefare Game after all. There hasn't been a game that has a Inglorious Basterds (great movie) feel to it before so I'm glad they have that feel to this spin-off game.

This will kick ass and whoever diagrees who thinks it's just some TF2 Clone cause of the design are just idiots. Also, this is a Spin-off so there will be another normal BiA game so there shouldn't be any dumbass moaning and whining that the fanboys are just simply doing.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here