Steven Spielberg has got a lot to answer for. Thanks to his work on Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers, we had to put up with years of World War 2-themed shooters with swelling scores, bombastic set-pieces, and chest-thumping storylines.
That said, there’s no denying the added gravitas a world war setting lends a shooter, so it’s with a general sense of optimism that we welcome Gameloft’s Brothers in Arms 2 to Android.
War on two formats
As with most of Gameloft's recent iPhone to Android conversions, Brothers in Arms 2 is no spring chicken. While it’s getting on for a year old, though, it remains a potent shooter.
The game’s pretty simple to sum up, too – it’s Call of Duty (the older ones, obviously) for your phone in all but name. As in the popular console series you’re funnelled along a linear pathway, with gunfire and explosions pinging around you.
Using a virtual analogue stick to move and the right-hand area of the screen to free-aim, you tap a virtual button to shoot and another to pop into cover. The latter move is contextual, so it can make you hug a nearby wall or duck behind a handily placed barrel.
Not that you’ll need much cover. Enemy AI is not particularly sharp, and once you cut through all the noise and bombast the game essentially boils down to a World War 2-themed duck hunt.
Calmness under fire
Still, it’s a well executed one. There are a few too many fiddly little controls on screen - such as the hard-to-reach 'reload' and 'precision aim' buttons - but the action is simple enough (as is the AI) that you’re rarely made to pay when fumbling for the correct button.
If you can overlook the wooden voice-acting and melodramatic storyline (and with a 'skip' control, that’s easy), Brothers in Arms 2 is an extremely entertaining blockbuster FPS.
It’s helped by a decent online multiplayer mode, which marries solid (if uninspired) maps with a light (but welcome) levelling up system. It’s a little too simple to score kills without dropping into the down-the-sights view (a fault shared with the single-player mode), but competitive play is a welcome inclusion.Brothers in Arms 2: Global Front may not tell a particularly nuanced story worthy of Spielberg, but it does have his eye for a pacy, set-piece-filled thrill ride.