The Brothers in Arms series gets a substantial face-lift with this World War II shooter created exclusively for the Nintendo DS platform. Parachuting in with the 101st Airborne Division, you’ll take on elite Wehrmacht and panzer units across three campaigns that span from the shores of Normandy on D-Day to the snowy forests of the Ardennes at the Battle of the Bulge. Completing the first two campaigns unlocks the third, which lets you tag along with the Allied Expeditionary Force as a member of the U.S. 1st Infantry Division, engaging the Afrika Korps in North Africa.
With the exceptions of basic movement and weapons firing, all game play is controlled by tapping the stylus on the Nintendo DS touchscreen. Touching the weapon icon at the top of the screen lets you choose your arms, including a Thompson submachine gun, a sniper rifle, and a bazooka. To look around and aim your weapon, simply drag the stylus across the screen. To throw a grenade, just tap the grenade icon and drag the stylus up or down a gauge to control the distance your pineapple is thrown.
Adapting the game to the touchscreen does mean that one staple of the Brothers in Arms franchise—the ability to task squad mates to flank positions or lay down suppressing fire independently— has been removed to allow for less cluttered game play. But that loss of authentic World War II–era group infantry tactics does not really hinder the game, as the redesigned play and unique controls make for an impressive and enjoyable gaming experience.
By taking remarkable advantage of the Nintendo DS’s capabilities, Brothers in Arms DS proves that the portable gadget makes a good platform for a truly great World War II shooter.
Originally published in the November 2007 issue of World War II Magazine. To subscribe, click here.