You must earn your stripes in Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood
as Cpl. Joe “Red” Hartsock. Your character recounts the heroic events, which you help tell by completing your missions. However, it’s a matter of whether you’ll really want to go through his story. The name of the game in Earned in Blood
is suppression. You must strategically suppress your enemies, giving you the ability to flank your squad into a position to kill German soldiers. While you’ll get better weapons along the way, your missions tend to become the same thing over and over. By no means am I downplaying this important role in the D-Day invasion. However, I’m not sure it makes for the most exciting of video games. Perhaps if suppressing were just part of Brothers in Arms
, and not the featured strategy, I’d be more inclined to keep coming back to play.
Regarding the Story mode, there are two helpful tools to help you make it through the German-invested missions. The first is the Suppression Indicator. Once you see where your enemies are, a target pops up above their position. You then must place your troops so that they can keep your enemy under fire. The Suppression Indicator changes color when the enemy is pinned down and unable to return fire. Once the color has changed, you or another part of your squad can flank in for the kill. Of course, you’ll need to know the layout of the land.
Paratroopers during WWII had to study their surroundings before they went into combat; that’s where the Situational Awareness View comes into play. At any point during the game, you can use this feature to help plan your attack. The S.A.V. gives you a bird’s eye view of exactly where your opponents are, which gives you the time to prepare the best strategy of trapping them within their surroundings.
Other than the Story mode, Earned in Blood also offers system link and Xbox Live game modes and Skirmish games. The Skirmish types include games like objective based missions, a timed assault, defensive stands, and a Tour of Duty. This is where you complete American and German missions with one life and one squad, sans checkpoints and saves.