Hour of Heroes begins with an awesome preview sequence of the game. When the scenes first rolled, I thought I was watching a movie. The game itself is not quite as vivid as the promo, but it’s close.
The animated actions and effects are smooth, and the shading is quite realistic. From plumes of smoke to an enemy being shot, the game graphics are simply amazing—the highest quality I have seen thus far on the iPhone or Touch. In addition, the sound is very realistic. You can hear your squad buddies and German Army units shouting amidst the crack of small arms fire and the rumble of armor and artillery.
The game has the usual minor proximity issues that apply to this genre: Your guy is standing next to a building or large object, for instance, and when you turn his field of view, you rotate through the wall or object, completely obscuring the screen. There is also a problem in the game that manifests by your character getting stuck in certain spots. This happens especially when you’re close to multiple barriers or objects that you must go around, and will hang up a game level until you get unstuck. You can fix it by moving back and forth in various directions until you find the exact direction that the game logic thinks is a totally clear path (provided you don’t get shot dead first).
Moving, running, and shooting is difficult at first, but practice and familiarization will help over time. The game has plenty of control options. At times, the on-screen buttons were not responsive enough for the challenges of the gameplay. BIA takes advantage of the accelerometer which allows you to tilt to move laterally. It’s very effective for sweeping fire across a line of enemies, but it’s often too sensitive. For example, say your shooter is crouching behind a barrier for cover. A minor accidental tilt of the iPhone will cause him to stand up and start sliding right or left. This makes him an easy (and dead) target.
Overall, BIA is a fast-paced game with amazing graphics, features, and immersive gameplay, but I found it a challenge to control—kind of like patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time. You move by sliding a thumb, look around by swiping, and shoot by pressing a soft button (there are configurable variations of this). It’s not easy to do all of this simultaneously and also pay attention to on-screen prompts, even when you set the game to average difficulty. It sure is fun to try, though.
Brothers in Arms: Hour of Heroes