*POSTED ON CONSOLE FORUM, CURIOUS TO HEAR PC GAMER OPINIONS*
"I can handle snow." - S/Sgt Matthew Baker, Hell's Highway Finale
Not sure how welcome this post will be as there ARE a few gripes in it but those famous last words at the end of HH (just completed it again for the billionth time) always make me feel nice, warm and optimistic as to the production of a sequel. Beyond crawling through the hedgerows at Normandy, I can't think of anything more thrilling than actually fighting from my foxhole in the Ardennes Forrest.
I'd like to see a few improvements or perhaps even changes in the sequel, particularly given that the Battle of the Bulge began as a defensive reaction to a German counter-attack. This means that there has to be an even fuller emphasis on the tactical gameplay as far as I can see. So I've created a description of two or three gripes that I wondered if you guys had any opinions about. They're suggestions, really, things that would make the game more enjoyable in my opinion.
1.) No More 506th Missions!
So this is pretty simple and wouldn't necessarily affect the gameplay but I read a lot of history and I began realising that we were spearheading a hell of a lot of 506th missions thanks to the inclusion of Col. Sink in Hell's Highway. No way - Baker's a sergeant in the Five-Oh-Deuce and I want to know what the fight was like from their perspective. Where were they during the Battle of the Bulge? How were their conditions? Were there any prominent tactical actions made by the Regiment? I DON'T want to attack Foy and I DON'T want to be over-looking the Bois Jacques. That would be stealing from Band of Brothers in my humble opinion.
2.) No More Recon Squads!
I think this concept took us out of the loop during HH and I would just like to see it gone completely. Even if it has to be explained that Matt's platoon got folded back into F Company or something, whatever it is I just think the Recon Squad thing completely isolates you from what combat was like. I want to control the squad, I want to have a narrow scope (as squad leaders do) but I don't want to be spearheading the intelligence gathering single-handedly for the entire 101st as I almost seemed to be doing during HH. It's just too unrealistic and it means you spend all your time dealing with the 'brass' rather than core group of troops taking part in the fighting.
3.)More People, More Realistic Unit Size!
This is really just an extension of complaint number 2 I'm afraid lol. But where are the other squads? Where's my platoon leader? Why isn't their an officer conducting my team? Somebody who isn't a Lt. Colonel running an entire battalion. I'd like to get back to F Company, know my company commander, know my platoon leader and get to know who else is fighting next to me. Of course the storytelling emphasis and the gameplay should be focused on Matt's team and that's fine but I want to look left from my foxhole before we make a tactical probe into the forrest and feel confident that the rest of the platoon is dug in alongside me. They could just be NPC's but I think it'd feel more realistic if I knew they were fighting in the little town next to me and I could focus on my sector.
4.)More Choice, More Open Game World!
Okay I'm NOT looking for a sandbox, not at all. But it would be great if we had a much more open environment to move around in, more improvisation with cover (although that was still great in HH) and a little more depth in the battleground. Perhaps even less depth, considering the sequel seems to be taking place in snowy woodland areas. The gameplay in the other games is very linear. You can only travel in one straight line and back and you were restricted to how you moved your squad due to that. If there's a bridge there it'd be great to have the option to cross the bridge, jump the river or swim half-way down to the next bank. That might not be a good example - but it IS just an example lol. I just want to feel more freedom to move around, to move to one objective from another angle without following a straight road that is boxed off at each side.
Okay so that's four pretty whiney complaints but I'm a long-time fan! I love World War II history and have a particular love of the airborne and the fighting they took part in. To me they were true heroes, the original special forces too. They, along with most of the allied and axis forces, endured so much and I want to feel that endurance more and more throughout the gameplay. I loved RTH30, EiB and HH and still play all three (yes I have my original xbox plugged in) but I know this game series is capable of delivering more.
Does anybody agree?