I've loosely followed the Brothers in Arms franchise through its couple of iterations, but despite the tight command system it's never really struck a chord with me. It just wasn't different enough to separate itself from the pack.

After spending some time with Brothers In Arms: Hell's Highway earlier this month my opinion hasn't changed much, though I was impressed with some of the visual work Gearbox Software is doing on the franchise.

In this latest version of the series you continue to play with Sgt. Matt Baker and the rest of the 101st Airborne Division. I played through a couple of encounters in the game and noticed a few changes.

This time around Brothers In Arms has some destructible cover, which can play a pretty big role in the firefights. There are also a few new commands you can issue, like snipe or destroy.

One of the neat visual tweaks is the inclusion of occasional cinematics which are triggered by certain events. For instance, I was behind cover with my squad shooting it out with some Germans and I popped up and landed a quick headshot. The game slowed and the camera angle switched to show my bullet blasting through the guy's eye. Pretty impressive. It helps that Hell's Highway is running on the Unreal Engine 3.

I also loved the weather effects. For the section I played through it rained constantly, and the rain effect actually cut down on my ability to spot enemies.

Brothers In Arms: Hell's Highway was fun enough to play, I just don't know if tweaking commands, adding destructible environments and a couple of new units is going to be enough to help this game stand out from the pack.