Although it offers its share of authentically equipped, WWII shooter action, Brothers in Arms is a squad-based game that requires players to manage and deploy their three-soldier teams intelligently in order to meet mission challenges. Instead of a straightforward run-and-gun progression, the game's situations are designed such that players may need to move their men around the battlefield to recon the surroundings, provide cover fire, and pin down the enemy, before they move in for the final kill.
The adventure begins with the D-day airdrop over Normandy, and missions follow situations faced by various members of the real-life 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment. The player's character, Matt Baker, is also based on the stories of an actual World War II paratrooper.
In addition to its action and tactical challenges, Brothers in Arms also incorporates some role-playing styled decision-making. While the game's AI is intended to provide for competent, self-preserving squad-members, is also endows them with human wants and fears. Baker must consider his teammates interests as if they were real people -- his "Brothers in Arms" -- in order to keep their trust and have them follow his orders effectively.