Battlestations Midway

Xbox 360

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 6

Overall: 6


At the very least, Battlestations Midway deserves credit for being the odd man out. Instead of a World War II first person shooter, strategy, or flight sim, Midway is nearly all of those. While overly complex for a console title, for those willing to give it the time required, they'll find a rewarding run through another side of the war.

Controlling an array of ships, gunboats, planes, and submarines, the game provides ample action after an exhaustive 90-minute training mission. If you fail to grasp all that you're being told, stop playing. It doesn't get easier from there.

battlestationsmidway1360.jpg (33736 bytes)This is a brutally unforgiving title, even on its lowest settings. From a third person perspective, you'll issue orders to a variety of craft and manage them as they run out of ammo or need to attack a different target. At any time, you can grab hold of the friendly troops and handle the fighting yourself.

Shooting, firing, and bombing through any means of vehicle are smooth and satisfying. Slowly picking apart a cruiser provides a true feeling of accomplishment. That comes from both the sharply detailed graphics and the fact that you figured out the proper strategy to make it come together for the victory.

If you're not the type to go on a bombing run, you can sit back and simply command the action. You need to manage damage to ships, landing/taking off of planes, and depth of submarines on your way to a victory. A.I. is generally sharp and performs exactly as told. Even when physically taking part in the struggle, A.I. craft respond admirably regardless of your strategy.

It becomes two fine concepts for a game, but not when combined into one. In the action, you're forced to fall back into a map while being relentlessly attacked by enemy forces to tell your units to attack a specific target. When not directly involved, you'll still need to provide an assist to help certain forces find their target as you intended.

Controls are responsive when fighting. Navigating maps and menus becomes unnecessarily convoluted with buttons being used for multiple functions. This is not the type of game you can come back to after a break to play something else. It requires time dedication so you're sure you can remember what does what.

Game play is split between multiple modes, including the main story littered with abysmal pre-rendered cinematics, voice acting, and bland writing. Separate modes offer individual missions for pilots and captains that are generally more action oriented. Online play offers combat for up to eight players in a hectic melee where strategy takes precedence over ability to pilot a craft.

Battlestations Midway will find its audience. While the cover depicts a scene of stunning action, the laborious pacing once into game play will grip only a dedicated audience. This is one that has "cult hit" written all over it.


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Last updated: Monday, April 16, 2007 09:59 PM