Hour of Victory

Xbox 360

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 9

Sound: 9

Gameplay: 3

Overall: 3


Packed with technology and a fun concept to breathe some life into a genre that has stayed far past its welcome, Hour of Victory should be a memorable all-out action title set during World War II. Sadly, it’s not. Hardly any aspect of the game works without some hiccup or problem, and the core first-person engine is without merit.

Running on the latest Unreal engine, developer nFusion delivers some hefty environments, almost too loud for their own good. Textures and light sourcing are wonderful, though there’s so much going on at any given time, it’s hard to keep track of enemies or stray gunfire. It’s overdone, which suits the style and tone of the story, while clashing with actual play.

Losing enemies isn’t always going to lead to tragedy in Victory. AI here is simply abysmal, completely stupid one second, and impossibly dumb the next. You can only stare in awe as you melee an enemy and watch him then run past you to find cover. The smart ones keep their distance, only instead of crouching behind cover, will stay completely in the open, yet still go through the animation as if they’re surprising the player when they’re ready to shoot. Walking towards a rolling tank to attack it is nothing more than sheer comedy.

Problems with the physics engine lead to numerous glitches. Slain Nazis bend and twist in positions even a coroner would have trouble putting them in. They’ll become stuck inside objects, and their weapons, filled with precious ammo, seem to disappear off the map completely. Controlling vehicles, especially the tank, is an exercise in patience instead of excitement. Becoming stuck on various objects, or somehow making it scale a tree (it’s definitely possible) is only the beginning.

Gunfights are bland, even with their summer blockbuster feel and set up. The guns don’t have the impact to let the player know they’re doing damage, and the levels are unforgivably linear. There’s a weak attempt at expanding them by allowing for a selection of three soldiers, each with a specific section of the level only they can pass.

To clear each stage, the powerhouse of the group, Ross, is the only soldier you need. He has the ability to absorb enormous amounts of punishment (tanks shells at point blank won’t always take him out) which is far more valuable than sniping skills or stealth. You won’t feel the need to play through any of these stages more than once, if at all.

This is a disaster, if not the very definition of the word. The few pieces that fall into place, namely the solid graphics engine and eye for cinematics, are completely overwhelmed by a list of problems that render the game nearly unplayable at times. There are far more games worth playing seeking your attention right now.


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Last updated: Monday, August 20, 2007 10:07 PM