Battlestations: Midway

Format: Xbox 360
5 021290 025844
Age Restrictions: 12+
09 February 2007

Prepare for a totally new combat experience as you fight massive air, sea and undersea battles in WWII's Pacific theatre in direct command of multiple warships, planes and submarines in this epic solo and online tactical action game. Experience the intensity of large scale aerial and naval combat in a mix of direct action and tactical play. Directly control dozens of highly detailed warships, aircraft and submarines in a 'free-control' environment as you design and execute the best plans of attack. Command the colossal firepower of a fully armed battleship, engage the enemy in fierce dogfights through flak-infested skies, or use the silent attack of your submarine to unleash deadly torpedo attacks on unsuspecting enemies...

Battlestations: Midway is an immense action game that drops players into massive air, sea, and undersea battles from Pearl Harbor to Midway. Players command massive fleet attacks and can take direct, real-time, control of every plane, battleship, and submarine in the battle.

The gameplay blends intense 3rd-person action with large-scale naval combat and brings to life the great Pacific battles of World War II. From the chaos of Pearl Harbor, through the Philippines, Java and the Coral Sea all the way to the epic Battle of Midway.

This is a game where you really need to go to the tutorial first. Otherwise you'll spend ages not knowing what on earth you are doing, randomly pressing buttons in a bid to destroy your enemy. If you do start on the tutorial then you'll probably also be a little annoyed with how slow the main game is to get started.

You'll spend ages, in the early levels, doing silly, pointless things (these segments are designed to get you familiar with the controls) and then you get long video sequences between these short missions. And, when you get your first taste of the game proper, (on board the aircraft carrier), you aren't really under any sort of attack - you just have to destroy a single vessel - and this takes away a lot of the challenge.

The single player mode features 11 large-scale campaigns with 12 bonus challenge missions. The online multi-player combat features head-to-head and co-operative fleet battles with up to eight other players and featuring numerous Allied and Japanese units.

A total of 60 different warships, planes and submarines can be controlled, with players being able to switch between vehicles at will. Switching from one vessel to another is not as easy as it sounds either. All have their very unique control systems which makes it difficult to easily switch between, say, a ship and a plane without feeling a little disorientated. However, you can heavily customise these controls, and it's a good idea to do just that so that you feel comfortable with each vehicle.

Online play really is the place to go though, once you've got used to the single player mode. There's so much more to do online and playing against other gamers is a lot more satisfying.

At the end of the day, there's just not enough gameplay here to warrant spending £50 on a title you can easily complete in an afternoon.

Nick Smithson

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