"You sunk my battleship!"
Battlestations: Midway is the latest XBox
360 game from Atari that is set in the turbulent area of World II which
is based in the Pacific Theatre of Operations. The game itself features
your traditional arcade style flight/boat simulator with a twist, as
gamers can also bark orders at their soldiers while on the field or
take up the role of commander with an in-depth strategy mode.
With over 60 different warships, planes and
submarines to control, there's definitely a different way to defeat each
enemy unit whether it's by ordering your troops to engage the enemy,
employing new military strategies or by taking things into your own hand
in an intense 3rd person action view, Battlestations: Midway is
definitely two games in one.
With both single-player and multi-player options, the main focus of
gameplay is the single-player campaign mode that transforms players into
Henry Walker, a Naval recruit whose life in the military soon turns
upside when the Japanese attack Pearl Harbour. Fortunately for the US
forces, Walker's abilities as a strategist prove extremely valuable in
the fight for survival.
While progressing through the game, your arcade and strategy skills are
tested as you command your way through various historical battles such
as the Battle of Midway that make you appreciate the amount of detail
that the developers have included in this game.
gameplay: Experience epic WWII combat from multiple perspectives as
you jump between dozens of units, playing as a pilot, a gunner, a
submarine captain or even a carrier fleet commander.
battlefields: Every battle takes place simultaneoulsy in the air, on
and under the sea. Movement of your fleet and the individual efforts
of any one vehicle is critical to success.
Sixty warships. Each
plane, ship and submarine is authentically designed. The more
players know about each carrier's profile, capabilities and
weaknesses the better they will fight. Featured in the game are the
Wildcat and Zero Fighter planes, the Dauntless Divebombers, the B17
and B24 bombers, the USS Iowa, USS Yorktown, and Japan's infamous
super battleship, The Yamato.
Realism: Cutting-edge graphics bring the Pacific oceans and island
chains alive with lush real-world environments, dynamic weather
effects and incredibly detailed vehicles and weaponry.
Deep single player
mode: Features 11 massive campaigns with 12 bonus challenge missions
and an immersive storyline.
multiplayer mode: Huge multi-unit online battles
The story of Walker is
rather interesting as you make your way through the ranks to eventually
become the commander of the USS Yorktown. However with that said, the
storyline is rather clichéd and features your classic overthetop acting
and sometimes terrible voice acting that is all part of the magic of
The single-player campaign features 11 missions that should
allow the average gamer around ten to fifteen hours to successfully
complete. However, once the campaign mode is completed, the game then
throws another 10 bonus challenge missions into the mix that lets you
play both the Japanese and the United States. Care for something
different? Why not try the intense multiplayer option for some fun
against real opponents.
Although all the battles in the game are based at sea, there's enough
variety in the missions and the units at your disposal to provide a
unique experience each time you play. You usually start out with a
handful of units at your command and a few simple objectives, such as
destroying all enemy carriers or defending your airfield. From there,
it's entirely up to you how you go about completing your objectives. For
the more larger missions, you will be using the tactical map that allows
you to command all your ships, submarines and planes through movement
The battles in Battlestations Midway are also quite entertaining
(especially in a 3rd person perspective) and it really brings the glory
of those old war movies onto the XBox 360 that mixes excitement, danger
and a healthy dose of frustration. The developers have done an
exceptional task at the artificial intelligence in the title that not
only include the enemy but also your wingman.
The beauty of the title is that once you feel like a change in gameplay,
at any time, you can take control of any of your units and do the dirty
work yourself. You can captain a sub as it stalks an enemy cruiser, take
to the skies for an intense dogfight, man the antiaircraft guns on the
deck of a battleship, manage the operations of an airfield or shipyard
and more, all in a single battle.
The units all have unique controls, weapons, abilities, and limitations
that you'll need to learn so as to make the best use of all of your
forces. This isn't a simulation game, though, so it doesn't take very
long to get a feel for each unit under your control. The ships, subs,
and planes don't handle realistically at all, but they are at least
fairly well balanced against one another. You can feasibly take an
all-action approach to battle and forget about being a commander, but
without proper support, you'll have a hard time winning any battles.
The multiplayer game plays just like the single-player game, but with
all of the units being commanded by real, live players, the battles can
vary wildly. There are nine multiplayer maps, many of which are taken
directly from the single-player game. You can play with up to seven
other players, each player commanding a specific ship, fleet, or
squadron. The battles are all team-based, and you can choose to play as
Japan or US forces. Each side has unique units, but they are still
Graphically, Battlestations Midway looks
amazing on the XBox 360 with realistic water effects and amazing
lighting effects. The ships are detailed down to the tiny crewmen
walking around on deck, and you can enjoy some nice views of the Pacific
islands from the cockpit of a fighter plane. You'll occasionally see
some rough spots like when objects suddenly pop into view as you
approach, or flat land textures, but for the most part, Battlestations:
Midway looks good and runs smoothly. But the game leans more toward
real-time strategy than action, so you'll spend most of your time
looking at the tactical map.
The musical score of Battlestations: Midway features your traditional
war-based majestic soundtrack with a health dose of realistic sound
effects. If you're playing as the forces of Japan, you'll hear your
pilots and captains shout in Japanese, but even if you don't speak the
language, it still helps clue you in about one of your ships being in
trouble. The explosions and engine noises all sound powerful and
distinct, and some of the more intense battles sound particularly
impressive, with artillery, torpedoes, bombs, and machine guns all going
off at once.
In conclusion, Battlestations: Midway is an
entertaining walk down memory lane and is perfect for those flight
simulator enthusiasts, great graphics and gameplay come together in this
professionally made title. Go get it!