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Battlestations Midway

 

Battlestations Midway

ESRB: Teen - T
Platform: Xbox 360
Category: Real Time Strategy
 
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Battlestations Midway is a WWII RTS/Strategy game released by Eidos. Although it lies pretty heavy on the action strategy side of things there is still some standard micromanaging to be done. This game touches upon a genre that is not well represented on the Xbox 360 and it was a treat to have a chance to play this game. Will this game suit the wannabe commanders out there...read on?

Graphics

The graphics in this game are very good. The cuts scenes in the single player mode are well done and help pull you into the story that is unfolding in front of you. I found that close attention was paid to every ships detail too. I found it somewhat neat to see all the varying ships that are available and it was nice to have such a large number of ships to eventually take control of. Eidos could have cheapened out and put minimal ships in the game, but they did not and the visual appeal of each was well done. As this game takes place during WWII, and your ships are combat vehicles, actual battles and the resulting damage are visually strong enough to make you feel like you in the real thick of things when battle commences. This is conveyed by such things as smoke and explosions that fill the screen as things get heated up. The graphics engine as a whole does a great job of recreating the various battles you find yourself as everything runs at a pretty rock solid frame rate with no noticeable anomalies to be found. I appreciated the work that went into the visual of this game and it should not go unnoticed by you.

Sound

The sound is good but how much can you really talk about here. The sound in a naval strategy game is somewhat limited to a mainstay of effects. Such things as engine noise, bullets, bombs, torpedoes and even seagulls are well represented, but what else is there. This game takes place on the water as you fight with varying ships that are available. Sure, the totally inept could have made a passable attempt at the audio in this game, but Eidos made efforts to present some pretty real sound effects to further add to the immersion. Overall I give this game thumbs up here as all the sounds are quite well done and help to make this a better game.

Gameplay

Welcome To Pearl Harbor Captain Walker. Battlestations Midway is an exceptional WWII Naval warfare game. Whether in single player career mode or online multiplayer mode the game offers many hours of strategic and real time strategy fun. You can jump between strategic play (directing units via a heads down map and controlling their actions and tactics) or real time where you actually take control of any of your on-screen units. I found this game to be very enjoyable experience. Jumping in and controlling such things as a plane, submarine or battleship just before it begins its attack run was something I really enjoyed. There is also not much waiting around for something to happen in this game as once the bullets and bombs start flying about there is plenty of action to go around.

I’ve heard some reviewers comment on the “learning curve” associated with this game but I am not sure what they are complaining about. As far as WWII RTS/Strategy games go this is one of the easier ones to learn. Maybe reviewers are worried how this game will be seen by those who don't play the genre that much (e.g. non-RTS gamers or casual gamers) but regardless, this game is pretty easy to learn when you think about how complex RTS type games are on a PC. Battlestations Midway focuses more on strategy and action then on unit management so no need for a 300 page manual. It is fairly simple here folks here’s what you need to learn, Forwards, backwards, right , left, up, down, map control and 4 damage control settings. That is not a lot to need to know for a game of this nature.

In single player mode you follow the career of Henry Walker as he climbs the ranks from PT boat captain (Pearl Harbor) to Captain of the Aircraft Carrier Yorktown (Midway). You must fight your way through 11 story driven missions to become captain of the Yorktown, and during your meteoric rise you are put through your paces on various ships gaining knowledge and experience as you go. Single player mode can take anywhere between 5 – 10 hours to complete. The additional 10 bonus challenges are unit focused as you play either the Japanese or American side. These are defiantly not as exciting as the main campaign but are a good way to hone your skills if you are just looking for some practice time.

The real meat and potatoes of this game though is the multiplayer mode and it is where the game really shines. Let's face it, most single player games are for lack of a better term “boring”. If you had to choose between competing against a game's AI or another human being most people take the human route as gaming then becomes more fluid and dynamic with each game being a new experience. In multiplayer, which is up to a maximum 8 players, you choose your battles, sides and ships. Battles are won when objectives are met such as destroying enemy aircraft carriers, ship yards, airfields etc. I found that I met some pretty formidable opponents on the online arena and I enjoyed my experience with this portion of the game.

Conclusion

Battlestations Midway gets a definite joystick up from me as it takes strategic and real time strategy games to a whole new level on the Xbox 360 and it is fairly easy to learn. Sure, the single player mode is relatively short but the multiplayer action is where the fun lies. Both these aspects make for a totally solid package. One way to judge the quality of a game is by seeing how many new players are joining and creating games in multiplayer mode. I’ve been watching the community grow over the last week a sure sign that this is a quality game. I also should note that everyone I’ve played with online, Xbox 360 and PC, really enjoy the game. All positives considered I do have one wish for this game and that is the addition of some new maps or add-ons that focus on other theaters of battle like the Battle of Britain, Battle for North Africa, etc. Overall, if you’re interested in WWII strategy games, or any war strategy game for that matter, then I highly recommend this game.

 
 

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