Battlestations: Midway Xbox 360 Review

May 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Xbox 360, Xbox

Genre crossovers are either a huge success or a case of uncertain identity as some games seem to struggle with what their developers were intending to do with them. It’s always a bold move to combine genres, and development teams must find themselves under constant pressure to get the balance correct.

Battlestations: Midway was officially announced many moons ago, some time before SCi purchased Eidos, under the title of Midway, and originally aiming to be a part of your PS2 or Xbox library. As my opening paragraph suggests this is no ordinary World War II game, it’s a marriage of action and strategy, something which the game has varying degrees of success in pulling off.

The tutorial weighs in at a hefty hour, which obviously suggests that the player has much to learn, and certain topics may even require a few views to assure that all the actions and strategies are drummed into your head. It’s certainly a tutorial that is well worth an hour of your time, as you’ll need to learn everything from simple to advanced tactics, as only then will you be able to mastermind a victory over the enemy charge, particularly when playing against an Xbox Live opponent whom keeps cancelling out your attacks.

There’s no getting around it, Battlestations: Midway is a complex game, in fact it’s one of those titles that you would expect to find solely on the PC opposed to console and PC. Fear not, to learn the ins and outs of the game is not an impossibility, but it does require an immense amount of patience and dedication from the player. To go into the game with a gung-ho mindset isn’t always ideal, as you’ll find your planes crashing to the earth and your boats sinking into the depths of the ocean.

Battlestations: Midway gives you the unique opportunity to command various sea vessels as well as flying machines, all of which are faithful to the period. Planes can be launched from aircraft carriers and airfields and their differing capabilities range from engaging the enemy in dogfights, launching torpedoes and dropping bombs on top of targets. The vessels aren’t quite as enjoyable to use, although each are manned with weapons, and repairing damage is certainly achieved in an unusual manner all through a single menu screen. Then, of course, there’s the deadly and stealthy submarines that are often key to turning the tide of battle in your favour.

The vast majority of the single player missions allow you to switch between various units, and it’s also a big part of Midway’s online experience. The tactical side of things will certainly delight players that are seeking something to keep their minds ticking as well as those who have taken a dislike to more shallow games where the explosions and set pieces are the true star attractions.

A total of eight players can team up or duke it out over Xbox Live. Players can take charge of solitary units or if you are playing without any team-mates, you can take command of every American or Japanese plane and ship spread across the various maps. It’s an online game that certainly has plenty of appeal, and this shows in the healthy community number.

But for me, Battlestations: Midway is a difficult game to get really excited about. Many of the sea vessels move painfully slow (the period is to be blamed opposed to the game), the graphics are disappointedly dated, and the biggest bane is undoubtedly that the game seems to be suffering from an identity crisis, instead of standing tall as a convincing crossover. Perhaps better and more immediate controls would have swayed my opinion to a more positive stead, although negatives aside, Battlestations: Midway is still a moderately enjoyable game.