Ratings: Gameplay: 20/25, Graphics & Audio: 20/25, Creativity 17/25, Fun 22/25
Battlestations: Midway may not be the best arcade shooter around as well as not being the most accurate flight simulator. It will not rank way at the top with die hard simulation fans whether they are into the naval combat or submarine warfare simulations. Battlestations: Midway is not an exact recreation of the Pacific battles that occurred during World War II nor is it the most theatrical. Battlestations: Midway may not be some all these things but what it does do is blend arcade action and strategic battle planning into an excellent and extremely fun game.
This may sound like an odd way to start out a review but Battlestations: Midway gave me the feeling that it was something very different than many other video games I have played. I thouroughly enjoyed reviewing Battlestations: Midway and look forward to additions or other sequels to the game, if any. The games variety of vessels and ease of controlling them, quick switching between types and ease of command made for an entirely enjoyable gameplay experience.
How many simulation or arcade type games has you driving subs and torpedoing carriers, flying fighters, bombers and reconnaissance planes and being not only captain of a destroyer but fleet commander. Battlestations: Midway lets you fly and fight from a huge variety of naval and flying World War II vessels. I personally like to fly and fight in those classic World War II fighters but there is something to be said about firing torpedoes at unsuspecting carriers and destroyers.
The ease with which Battlestations: Midway has you jumping from one craft to the next or commanding the whole battle is great. You can pick and choose between any of the vessels on either the quick battles or the campaign and easily hop from one to the next. The command situation is also a treat where you can let the AI of the game control all the individual craft and you just direct the action and accomplish the goals.
Either way you want to play and in whatever vessel you prefer you will get a good variety and a lot of valuable gameplay from Battlestations: Midway. The game comes with a fairly short campaign with several difficulty levels available from the start of each mission. So if you found that mission too easy or tough restart and change the difficulty level. The Battlestations: Midway campaign has you playing from the American standpoint of a new naval officer just arriving at Pearl Harbor, you guessed it, when the attacks are starting that heralded the beginning of the Pacific conflict of World War II.
You are the Captain of a small torpedo boat, your in PT-108 while PT-109 is fighting along your side, and need to defend the harbor and try to repel the attack. You go from there to bigger and better things with a few extras thrown in every now and then. The extras are things like jumping into the seat of a fighter during part of the first mission to help repel the attack on the harbor or later you will be starting out some parts of missions in reconnaissance planes or other vessels not as the main character of Henry Walker.
Battlestations: Midway does an excellent job with the storyline and using the cut scenes to invovle your character and give some human interest to the game. The graphics in the cut scenes are very good and the cut scenes are that perfect blend of short enough but still getitng the story and point to the viewer. It also gives you a deeper meaning to the individuals fighting in the war effort. The story blends very nicely into the game and the game itself blends a very nice mix of classic arcade shooter and strategy simulation. Jumping from one vessel or aircraft to another or commanding the whole mess of a fleet during a battle is very easy and simple to do on the fly. The games controls can be a bit difficult if you do not have a joy stick or controller for the aircraft but it is workable for the flying planes using your key board.
There is a good lengthy tutorial that helps to figure out the controls and learn the basics of not only controlling your vessels but commanding. Control and using your keyboard mouse works very well but this game just begs to use a few different controllers at any given time. I finally decided to have the joystick sitting on my desk as well as the keyboard mouse combination and played most of the campaign with this setup. For the airplane flying I would of course use the joystick but also the keyboard for speed and rudder control. I used the mouse and keyboard for ships and to command the whole fight as this better suited the sea based fighting.
Having to use the different controllers did not mean that Battlestations: Midway was hard to learn how to control the units or that it is difficult to play. Just that the joystick is of course better for flying while the keyboard and mouse are better for driving ships. I know the XBox like controller does allow you to do all these things and it works quite well in Battlestations: Midway but I really enjoy flying the planes with a joystick.
Battlestations: Midway has great graphics and audio but there are a few things lacking in the terrain and some other general things that make the games graphics great but not exceptional. Men are wandering around on ships doing things but they don’t do anything when they are getting shot at. The textures and models look very good and the audio has some very good background music and scores. The sound effects work very well and there were no problems with any of the graphics or sound as far as glitching or skipping in either.
One thing that is extremely realistic and a very nice touch was the explosions of airplanes at times. They have this nice falling wreckage on fire and planes going down in flames sometimes when planes get shot down. It is an extremely satisfying end to a good dogfight when your enemy goes down in flames and fiery debris. Of course when it’s you the situation is not exactly a joy but you can quickly switch to another plane or vessel when your airplane does get shot down.
The gameplay throughout Battlestations: Midway is great but the campaign is a bit short with eleven missions. I had no trouble finishing the campaign in about five hours of gameplay on several of the difficulty levels. Changing the difficulty settings would of course make it last longer but it would be nice to be able to have the other side of this story by being able to play the Japanese side or some other way to get more gameplay out of Battlestations: Midway.
There is a good multiplayer section to Battlestations: Midway with two different types of multiplayer games.
You can join or setup battles and fight against up to eight others in missions that are almost like the games campaign missions. Other multiplayer missions are based on real life battles and have you in charge of one or more vessels on your side of the fight while other players try their tactical skill at accomplish your common goal. The other side will also try their best to defeat your goals and accomplish theirs while the AI controls what ever other vessels are in the fight.
In the regular multiplayer games if your playing with only one person to a side than you get to control all of the vessels on your team. If you have more people on your team then the assets of the fight are divided between all the players for each to control. When you give individual units orders the AI will do a good job carrying out those orders but the real thrill and possibly the tide turning thing is to control a unit yourself. Many times one plane or ship is the difference between victory and defeat.
The other type of multiplayer game is a quick battle that does have goals but is more of a quick game that has preset vessels and does not let you control more than one vessel. You do get to respawn when you die in any vehicle and continue to accomplish the goals of your side of the conflict. Really a quick and fun battle to fight against something better than the AI of the campaign without the hassles or work of full combat startegy.
The campaign along with the multiplayer gameplay in Battlestations: Midway bring along a good assortment of fun and action for an arcade and strategy simulation. The campaign is a bit short but you do have some 12 challenge battles you can jump into as well as the online multiplayer action in the two distinct battle types.
Overall Battlestations: Midway is an excellent arcade/strategy simulation that combines the best of several different game genres. The games mix and blend of genres was well done and whether commanding or jumping into the drivers seat of any vessel you are sure to have a really fun time with Battlestations: Midway.