Battle for the Pacific
The History Channel’s Battle for the Pacific looked like it would be a worthy addition to the World War 2 First Person Shooter genre. It had the credibility of the History Channel behind it and was being distributed by a company with a number of hit games under their belt.
In addition, it was moving the fight from the ETO to the Pacific. This could only mean some fresh perspective on and old, established genre.
Now for the bad news.
The game started off weird, the movement seemed a little off kilter, but I shrugged this off as possibly being the History Channel doing a little research into what it was actually like to run about in full kit holding a rife at the ready. Who knows, it was something I was going to have to get used to. Initially the graphics were quite nice, pleasing to the eye, if somewhat repetitive in the opening level which sees you running back and forth in trenches, shooting an attacking enemy. The biggest problem however was that the buggy frame rate kept enjoyment to a minimum.
The tendency for the games graphic engine to constantly need micro breaks, really gave you a kick in the stomach as far as being able to immerse yourself in the game, and lets you know every minute that, yes, you are only playing a game.
So far, not so good, but wait, it gets worse! The game play is absolutely terrible. You have to follow orders, which means running behind whoever is in charge, and keeping up with them. Try stopping to pick up an enemy weapon because you’re out of ammo, and it’s likely you’ll see the game over screen, as you didn’t keep you and ‘failed to follow orders.’ What’s more, this fellow that wants you to follow him will randomly stop and some how expect you to know what to do next.
Not only is this annoying, and prevents you from, say, outflanking the enemy, it also makes the game linear to the extreme.
But hold on, things do improve, well, at least the graphics do, as you venture deep into the jungles, the vegetation is lush and believable – apart from the buggy frame rate. As eye candy it works extremely well, hiding and giving cover to your enemy.
Sadly however, the jungle levels suffer from the same problems as mentioned previously, and adds a few more to boot; small trees and bushes offer your no protection from enemy gunfire, in fact you can walk right through them, but alas do give the enemy almost bullet proof cover. Ooops.
As if the game play wasn’t bad enough, it’s highly repetitive, frustrating, and if you keep at it will take an average gamer two hours to complete, three at the most.
Fortunately it has online play, the saving grace for any game, able to extend game play almost indefinitely. I can’t however review the online functionality because no one is playing Battle for the Pacific online. The game is so bad that it doesn’t even have an online following. Maybe, I though, It’s because the new Rainbow Six game has just been released, and everyone is playing that, so I decided to test my theory by putting my Call of Duty 2 game in and seeing if I could get an online game – it’s only fair to point out that COD2 was the 360’s first good FPS and has been succeeded by both COD3 and COD4, so getting an online game seemed like a stupendous proposition – I managed to spend the next few hours playing COD2 online with little trouble getting games.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read.
Rating: M – Suitable for mature audiences 16 years and over.
Devloper: History Channel.
Platform: XBox 360.
Release Date: Available now.