Turning Point: Fall of Liberty
Good World War 2 shooters have been as scarce as hen’s teeth since the Call of Duty series went modern. Medal of Honour: Airborne was a graphical treat with slightly flawed game play, but its online play really let it down, and then their was the abysmal Battle for the Pacific, so Codemasters unique foray into the established genre was looking like a fresh invigorating breeze, ready to get people excited about World War 2 once more.
Of course it wasn’t going to be your run of the mill WW2 FPS. Mixing historical fact – an incident where Winston Churchill is hit and injured by a cab in New York City –it with a what if scenario – Churchill dies, Codemasters bring us a chilling alternative history where England without her charismatic leader stumble and falls to Nazi tyranny, which in turn gives Hitler control of Europe and enough time to develop weapons and an army big enough to invade America, starting with (where else) New York.
It’s in a 1950’s New York that your character, a construction worker named Dan, lets you begin this unique journey, fighting a nazi Germany, intent of controlling the entire world.
The first level, as with any modern game, doubles as a training level, introducing you to all the little differences with this particular FPS. It has some nice touches that keep it from being your average FPS, for one you start off without a weapon, so you can learn to use the hand to hand combat moves, and throw the first Nazi you meet, off the side of the skyscraper you were working on.
Handily, he drops his side arm for you to pick up. You now have two ways to killing Nazis.
The game play is rather linear, with subtle and not so subtle clues as to where to go and what to do. Graphically it feels like it should have been released a year ago – everything it seems, pales in comparison with the undeniable king of FPS; Call of Duty 4. It may be harsh comparing the two games, and I don’t think Turning Point is helped graphically by using the Unreal Engine. To be honest the graphics are fine, they do the job and render New York as an immense, living city quite well.
The thing that really lets Turning Points down is its tendency to be buggy. There you are, running from cover to cover, shooting dastardly Nazi foes, when you run out of bullets. No worries you say to yourself, I’ll out flank this German and steal his weapon whilst using him as a human shield. The only problem being that the ‘B button’ icon doesn’t appear, and you’re left bashing the B button in a futile effort to grab the Third Reich’s finest and steal his weapon whilst he just slams you in the face with his rifle butt and drills you with lead.
Try that trick the next time and it works like a dream.
The bugginess however extends past just random combat glitches and pops up in unexpected places. I came across a seeming dead end. Perplexed, I looked around and saw a pipe that looked like I’d be able to shimmy across. But no, it wouldn’t let me. Frustrated after 10 minutes of trying to climb onto the pipe I ‘accidentally’ dropped a grenade and killed myself so I could re-start the mission.
Second time around I managed to grab the pipe an shimmy my way across to the next roof, where there was nothing but a locked door.
Hold on a minute I thought to myself, I bet any second now, some Germans are going to burst out of that door and start hosing the roof with machine gun fire. I know, I’ll stand beside the door so I can garb one of them and use his gun to shot the others.
The door swing open on cue, but my plan goes horribly wrong and the Germans don’t move out onto the roof, and I’m mysteriously stuck behind the door. I manage to shot the German through the door, but the door just won’t let me go.
I accidentally drop another grenade and make a metal not never to stand next to closed doors.
It’s these seemingly random bugs that make Turning Point frustrating at times, and dampens my enthusiasm for what was looking – and playing – like a really good game.
I feel that it still has enough to offer the casual gamer, and has plenty of challenge and an engaging storyline to make it a worthwhile purchase, especially if your looking for something a little out of the ordinary for the genre.
A word of caution however, it does suffer from a lack on online community and I doubt you’ll ever be able to play it online – at least that has been my experience thus far. Still, I have plenty of mission left to complete before I’m ready to retire this game.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read.
Rating: R13 – Contains Violence.
Genre: First Person Shooter, Adventure.
Release Date: Out now.