Battleship surfaces some unique ideas as it combines the
moment-to-moment action of a first person shooter with tactical strategy of
commanding the American Navy. Like in the plot of the movie, aliens have
invaded earth to threaten mankind with giant red pegs and sink our Battleships
– well, maybe not the giant red pegs part, but pegs do appear in the game as
time delayed explosive shells from alien ships.
Taking place just before the events of the movie, Battleship puts
players in the role of Cole Mathis, an Explosive Ordinance Disposial specialist
in the U.S. military. The game plays as a first person shooter on various
locations on the Hawaiian Islands. Cole has access to a small arsenal, being
able to use the standard issue assault rifle, grenades, pistol, shotgun or pick
up one of the two total alien weapons. Standard foot soldiers with assault
rifles, snipers, heavily armored melee fighters who force you out of cover, and
a variety of enemy artillery stand between you and your objectives. There may
not be much variety in small arms but players will also be getting some help
from the ships off the coast.
At any time, players can access their Battle Comm – a tactical grid
map where movement and attack orders can be issued to friendly ships. Ships
range from massive Battleships to lightly armed aircraft carriers, each with
different strengths and weaknesses. They can take up support, defensive and
aggressive positions to either fend off attacking alien craft or support Cole
and the other ground troops. All actions directed in the Battle Comm are seen
played out in real time when you return to normal gameplay and can greatly
affect the battle on foot
If a ship is moved to a support position, Cole can call in air
strikes to take out dug-in alien infantry and employ a variety of effects on
enemy troops. The effect of the artillery strike depends on what type of
ordinance is being used and from what type of ship is shooting. For instance, a
submarine’s special artillery strike launches out a non-lethal sonic emitter
that disorients and distracts enemies allowing players to get up close and
personal. In addition to ships affecting the ground battle, players can also
gain power-ups to bolster ship stats.
One of the game’s most intriguing features, wild cards, can be
picked up from fallen enemy soldiers and completing objectives. The cards can
then be assigned to one of three slots on a friendly ship and stacked up to
three times. The bonuses might be boosts to attack power, defensive ability or
radar range while others will launch players into a minigame and take direct
control of a ship.
The movie tie-in will release in May on the Xbox 360 and PS3.