Controlling the battleships is perhaps the weakest of all these modes, with not enough feedback coming from your broadsides to know whether you’ve done any damage or not. This is actually a problem in other areas too, where there’s so much going on it can be difficult to accurately determine what you are doing in comparison to your squad mates. There were even a couple of occasions where our swine allies stole our kills!
There’s also the issue of in-game help being slightly confusing and badly presented. We find it essential nowadays (due to a new-found laziness) for a relatively complicated game to have a spoken tutorial or help section. While Battlestations does have ample help prompts (some that can be intrusively annoying, in fact) and training videos, they don’t help the information stick well enough. Trial and error seems to be the best way to progress.
This leads us onto one last major point: while this is definitely better than the original game (Battlestations: Midway) it has some of the same problems plaguing it. As mentioned above, an apparent easy-to-use console interface segues into “what the...?” control schemes, not helped by the poor tutorial elements. Thankfully, ships can now be repaired during battle, so that’s one old problem that has been fixed. This sequel’s design seems to be a mix – some bad things remain, while others have been scrubbed away.
Still, for those looking for a flying game (primarily) that’s just about fun, but that also has more depth than, say, HAWX, Battlestations: Pacific is a decent bet. While it might have some problems, there’s plenty of interesting elements to get stuck into, and, if the multiplayer can take off (no pun intended) Eidos might be onto a winner. It has nice fluffy clouds too.
May 13, 2009