Battlestations: Midway is a boot camp in extreme multi-tasking - as ourearlier hands-on time (opens in new tab) with the game proved. The WWII simulator doesn't just offer epic helpings of both action and strategy, it expects you to master and execute the two styles of gameplay simultaneously. Apparently, those incapable of walking and chewing gum at the same time should not be put in command of history-altering global warfare.
This holds true for multiplayer as well, which we quickly discovered when publisher Eidos enlisted us for a couple of Xbox 360 two-on-two online campaigns (the game supports up to eight players, splitting themselves between Japan and US forces). The first,Battle of Vella Gulf (opens in new tab), involved only naval craft and the goal was straightforward - take out every one of the other side's ships, as well as the shipyards that built them, while keeping at least one of our own intact
Accomplishing this goal, however, is anything but straightforward. See, you're not just a captain in control of one ship. You're the general in control of the entire fleet at once, with the battle progressing around you in real time. Within a few seconds of the match starting, we had to quickly cycle through our ships, choose a destination and attack orders for each one, check our tactical map to get a bigger picture of the plan we had just set in motion, then hop over to our shipyard to begin manufacturing more units.