I’m going to start reviewing video games! This might seem out of the blue, but I have been playing games a lot lately as a great stress-reliever. And thanks to my friends in the Xbox 360 Hub Discord server, my Xbox has stopped collecting dust. I play on it all the time, comment below if you want a link to the Discord, it is full of a bunch of great people.
Anyways, back to my review of this game. This game was on sale last week for about 2 dollars and change (It now costs 20 dollars please don’t waste your money), and so some people at the server decided to buy it and play around one night. Before I get into the game, let me get into the history of the game.
This game was released in 2006 by Relic Entertainment. This was the only third person shooter that the company has ever made, as they usually make strategy games like Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War or Company of Heroes. They also mostly make games for the PC, as this was the first of two console games that the company ever made. What was a real-time strategy game company doing making a third person shooter? The Xbox 360 was only a few months old when this game came out, and this game was released around the same time that the games Call of Duty 2, Far Cry Instincts Predator, and Battlefield 2 were released. It had some serious competition.
As I played through the first mission of the singleplayer campaign, I was immediately confused. This was before I knew who made this game. This game is about Americans fighting Nazi’s, and so you have to fight off the hordes of soldiers. But it’s not like you are on a team with random NPCs, you control everything. You have 4 soldiers behind you, if they die, you have to “call in” more soldiers to be airdropped from the sky. If you need a tank, call it in, it will be airdropped from the sky. Need a bridge? Call it in, it will be airdropped from the sky. Need a turret? No problem, it will be airdropped from the sky. Each item costs points, and you get those points by killing the enemies and doing little side missions to “capture” points.
This is a weird mechanic, as I’m pretty sure you can’t just drop a tank from one of the planes they were flying back in the 1940s, but I digress. My pet peeve was that it takes you out of the combat. You are trying to fight off Nazis, then you notice that your men are depleted, and you have to duck behind a rock and wait for them to respawn. If you need a tank to get to another point on the map, you have to call it in and wait for it to spawn. In these seconds, your men can die. And the game refuses to let you enter a tank if you don’t have a full team of 4 men? This made getting through certain portions of the mission a drag as you had to wait for stuff to spawn and hope your men didn’t die before you got the chance to place a turret or drop in a tank. Not to mention that to just call in anything you had to press y, go around the circular menu until you found what you wanted, positioned it perfectly, and then called it in. That’s too much to do when you are being fired on and are using a controller. And this was just the first mission!
I also replayed this first mission with my friend in the Discord server in Co-Op mode. This didn’t make things better, as now we were trying to both drop in tanks and fight off the Nazis. Also, did you know that if you drop the tank on someone it can kill them? I accidentally killed his teammates as I was trying to drop the tank in, even though we were on the same team, so we had to stop and wait for them to be airdropped in before we could even continue with the mission. The second mission was even WORSE, with a phantom “Nazi train” that would just go down the tracks at a random time in the mission, and you had to get your tank or car out of the way so you wouldn’t get crushed and die and have to respawn. Then when we decided to switch games, we found that there was no way to save Co-op mode, so we would have had to totally restart from the beginning of the game if we ever wanted to play Co-op again.
Speaking of moving the tank or car out of the way, the vehicle physics in this game are abysmal. You can drive your tank up the side of the mountain at top speed accidentally, but then it gets stuck and you can’t get down. The movement is some mixture of “wherever you face is the direction you go in, but you can also move forward and backward.” And then they have a gun at the top that can go in a 360 so you can shoot the tanks of the bad guys, and you have to control that too. The vehicles are all clunky, the Nazi’s have better ones than what you use your points on so you end up just trying to steal those. The driving is a very important part of this game, so for it to be so bad ruins the entire thing.
Then I played multiplayer with 3 other people, and that was what really made the game even tolerable. The game is bad, which makes the multiplayer hilarious, so we had fun for it being such a cheap game. No one really cares about building turrets or calling in air attacks in the multiplayer, so we would just run around, trying to drive our tanks, and trying to kill each other. It was great fun!
Overall, this game tries to be a cross between an FPS game and a strategy game, and it doesn’t do a very good job of being either. You can’t really have a game like this on a console where you have limited controls. If you could pause the game and place what you needed to place that would be fine, but then it wouldn’t really be a shooter game with any sort of compelling action. If you took out the strategy, it would be ok, but it wouldn’t be fun because of the poor controls. It’s just a bad game, but for 2 dollars and change, I had a lot of fun with my friends laughing at how bad it was.
Overall Rating: 1.5 out of 5 controllers