Battlestations: Pacific

Eidos invited Ready Up to try out Battlestations: Pacific multi-player. We sent our little legged gamer, Shaz.

Honestly? I’ve had no previous experience with Battlestations: Midway. I vaguely knew of what was in store for me as I trotted along through the corridors of Eidos into their LAN gaming room. The last time I had touched any kind of ‘flight sim’ was Battlefield 2 on the PC, although my attempts to fly choppers and jets were pretty much an automatic ‘fail’. Then, to go even further into my younger years, my first ever flight gaming was Star Fox on the SNES (Corneria theme tune FTW!)

I was pretty aware that my soldiering days mostly took place on land with Call of Duty 4 or over command maps such as Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2. Battlestations was set to make me face the territories I feared the most, the wars of the skies and the depths of the murky seas. As I sat down to one of the many LAN 360s I chuckled to myself, “Well, a good full hour to get my butt pwned!”

The preview was a case in point that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Many had convinced me of the ignorant idea that Battlestations would be just for the slow paced, mature WW2 fans. Impressions of huge, slow lugging ships that only saw as much action as being ‘crapped on’ by seagulls; empty skies where planes take more than half an hour to come into contact only to misfire and have to take an extra half hour to turn for another jousting round. I urge you not to overlook or misjudge the Battlestations series, because it cannot be matched in the varied intensity of the levels. One minute the opposition draws closer to intimidate; the next all hell breaks loose. All the while the game is looking incredibly sophisticated.

So, let’s tuck in to the important part of the preview; the multi-player aspect of Battlestations: Pacific. I had the aid of an Eidos developer, Saty, who sat beside me. I felt a bit like I was back in school, revising historic combat vehicles, but with a personal advisor at hand it only took me about three minutes to get the hang of the controls and menu system.

Siege Mode: This allows one side to defend a base with their units while the other attempts to take over it. I already have my favourite unit scouted out for when the game launches. All beginners or generally crazy gamers will love the Japanese Kamikaze planes. I had the upper-hand in bringing the win with these agile units, barrel-rolling the skies and smacking straight into enemy ships! Yes, there were plenty of ‘woo-hoos’ and ‘woahs’ from myself while I felt proud to be the cheeky nipper of the skies.

Competitive Mode: All players are on the same side in this mode but it’s a case of who is the first to complete the number of kills/objectives. Surprisingly I won again, with Saty’s help! My insider’s advice which I’ll generously pass on to you here is that you’d do well to remember the order of your weaponry and throw everything you’ve got while your four other weapons are reloading; anti-air guns for picking up cheap points from nearby planes, quick alternation between two torpedoes and artillery fire. More points are scored for killing golden targets on the mini-map. Respawns don’t leave you too far from the action and sometimes you’re dropped right back in the thick of it, which keeps the pace of the competition.

Island Capture Mode: This is, to my mind, the ‘master mode’. If you’re a newcomer to the genre like me, I’d advise you to get to grips with the first two modes before tackling this one. Here we have a combination of planes and ships, with a strategy map as an extra side dish. As the title suggests the aim is to dominate the capture points of the map. This was a pure test of ‘keeping an eye on things’ and proves that Battlestations: Pacific is one of a kind in offering you close cut combat side by side with ‘birds eye view’ commanding.

Time flew faster than I expected as we were only set for sessions of around 15 minute rounds. You can set a round for four hours, and trust me, from what I’ve played, it is definitely an option.

The preview has me hungry for more. While Battlestations is still in the making, my toes are twinkling with excitement for more multi-player modes beyond what I’ve tried and I’ve yet to see what the single player campaign will be like.

There’s the ‘best of both worlds’ feeling in terms of environment and gameplay styles with Battlestations: Pacific. Don’t let this genre intimidate you; whether you’re a war veteran or not, even those who have enjoyed the pleasures of a game of chess, Battlestations is the way to further your strategy and action skills. I’m afraid Eidos won’t be able to provide staff to personally advise each and every one of you while you’re fighting the wars as they did for me, however the single player campaigns will get anyone up to scratch on learning tactics in depth and hey, you might just best your elders when it comes to telling war stories.

Battlestations: Pacific has depth and complexity, yet is highly accessible and if you give it a chance, you’ll be rewarded well. The prospects of Battlestations catering for solo or team play means there’ll be plenty of scenarios, skirmish maps and longevity, especially with the future downloadable content. It’s going to be a long war – and it’s going to be fun!







5 responses to “Battlestations: Pacific”

  1. Duncan Aird avatar
    Duncan Aird

    I think it looks fantastic! Blazing Angels never quite filled the gap on the 360 flight quota. Can’t wait. 🙂

  2. shazla avatar

    Thats an informative write up, I’m hoping a demo will be out soon.

  3. Del Torro El Sorrow avatar

    Finally got it up eh?

    Nice, I also hope for a demo.

    p.s. Buy Halo

  4. Ben avatar

    Looking forward to this, on the condition that the Tutorial section doesn’t want to make me go on a rampage armed with nothing but a broken Jack Daniels bottle and a fishing rod.

    Definitely be giving this at least a try once demo arrives, which I hope it will.

  5.  avatar

    ah wow… that looks awesome… I have been waiting for this one ever since I played midway… so long as they make the kamikaze planes more devastating then it will be an awesome thing!

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