Battlestations Pacific - Cheat Happens Game Review
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Battlestations Pacific
PC, XBox 360

Reviewed on: PC

Developer:
Eidos Interactive
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Rated: "T" for Teen



CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

   
   
   
Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
   
CHEATfactor: 6
   
     

The question of “what if?” has always perplexed our society. What would happen if our society’s most important events unfolded differently?  Battlestations Pacific, the sequel to 2007’s highly under-appreciated Battlestations: Midway gives gamers the chance to answer that question and rewrite some of the most important events of World War II. More than that, Pacific is a rare title that can not only do everything its predecessor can – but goes miles above it at the same time. It’s simple yet complex, it’s epic yet at the same time accessible. Sure, it has flaws, but that shouldn’t stop gamers from playing one of the year’s top titles.

Though it’s not a true sequel in terms of story, Battlestations: Pacific picks up shortly after Midway ends – in the middle of the America/Japan conflict during WWII. In fact, the story starts out very boldly, with the attack on Pearl Harbor.  From there, it’s up to the gamer to decide what side to take in the conflict. Do you recreate the actual events leading to the United State’s victory or do you find out what would have happened if Japan’s momentum had continued and expanded their empire following the attack.  Both campaigns play out via cutscenes meant to look like war footage, which though the voice acting does suck (at times to the point of being downright embarrassing), is a nice touch and keeps the game’s epic battles feeling like they should.

"...blend arcade style action with sim-style realism so incredibly."

 
   

With such an emphasis on flight combat, the game’s control scheme may catch gamers off guard a bit. You may expect to play in manner similar to that of the popular Ace Combat series, but Pacific is far from a mere “flight-sim.” It’s amazing that the game can blend arcade style action with sim-style realism so incredibly. Each plane, boat and carrier feels different, and more importantly, like it should.  You’re actually going to want to try each vehicle, and for once it doesn’t feel like a chore.

The true allure of Pacific is the epic size of each battle. Though some of the missions will have you focus on a single vehicle type, the game truly excels when you’re able to switch freely between planes, boat, sub or carrier as the battle needs. It’s here, more than anywhere else that the title embraces its RTS side. You truly feel like a general, commanding multiple units and plotting your strategy accordingly.  Using the submarines adds even more depth as most of the unit’s tactical moves require cover fire from plane’s or other units to be successful.  While at first glance the arcade style action of Battlestations: Pacific may turn off some gamers, once they truly get into the meat of the title, it’s unlikely they’ll be disappointed.

That’s not to say however that the epic scale of the battle is perfect. Piloting planes is a fast, experience which requires you to use quick decision making, while using carriers and submarines is slow and methodical. The difference isn’t surprising, but it does take you out of the experience at times. One minute you’re flying at breakneck speeds and the next you feel like the game is lagging. Both methods are fun in their own way but it’s inevitable that you’re going to like one more than the other.

"...the detail throughout most of the game is quite impressive."

 
   

If nothing else, a game with so much emphasis on the sea damn well better have decent water effects.  Luckily, Pacific delivers and then some.  Though some elements like explosions and terrain at a distance look unimpressive – the detail throughout most of the game is quite impressive.  Weather effects look amazing, and there are moments when the detail in the environments rivals that of Empire: Total War.

Multiplayer is pretty much what you’d expect from a title like this. There’s your standard dog fight and team matches, but where the game really excels in with some of its modes like Capture the Island. Essentially teams compete to take out island bases with whatever loads and loads of firepower.  Sure, it’s been done before but something about the gameplay feels new and fresh.

It’s inevitable that Battlestations: Pacific is going to be just as underappreciated as Midway before it, but those who take the time to experience its mix of strategy and arcade gameplay will find a great addition to any library. Many companies have tried and failed to bring the RTS genre to console gamers, and Pacific is the closest, and most fun to date. 

 

CHEATfactor

CHEATS USED: Unlimited Health, Torpedoes, Wound Opponents

While there aren’t many cheats available at this time for Battlestations: Pacific, those available are so spot on with the game’s action that they warrant a higher score. Each of the cheats works directly with each other and allows for further customization. Using the cheats to beef up your unit, while wounding your opponent’s is what cheating is made for.

It must be said though that using the unlimited torpedoes in combination with the unlimited health makes the game’s naval battles less prodding and more fun – making it easier to switch between units in games.


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