Take to the skies – or the high seas – in this WWII combat sim
Battlestations Pacific is a sequel (of sorts) to 2007’s Battlestations Midway and continues its forerunner’s fusion of strategy and action, both in the air and on the water.
As you might imagine from the title, the game is set during the American-Japanese conflict of the Second World War. There’s no story to speak of, though there are two distinct campaigns. The game allows you to come at the hostilities from either side of the fence although it does occasionally take a few liberties with historical accuracy.
Of course, the games market is already overflowing with dozens of WWII-based flying, shooting and strategy games. What makes Battlestations Pacific different is that it somehow manages to be all of these things in one.
On the one hand it’s a thrilling combat flight simulator in which you get to pilot a variety of authentic vintage fighters, bombers and even kamikaze planes. But Battlestations simultaneously provides the opportunity to enjoy the action from a massive selection of seafaring vehicles, including aircraft carriers, cruisers and submarines.
During a single level you might switch vehicles and combat styles several times, going from a dynamic dogfight to a tense torpedo run, for example. Most levels let the player move from one craft to another at will too and as it goes on the game becomes increasingly more strategic, requiring you to pull out from the heat of the action to take a tactical overview of the situation, and forcing you to carefully choose the focus and method of your attacks.
Aside from a few minor presentation issues (including some ghastly voiceovers), Battlestations Pacific is an impressive looking and sounding game with a keen eye for detail. The various planes and naval vessels all handle differently and weapons feel and sound suitably realistic. There’s also plenty of game to get through: 28 levels all told, across the two single-player campaigns, as well as a whole multiplayer aspect to enjoy.
If anything, Pacific manages the genre-blending side of things even better than its predecessor. Exhilarating, intelligent, varied and easy to play, Battlestations Pacific is the ideal thinking person’s combat action game.
PEGI age rating: 12+
Battlestations Pacific is the ideal thinking person’s combat action game
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