E3 2008: Battlestations: Pacific Hands-On Preview

Battlestations: Pacific is the sequel to the popular Battlestations: Midway title Chris reviewed over a year ago. Set in the Pacific Theatre of World War II, the game is largely similar to the original title, except on a larger scale with more action and much, much more going on during the battles.

That said, while playing the game with Lead Designer Botond Szalacsi, there were several new features pointed out which longtime Battlestations fans will absolutely love. (Many of which, Botond admitted, were added based purely on fan feedback.)

For starters, the game is more than twice the size of Midway in terms of scale. Much of it is added landmass, as the textures and land physics got a huge overhaul, allowing for more detail and more mass on screen at any given time.

To go along with the increased emphasis on land, Eidos added a feature called island capture. By placing troop transports near an island, you can deploy small landing boats filled with troops. They land on the island, and with support from your ships and planes, can capture it, giving you better access and more control of the seas around your objectives.

The other big changes to Pacific all include display-based features. One-which many fans wanted-is more details shown on the command view. HP bars, statuses, sinking, etc.-all can be seen by easy to identify icons by your ships and planes. If you’d rather fly in planes, you can now fly in cockpit mode, getting a more authentic flying experience. If boats are more of your thing, taking out enemies is more tactical than ever, as you can easily select which portion you want to attack, from fuel tank to torpedo bay.

In a rather controversial move, Eidos is featuring a "What if?" scenario, looking at what would happen if the Japanese had beaten the US. Lots of people were put off by it, but I really saw it as more of an attempt to better WW2 games in general; there’s only so much source material to go off, after all.

Even though I came into the session with limited experience playing Midway, I still enjoyed my time playing Pacific. It took a while to get used to, but the action was fun, and newcomers to the series can easily jump right in with this latest installment.


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Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

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