Sequel to “World Wars – European Conflicts”, we have “World Wars II” which brings the series into the Pacific theatre of war. Like the first game (which was just called “World Wars” on the dashboard), the “Pacific Conflicts” subtitle is present only in the game and on the “box art”, not in the game’s title itself on the Dashboard. In fact, the box art suggests the full title is “World Wars II – Pacific Conflicts: Multiplayer Edition”.
With local competitive and co-operative multiplayer for up to 2 players, system link for up to 8, and Xbox Live play for up to 8, the features list is great. But how about the gameplay? Even better, as the game features a fantastic leveling system which starts you at private and upgrades you to a four-star general over time with success. It plays out like a mix of the top-down missions from Cinemaware’s “Wings”, paired with 16-bit classic Cannon Fodder. Multiplayer gameplay modes like “Save the Gold”, “Capture the Flag”, and “Deathmatch” add replay value for both singleplayer and multiplayer.
Talking about the singleplayer, there are 15 missions to play through, and the singleplayer is a satisfying mix of tactics and action. Air, ground, and sea combat is seamlessly integrated into the game, with ground missions further bolstered by the ability to hop out of appropriate vehicles (such as the new Zodiac sea vehicle, perfect for amphibious assaults) and mix it up on foot, which reminds me a bit of Sierra’s “Assault Heroes” in a good way. For the first time, you have to avoid anti-aircraft fire during the air missions. A new feature called “SkyVision” shows you what’s ahead of your plane during air missions, via a picture-in-picture first-person view which makes dogfighting more interesting (or dodging fighters in your bomber).
Whether you like fighting on foot, driving tanks, piloting sea vehicles, or flying heavy bombers over enemy cities, the level of variety is impressive for a 240 Microsoft Point game. A great deal of fun for those of us who appreciate light strategy with heavy action.
Here’s what the developer (Swissplayers Game Studios) has to say about the game:
“World Wars II is an addictive multiplayer game that supports up to 8 online gamers simultaneously. You battle on 10 maps with up to 15 different unit types against your friends. Moreover, you will be challenged by 15 singleplayer and cooperation maps that take place in the Pacific theater during WWII. Fight for your life and bring the war to a glorious end! How many will have to die? You decide!”