Day 567: World Wars II

Posted: 2012/05/29 in Indie Games

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!”

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Comments
  1. I think this game has a lot of potential, but it controls hideously and the difficulty is insane – I’ve never managed to get past the first group of enemies on the first level.

    • Anonymous says:

      I gave it a try and have to agree about the controls. Real quickly…
      – It seemed that odd stuff was on the common use buttons. I’d expect the map and the HUD toggle to be on “Back” or the D-pad, not A, B, X, or Y.
      – I vastly prefer the traditional dual stick shooter type aiming. Having the trigger on the shoulder button is fine, but I don’t like the rotate left and right aiming when on foot.
      – There needs to be a button to enter and exit a vehicle. Auto-entering a nearly destroyed vehicle by accident got me killed at least twice.
      – Same button for exiting the vehicle. It’s clumsy having to go to the unit selection screen to exit.

      I also agree with the difficulty. It is difficult for the wrong reasons. The first mission, “tank ahead” or whatever it was called, was really like a puzzle, and less like a battle simulation. I think it can be done with two soldiers and the jeep, but in 10 tries I couldn’t do it. The tank was very fast and got me about half the time, and the other half of the time I ran out of rockets before the tank was fully destroyed. I know it could be done, but I couldn’t ever quite do it.

      Mechanically the game is very well done. I love the graphics and sound, and the nice touches like the zoom on the D-pad. I just think it should be more about choosing a strategy and less about executing the strategy perfectly down to the last rocket.

      • I think you’ve made a lot of good suggestions here. I didn’t mind the controls so much myself, they reminded me of how I played Robotron 2084 on the Atari Lynx handheld so perhaps I was already acclimated to them. Perhaps simply giving the player the option of two control sets would have been better.

        As for the difficulty level, maybe I simply lucked out, but I didn’t get stuck on the first level so the difficulty curve didn’t seem so bad at the time. :)

  2. Anonymous says:

    Seeing Robotron used as an example of non dual stick shooting is a bit ironic as I think it was a the first dual stick shooter in the arcade. The Atari 800 version had two control schemes. In one mode, it used traditional dual stick control, but you pretty much had to strap your joysticks to the table to use it. In the single stick mode, holding the fire button down make the stick the “fire” stick while when released it was the “move” stick.

  3. David Loves Sandy says:

    ICK! Played for 10 seconds and ick!

    • Well, fair enough then. You review 567 games and you’ll eventually run into one that you love that doesn’t go over well with a lot of other people. :)

      • David Loves Sandy says:

        LOL….true enough and at this rate you are the most awesomeness reviewer ever!

      • Thank you, very nice of you to say. I keep drawing lines in the sand (of when I’ll stop doing consecutive daily reviews), and then crossing those lines as I find a bunch more games that meet my criteria for review. :)

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