About two years ago we got the chance to have fun with this splendid series. Battlestations Midway was a very solid game with a couple of downpoints here and there. Now, with the new Battlestations Pacific, Eidos manages to continue with all the good of the previous title and improve or get rid of many of the bad things. It’s great! Why? Read on.
We return to the enormous sea battles and air combat that happened between the United States and Japan during the second World War. You’ve got the chance to take on either side and when playing as the US, the story continues where Midway ended. When playing as Japanese, you get to rewrite the attack on Pearl Harbor and expand the Japanese empire.
This title is again all about controlling and commanding both air and sea units. In single player you start quite limited qua possibilities and only have one type of vehicles; in some cases these are planes, other times it will be ships or submarines. This is a good way to give you time to get to know the controls but it certainly isn’t the biggest fun factor the game has to offer. The fun truly starts when you command entire fleets that exist out of a combination of different types of ships and airplanes. Next to that you can also, if you lose one of your troops, have their place taken in by new cannon fodder with a relatively simple menu that you can open with one push of a button while playing. Once you get that far the gameplay also gets added with a strategical aspect that gives the possibility to play the game tactically, especially in online multiplayer. You need to command the units you go to war with! It would be ridiculous to have them laying in the water in the middle of the Pacific Ocean while they can just as easily assist in shooting down everything that opposes you.
As said before the tactical aspect is especially noticeable during multiplayer combat. This is also where Battlestations Pacific truly comes to justice. although you still have a limit of up to eight players the combat is a lot more intense and the five modes (which can all be altered to your liking) play a large part in that. The in my opinion most important mode is the Island Capture. Here the idea is to occupy all islands on the map as fast as possible before the enemy can do the same. Often this results in Battlefield-like shuffling of the frontlines and a round that can go on for quite some time. The other, in my opinion less interesting, modes are Escort, Siege, Duel and Competitive. These will probably be more popular with gamers that look for hard non-stop action with too much blabla.
Audiovisually Pacific certainly doesn’t need to fear other sea combat games. The water looks phenomenally. The waves, the sunbeams that break on the sea, artillery shots that hit the water with a huge “splash” as result, the influence of the weather, … you notice the people at Eidos understand that the sea plays a very important role in this game, the level of detail at the least can be called decent. Also the huge format of the maps and battleships has returned. Just imagine how a Haguro class destroyer floats next to a Yamato. The difference is truly impressive! Also the sound is again bombastic. The loud noise of artillery gunfire or the dropping of bombs on the deck of a ship. All impressive and of decent quality which makes that they offer a huge contribution to the immersion. This is one of those games that you need to play insanely loud so that your grandma crawls under the table with every shot and starts thinking the Germans are back…
With Battlestations Pacific Eidos again hits the ball. This is a must-have for just about any WW2 fan and also for every other gamer. The enormous amount of units you can choose from, the giant battlefields, very detailed oceans and vehicles and excellent multiplayer make this game a solid hit for the Summer period.