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Sinking Without Trace


It can’t be easy to be lumbered with developing any movie tie-in video game, much less one based on the curiously pointless explosion-fest currently being projected onto cinema screens across the country. And so, with the predictability and regularity of the shipping forecast, Battleship the game (of the movie of the game) is about as bad as you may expect.

So – aliens invade for.... some reason. It doesn’t matter! US Navy – with a few token efforts from other countries – fights them off. The end. If there’s one thing to say in favour of its whisper-thin plot, it’s that the alien invaders descending on Hawaii are at least the clear aggressors here, unlike in the movie where the ‘good guys’ start blasting away after a cursory attempt at communication.

Unfortunately, yet somehow predictably, the game plays out predominantly as a tepid first-person shooter, one high on the shooting but low on attendant thrills. It’s essentially a tropical Halo clone with none of the charm, firing down wave after wave of the reptilian ne’er-do-wells and destroying their installations.

What’s truly bewildering though is the decision to fashion Battleship into an FPS in the first place. The occasional interlude sees you dishing out commands to naval vessels, much like the classic board game, and there are even faint glimmers of promise when a Wild Card (collected from downed foes) unlocks the ability to engage in direct ship-to-ship battles. Sadly, these are brief bursts of excitement that fade all too fast. The rest of the time it’s shoot, reload, move on. The biggest failure here is how, despite its strange genesis and unlikely gaming genre, Battleship does nothing whatsoever to even try to deliver anything innovative – or even interesting.

A shoot and a miss here – you’ll find the 1993 NES Battleship game to be more enjoyable than this.