Login

Battlestations: Midway Review

Image for Battlestations: Midway

Complex but stimulating WWII battler.

★★★★

Depending on what you want from a digital skirmish, Battlestations: Midway is either the best game ever made, or the dullest, most convoluted blaster in the history of virtual warfare.

For seasoned armchair generals and simulation nuts alike, Battlestations is a complex masterpiece; giving players full control of a bewildering range of vehicles – from submarines and dive bombers to battleships and aircraft carriers, to name but a few – the game seamlessly blends explosive action and battlefield strategy, challenging players to master the controls of a myriad military units and figure out how to exploit their advantages in a frenzied theatre of war.

However, if you just want to blow stuff up, Eidos’ epic will send you lapsing into a coma. Before getting stuck into the savage action players must endure an excruciating, hour-long training session where you learn how to control your manifold weapons of war and the basics of naval strategy; but even after you’ve ploughed through this tedious session you’ve barely scraped the surface of what Battlestations has to offer, and early clashes are tinged with the frustration of having to flick through a bulky manual to nail the controls and determine which vehicles work best in a multitude of scenarios.

While Battlestations’ graphics are curiously bland in comparison to other WWII shooters – and the online multiplayer mode is tragically under-developed – the game still does an excellent job of delivering tense, authentic military strategy in a spectacular blitzkrieg of action. But if the thought of a near-vertical learning curve leaves you cold, drop a couple of stars from the score below and leave this elaborate campaign to players who have too much time on their hands.

More from Empire