Backlog Quest II: Day 15 – Battleship – You sunk my expectations!

01-15-13_bq_2_battleship_360

Dear Journal,

Today I played a generic FPS that actually had a fairly cool component tacked on.

It seems that movie-tie-in games make up a fairly large portion of my backlog. Battleship joins the ranks. Based on the 2012 action flick, which is based on a board game, which is based on actual war, Battleship has you fighting an invading alien species on the various Hawaiian islands. For the most part it is a very generic FPS, but it does have a few surprises.

Almost immediately I noticed that in quite a few ways Battleship seemed a little Halo inspired. At least in terms of visuals. This is probably due in large part to the island setting, but it certainly draws some comparison at times. Not to mention the use of both human and alien guns throughout the game. There isn’t much else to say though about the game’s visuals. They are acceptable, and that about sums it up. Nothing really remarkable, but not distractingly bad either.

Call of Reach: Modern Halo

Call of Reach: Modern Halo

Gameplay is also “acceptable” for the most part. It doesn’t get much more generic than this in an FPS. Even the alien guns play basically like normal guns do in most games here. Occasionally you have to disarm a bomb or plant a bomb, maybe defend an area, but by and large it is a game of walking forward and shooting shit. Which is now my new way of describing a generic FPS or possibly the name of a new indie game.

The one thing that does set Battleship a little bit apart from other FPS games is the very minimalist RTS element incorporated. Throughout each mission there is at least one but often several battleships parked just off the island (visible in the game). Activating a hub (which pauses action in the game) you can maneuver and position the ships on a map grid (obviously inspired by the board game). From here you battle alien ships, but you can also strategically position your ships to key spots on the grid that allows them to provide fire support. As you play through the level you collect power-ups for the ships; allowing you to upgrade firepower, armor, etc. for the level or even enter a mode where you can quickly control a ship’s weapons and fire on an enemy ship to defeat it in a hurry. Not only was the RTS element (maneuvering and positioning ships on the grid) surprisingly entertaining but the ways it connected to the FPS game really worked well.

The game's saving grace; clearly shoved into the game.

The game’s saving grace; clearly shoved into the game.

The notably bad parts though: The game is boring despite being short. Some enemies are incredibly over-powered. Grenades are almost completely useless. About halfway through the game you actually return to the same exact levels again, sometimes only just playing them in reverse. Most every level involves more or less the exact same tasks making the game repetitive as well. Lastly, friendly AI is the only thing worse than the enemy AI.

It almost makes you forget how bad it all is...

It almost makes you forget how bad it all is…

Should you buy Battleship? Only if you don’t have a very cheap means of renting it, and even then only for the sake of trying out the surprisingly fun and clever way of integrating a very basic RTS battle map style game into/part of an FPS game. I would love to see a developer take this concept and really make something they love out of it, rather than just a cash-in type game like this.

Tomorrow I flash back to CBR’s beginnings to review a game I reviewed before but in a completely different format than before for our two-year anniversary.

Final Rating: 5/10

CBR Break Down:
Console Played On
: Xbox 360
Time to completion: ~ 4.5 hours
Gamer Score Earned: 815/1000
Price Bought at: $9.99
Current Price: $27.49 (Amazon)
Recommend Purchase Price: Under $10
Why you should buy it: To try out the interesting FPS/RTS mix the developers actually pulled off well here.
Why you shouldn’t buy it: It’s short, otherwise generic and kind of boring.

Check out all the Backlog Quest II journal entries!

Check out all the Backlog Quest II journal entries!

avatar

About Tristan Rendo

I've made movies, written and performed music, and in January of 2011 got bored and started the awesome gaming site you see before you. My gaming roots began with the original NES, and endless hours spent spilling quarters into machines at the local arcade. I have a personal collection of over 200 Nintendo 64 games, and for many years it was the only system I owned. I re-entered the modern generation of gaming consoles when I decided to purchase a 360. I typically prefer the single player experience of games, so I’m usually playing through some single-player campaign, but can occasionally be found doing some damage in Halo Reach.