Though it will suffer comparisons to the World War II-based vehicle combat of Battlefield 1942, Battlestations: Midway is a game that caught our eye last September during London's games week. This fast-paced action game for the PC, Xbox, and PlayStation 2 should offer plenty of intense, cinematic World War II combat, as you will get the opportunity to be in control of different ships and aircraft and proceed to pummel the enemy.
In the game, you get to play as the Americans as they battle the Japanese in the Pacific. Like in Battlefield 1942, you can take control of different vehicles, including fighters, torpedo bombers, dive bombers, destroyers, battleships, and carriers. However, unlike in Battlefield 1942, there is no infantry combat in the game, so you'll never run around with a rifle in your hands. But there's more to the game than just combat, as Battlestations: Midway features a real-time strategy element where you can control all your forces from a real-time map of the battlefield. That way, you can launch bombers at an incoming enemy task force and then jump into a battleship and bombard the enemy ships while you see the fighters you ordered to attack swoop in for the kill.
The action in the game is very cinematic, and it captures the essence of naval and air combat. You'll see flak bursts explode in the air, huge columns of water shoot up in the air from a miss, and tracers--plenty of tracers--flying back and forth. The ships and planes are rendered in excellent detail, especially for a game meant to run on consoles, and you can see little sailors manning the deck guns.
This will be the first, and hopefully only, E3 appearance for the game, and the features list has been fleshed out considerably since we last saw it. You'll be able to command more than 60 different war machines as you re-create the intense air and sea battles of the Pacific theater of World War II. The Allied campaign will have 11 huge missions, along with 12 bonus challenge missions. Multiplayer is where Battlestations: Midway should shine, and each platform will support up to eight players. The game is scheduled to ship in early 2006.