Hour of Victory First Look

We get an exclusive first look at Midway's original Xbox 360 shooter.

Hour of Victory is Midway's forthcoming shooter for the Xbox 360. The game is set during World War II and puts you in control of one of three soldiers fighting in the Allied forces. New Jersey-based nFusion, which cut its teeth on PC games such as Deadly Dozen and Line of Sight, is developing the game, using the third iteration of Epic's Unreal engine. We had the chance to check out the first work-in-progress demo of the game, which is being unveiled at Midway's press event today.

Like many shooting games set in the era, Hour of Victory will frame its action in a slice of time from the Second World War. The game opens in Africa in May 1942 and will send you fighting with the Allied forces as they confront Axis forces across the globe. You'll play as one of three soldiers, American OSS Operative Major Ambrose Taggert, an infiltration specialist; British SAS Commando Lieutenant William Ross, an assault specialist; or US Army Ranger Sergeant Calvin Blackbull, a sniper. Each character has unique skills, and each will show off a different aspect of the game's story, which is currently being kept fairly quiet.

Because so many shooters are set in WWII, we were curious to see what HOV is bringing to the crowded party. The demo level, which should be the game's first level, offered a pretty thorough sampling of what's going to get thrown at you (although a few key things are being held back for this first showing). The three-character system looks like it's going to offer some interesting variety to the action. Each of the characters is going to offer unique ways to get through a level. For the demo, Midway and nFusion were showing off Taggert and Ross, both of which played very differently. Ross is a more traditional "run and shoot people in the face" kind of guy, while Taggert offers a more deliberate play style of the "sneak around and stab people in the back" variety. Besides having different ways of killing fools, the characters have unique attributes. While Ross is more traditional in his approach--that is, run and gun your way to victory--Taggert is able to sneak around, picking locks and cutting through barbed wire to slip past pockets of enemies he can then take out from behind with his trusty knife. Though each character starts out with his own specialized gear, you'll be able to pick up any weapon you find and use it if you choose.

One memorable sequence in the demo had us taking down bombers with an antiaircraft gun.

The demo level, called Evacuation, is a tight directed run through all hell breaking loose in Africa. You'll hit the ground running and deal with troops in the street and then graduate to taking a machine gun nest, manning the machine gun, manning antiaircraft guns to stop incoming bombers, and hopping into a Sherman tank to deal with Axis Tiger tanks. The game takes a pretty standard approach to easing you into its world and play mechanics, so you'll basically be getting moved along by your demanding CO who's barking orders at you regularly. When you reach specific rally points, you'll be able to swap characters by using the bumpers.

The hectic pace keeps you on your toes and lets you get a feel for the game's systems. The core mechanics in Hour of Victory stick pretty close to the first-person shooter model. The game offers an intuitive system for getting around and shooting, and the controls map out fine on the 360 controller. You'll be able to perform the standard array of actions, such as shooting, reloading, melee, throwing grenades, switching weapons, crouching, and leaning. Melee is a dedicated button, but it also kicks in automatically if you're firing your weapon and an enemy runs in close to you. The health system mirrors the one seen in Gears of War and lets you regain health if you catch a few moments of rest. The game also features a stamina system, represented by a meter in the lower left side of screen, which is depleted when you run and jump. Like your health, it will replenish after a bit. The amount of noise you make is also an issue you'll have to deal with in the game, and your compass/radar will show the noise you're making as you go about your business. As you can imagine, noise will alert enemies to your whereabouts, so you'll have to be careful. A character like Taggert can reduce his noise level to next to nothing, including when he's firing his weapon, which can be very useful. Besides showing off your noise, the compass shows you where you should go next and also the alert state of your enemies. Your foes will cycle between different-colored states on the radar--green, yellow, orange, and red--and each color reflects your enemies' increasing awareness, with red being the worst for your long-term well-being.

The machine gun and antiaircraft gun sequences were a change of pace. You'll simply run up to them, hit X, and start shooting. You'll have to be a little careful with the machine gun because it overheats if fired for too long. The vehicle sequence was another new experience. The tank controls were fairly intuitive, and they're pretty much in the vein of Warthog controls in Halo. The tank features two weapons, a front mounted machine gun and its turret. We had a few hairy moments during the sequence and had to abandon our wheels after some poorly timed encounters with Tiger tanks. Thankfully you can hop in and out of vehicles whenever you want. While you would think this would have been instant death, we found we had better luck using a panzerschrecht (basically a bazooka).

The game's detailed environments look especially impressive when they start getting blown up.

The visuals in Hour of Victory are coming along well. nFusion's use of Unreal Engine 3.0 is resulting in detailed visuals with the beginnings of some next-gen flash that will run at 720p. The character models in the demo are looking fine and sport detailed outfits that are authentic to the era. The same holds true of the weapons and vehicles. Animation is headed in a positive direction, despite some of the expected early-game weirdness. The same can also be said of the environment, which is coming together nicely and sports a consistent distressed look and a fair number of interactive elements. Besides taking out enemies, your weapon tears up objects in a nice, flashy way. The action also gets some enhancement, thanks to various filters and effects that highlight when your health is getting perilously low or the blast of nearby explosions. The only rough spots we've seen are what you'd expect out of an early game--the frame rate fluctuates a bit depending on the onscreen action, the visuals look a little unpolished in places, and the odd glitch pops up here and there. We reckon a good chunk of that will be sorted as everything is tightened up over the course of the game's development.

The audio we heard seemed to be covering all the bases well. There was plenty of voice, ranging from the orders being barked at you by your commanding officer to the now-standard ambient sounds of war as you play through the level. Sound effects for weapon fire and explosions were satisfying. The soundtrack was suitably grand and featured a dramatic collection of orchestrated tunes to sell the madness.

Based on what we've seen so far, Hour of Victory is looking like a promising WWII first-person shooter. It has a pretty solid foundation, and the character system should add some variety to the experience and keep things interesting. The big question marks left are the online and multiplayer aspects of the game, which are still under wraps. As it stands, there's a good amount of potential here for nFusion to deliver on. Hour of Victory is currently slated to ship this summer exclusively for the Xbox 360. Look for more on the game in the coming months.

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150 comments
ahmedbilal1993
ahmedbilal1993

'Based on what we've seen so far, Hour of Victory is looking like a promising WWII first-person shooter. It has a pretty solid foundation, and the character system should add some variety to the experience and keep things interesting'. Way to go guys. I just cant believe how awesome this preview is. And 2 out of 10......

gamefreakwill
gamefreakwill

How could a game that looked so amazingly awsome on its First Look turn out so awful and horrible? Seriously when I first read this I thought, wow, this looks pretty good, but when i played the demo, it sucked ***! And now look at the game! 2/10?! PHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAH!!!!

lilromeo0606
lilromeo0606

this game is garbage. i played it for like 5 and already didn't like it because the controls are horrible and don't work. The call of duty controls are the best for FPS because they feel natural. The halo controls are also good, even though halo is overrated the control scheme is one of the greatest. I think this game is worh the download if you feel bad like your dog died or something. I put money that this game will cheer you up, in a good bad kinda of way.

Glitchx24
Glitchx24

DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, PAY ANY AMOUNT OF MONEY TO PLAY THIS GAME! Completely ignoring the fact that there are already way too many WWII games, I still have to say that this is the worst first person shooter i have ever seen. S1L3N7_SWAT had it right about this game. I don't even know where to start. If you are in the mood for a good laugh download the demo of of the XBL marketplace. Try slicing an enemy in the toe with you knife to watch them fly 10 feet into the air. You fully experience this game without ever firing a single shot. I think nFusion made a desperate attempt to rip off the Call of Duty series and failed miserably. P.S. I think the anti-air turrets ran out of ammo and started firing giant marshmallows.

S1L3N7_SWAT
S1L3N7_SWAT

STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM THIS GAME!! Seriously, download the demo off XBL Marketplace, I dare you. This game is the worst FPS ever made! Ridiculous auto aim, dumb as rocks enemies, terrible graphics, even worse character animations. This game is an abomination and it should have NEVER been made. Microsoft needs to pay more attention to the **** that people are making and trying to pass off as an Xbox 360 game.

rico212
rico212

Dude this is like a coppy of Cod2. Just look at the lvls. Anyway this game got potential. The reason why people continue to make WWII games is because people really like them. Some of them....but also because they want to make WWII as real as possible to people with todays tech. U guys shouldn't be surprised if in 40-60 years from now there is some virtual reality game that takes u into WWII. Other words Real life visions of WWII battles and u being in it. Anyway i will wait for some more details on this game then make my decsision.

Icicle2004
Icicle2004

Gah, anyone notice WW2 games all have a noun...of...adjective? Call of Duty Medal of Honor Hour of Victory Company of Heroes Think of some more original names please...WW2 is fun, and it is really cool to see different takes on it, I like the theme of this game with the 3 different ways to conquer a level/map. Though I prefer 3rd person for sneakyness (Splinter Cell, Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon all were great at the recon/stealth). I think I'll be playing Mr. Sniper-whats-his-name mostly. But again, Noun of Adjective is getting old.

kamicolo
kamicolo

Interesting game, why couldn't all PCs be just one complex PC?

DesmondPills
DesmondPills

i want to destroy an entire building and just have crumbled. then its fully destructable.

pyromofo
pyromofo

there is waaay to many army games. its getting very annoying this game looks like all the other army games.

serenityveteran
serenityveteran

I remain 'meh' about this game. The last great WW2 game was CoD2- I'm starting to get sick of them now.

yohanjr
yohanjr

looks cool what about ps3 and is this call of duty?

hyco24
hyco24

Ya I agree waynekautz. The only game that does hild up to the "Fukky Destructible environments" is Copany of heros for the PC. I know what you mean about the holes i the wall stuff although it is cool to be able to demolish a building that you don't like the way it looks would be awsome. This is an UE3 engine title though so if they use that engine right then maybe I can do some demolishing and level a city block at will. Fingers are crossed.

waynekautz
waynekautz

Is anyone else getting really tired of these games that brag about fully destructible environments and in the actual game the most you can do is blow out sections of specified walls? That just annoys me. If a game says it's fully destructible I want to be able to blow a hole in a wall with a tank and drive right through it. Not scratch the paint.

Sydwynder
Sydwynder

Undecided. Considering the Big 3 all have recent games out already (COD3) or out this year ( Medal of Honor Airborne, Brothers in Arms Hells Highway), I can see this getting lost in the shuffle quite easily. Especially since the Big 3 games are so good, well maybe except MoH.

sadikovic
sadikovic

I eat cookies in the morning and i usualy have some milk with them!

august_king
august_king

Another WW2 FPS? I'm speechless........

Maximum111
Maximum111

seems pretty cool. It dosent seem like a call of duty rip off.

geist9049
geist9049

multiple tiger tanks in afrika corp...rommel must be pleased indeed. guess this isnt going to be historicaly accurate

Sanguis_Malus
Sanguis_Malus

Another period shooter, there is certainly a market for it but its not very inspired ! I will reserve judgement on this for the time being but unless it has something to offer other than visuals then it will not be getting my money !

-L-U-I-S-
-L-U-I-S-

Looks interesting so far, lets see how Midway pulls it

-L-U-I-S-
-L-U-I-S-

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

NuBziLLa_90
NuBziLLa_90

Feel free to continue bashing this game, but it looks more promising to deliver then CoD 3 ever did/will. Yeah its made by midway and yeah this will be the 789th WWII game, but i'm liking what i'm seeing. This has the potential to take CoD 2's spot as best WWII game, despite the $hit title and trailer

DeltaTeam
DeltaTeam

this genre is running thin, but, i hope for the best for this game because it would be nice to see something beat CoD for once, maybe this will, maybe not, we'll just have to see

kalunda
kalunda

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Vihlo
Vihlo

Yippee! Another WWII shooter, we've definately come a long way over the past few years... Think of something new damn it!

Ced_Quijote
Ced_Quijote

well... yeah, looks a bit lame, to be honest. what I would like to see (in a future when technology is no longer a problem) is a really gritty MMO fps/rts/rpg in a WW2 setting, in which huge historical battles are played out, and depending on the result, history changes. how neat wouldn't that be? I'm not really a big fan of ww2 games, but already tired of them nonetheless. the whole presentation-thing just don't stay afloat any more. the last castle wolfenstein was a fresh breeze. more of that. maybe something like a game with episodic content, a la "band of brothers"?

Seahawk_nl
Seahawk_nl

Like a lot of people i am also guessing that this is gonna to be a COD 2 +3 kinda thing!! But from what i am reading it could be an interesting title, so i'm gonna follow this one for a while

coolio26
coolio26

Isn't it weird that it sorta sounds like Call of Duty 2? Where are the new ideas for games? How many times can you shoot down planes with an antiaircraft gun before you get sick of it? It looks fun, but they need to show some varied gameplay before I'll buy it.

XFull_MetalX
XFull_MetalX

How many times can developers do the same war? We all know how it ended.

Arthur_Gumby
Arthur_Gumby

Let's just go ahead and consolidate: "Hour of the Call of Brothers of Honor."

dan_192
dan_192

WOW, a lesson on how not to use the Unreal 3 Engine. Take Gears and Unreal Tournament 3 for examples on how to use it properly. Midway clearly know what they are doing??? The game just looks plain awful.

fkholmes
fkholmes

Cool, looking forward to this.

CrimsonRaven79
CrimsonRaven79

I love the awesome voice work for the trailer! Throw in some echo effects and you've got yourself a monster truck announcer. I thought he was going to say... Three soldiers Three destinies One purpose... To kill anything that moves! Watch for yourself and you'll get it.

xmg0
xmg0

Yay COD2.5!

bltizkrieg
bltizkrieg

Alright!, another ww2 shooter..I can't wait for this one

oscarVD
oscarVD

another shooter!! can xbox360 have others then shooters!!! another wwII !!! is this another callof duty WTF!!! and ist a xbox36 exclusive WTF!!!!!!

stoutlad
stoutlad

Anyone think 20 yrs from now there will be an unending onslaught of war in Iraq games? At least we'd finally have a change in setting. Not to diminish the seriousness of that war, God bless the troops. Support them! P.S.: Midway? Ha.. HAHA..... HHAHAHAHAHAAHA!!!

EyeNixon
EyeNixon

Noooo.... too many WWII shooters!!

jacnewforce07
jacnewforce07

ANOTHER WWII..DONT GET ME WRONG I LOVE WWII SHOOTERS BUT....MIDWAY???

Mohamed_h
Mohamed_h

eww ..a very bad trailer and a repitive story .. just like Commandos 4 .

bupp
bupp

The only reason I'm getting tired of the WWII shooter genre is because THEY'RE ALL THE SAME! Brothers in Arms and Company of Heroes are the only ones that have really stood out from the rest because they were different. The WWII genre seems to be taking a turn for the worst - it looks like (especially with this game) that developers are moving away from historical accuracy just to make a crazy action game that happens to be in the war.

grimzeus
grimzeus

Who cares if it's another WW2 game... nobody complains about another "on rails" covert operations game set in modern times.

ord1000
ord1000

I love WWII shooters, but even I am getting a little tired of the genre. What with the recently released COD 3 and Medal Of Honour : Heroes and the forth coming Brothers In Arms 3, Medal Of Honour : Airbourne, Medal Of Honour : Vanguard, Hour Of Victory will have to be special to stand out from the ever growing crowd. Oh and i'm really getting sick of the cheesy titles of these games. Medal Of Honour Call Of Duty Company Of Heroes Brothers In Arms Hour Of Victory They all sound just so damn similar. Anyway Day Of Defeat FTW!!

RollingZeppelin
RollingZeppelin

Wow another WWII shooter. Do deveolpers have any sense of ingenuity these days? How hard would it be to make a future shooter like Halo, or an alternate reality? I mean really, ENOUGH WITH THE WWII FPS!!! Also, from that video, the AI looks dumber than a clump of dirt.