X06: Battlestations: Midway Hands-On

We go to war with a work-in-progress version of Eidos' upcoming World War II action game.

BARCELONA, Spain--Earlier today, while working the main games floor at Microsoft's X06 event, we had an opportunity to get our hands on the Xbox 360 version of Battlestations: Midway for the first time. Set in World War II, the game focuses entirely on vehicular action with just a sprinkling of real-time strategy. We spent around 20 minutes playing the game today, and in that time we were able to take the controls of battleships, aircraft carriers, and at least three different types of planes.

At the start of your Battlestations tour of duty, you'll assume the role of a lowly gunner at Pearl Harbor, but as you progress through the game, you'll gain promotions and, in doing so, earn the right to command and commandeer an increasing number of vehicles. In the demo level that we played, which tasked us with assaulting enemy structures on an island while protecting our aircraft carrier at all costs, we were able to instantly jump between two battleships, an aircraft carrier, and squadrons of Wildcats, Avengers, and the like. The finished game will also let you take the controls of submarines, but these weren't present in the X06 demo. You'll purportedly be able to command up to 60 units simultaneously by the time you reach the end of the game, though not all of those units will be available for you to jump into at any time; rather, if you have a squadron of four Wildcats in the air, for example, one of them will be available for you.

Although the artificial intelligence in Battlestations: Midway is quiet capable of defending itself, you'll be the one calling the shots as far as offensive actions are concerned. Using a surprisingly uncomplicated map system, you'll be able to select any unit on the battlefield and then direct it to any location or target on the map. Once you've done that, you can choose to just leave the unit to its own devices; take control of it immediately; or, as we were doing, try to take its controls just as things were about to get interesting. Flying a torpedo plane toward a target that's a long way away isn't that much fun, after all, but jumping into the cockpit just moments before dropping its payload is great, especially since the game features an optional bomb/missile/torpedo camera that lets you get up close and personal with targets as they take damage.

We found the controls in Battlestations: Midway to be very intuitive for the most part, although advanced controls--such as assigning men aboard a ship to take care of fires and the like--will be available for those of you who are willing and able to spend time managing that stuff. You'll also get to decide what types of planes take off from your aircraft carrier and when, but like just about everything in the game, it's difficult to think of any way in which the process could be made simpler.

The ease with which we were able to pick up Battlestations: Midway wasn't all that impressed us about the game--its visuals also promise to be something of a treat, with a level of detail that extends to seeing guys going about their business onboard ships. Another nice touch was the "old film" camera filter that we were shown (which you might have to unlock in the finished game), which added lines, a slightly grainy texture, and sepia-tinted coloring to the whole screen.

When it's released early next year, Battlestations: Midway will boast multiplayer support for up to eight players in addition to its single-player campaign. We look forward to bringing you more information on those features and more as soon as it becomes available.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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35 comments
black_chewbacca
black_chewbacca

Whats that guys problem. I hope he realizes its not a war. PC has never even touched the console market and never will. Every new game they release never goes any where because of poor advertisement. Pc gaming is dead, its next gen now.

SabinFalknir
SabinFalknir

You cannot reverse the market reality with one exception of a particular store or chain, which offers more shelf space to PC boxes. We have observed for years a steady decline in physical and virtual boxes being sold, which makes matters worse when the fact that development costs are rapidly going up per year, meaning increased risk for publishers. That has left some particular areas of PC genres rather bare of any good games. In addition, we are now at a point where the few roughly monopolized PC genres, are now on the rise with console platforms. How long till the PC gaming market is near exclusively dominated by only Massive-Multiplayer Online Games? Heck, you can probably find a lot of publishers with a few under their belts, which already make up vast majority of their revenue and sales. It is bad when a roughly-mediocre console title outsells a stellar PC game by leaps and bounds even when they are usually $10 more. Also, bad those PC game charts are still dominated by sells of games released up to five-years ago, excluding the random short-burst purchases of brand-new games popping up on the charts. Heck, some of the burst-sale PC games on the current chart are expansions of “good” games, which have a combined grand-total of several hundred thousand units sold over years (yeah, including all the way back to the original title). You have to be living in denial, if, you believe PC gaming is not declining. He was also right, the prices of games years ago where on average higher, heck, this isn’t even including the rate of inflation that makes it look worse.

philiphansen198
philiphansen198

"1) THIS IS AN X06 EVENT. AS IN A XBOX 360 EVENT. As such, it's rather hard to get a PC version to demo, compared to getting a 360 version seeing as how the whole idea of the event is to get journalists to play upcoming 360 games... 2) It's no secret that PC gaming has been falling out of the limelight as of late. The price drop of the previous standard of $49.99 to $39.99 for a lot of new PC games is an effect of this. You can see this if you go outside to an EBGames or similar. Nowadays, All the walls are console games , and there's an island rack somewhere with a mix of recent and old games. The PC market is shrinking relative to the console market, and thus, an unbiased gaming site must shrink it's PC coverage and increase its console coverage. Anything else, is PC bias. Look, I'm a PC gamer. I love my PC for gaming, but that doesn't mean the market is at it's heyday. Consoles are "winning" this "war", if you wish to see it as such. " i'm sorry thats bull. i work for GAME and pc software takes up over half of the shop its crappy little stores like gamestation who have only a little pc games thats cos there bankrupt so they concentrate on console preowned cos thats where the profit is made. also pc games have always been cheaper than console games its not something new. and you call yourself a pc gamer you slag.

benderdabomb
benderdabomb

it does look interesting. the coloring and design could be alot better i mean it is a 360 game lets take it to the next lvl.

AdMordem
AdMordem

Ive wanted to try flying on the 360 for a while. This one keeps peeking my intrest. Maybe this could be the one...

Anabub
Anabub

Whooa where did this little beauty come from ... I for one am really looking forward this ... has anyone been keeping a good eye on this and have an expected release date?

snakes2solid
snakes2solid

where's the demo?? there's no excuse not to have one on "live"...!!!

lord-azrael
lord-azrael

I been keeping a eye n this since it was announced for Xbox and now it on 360 instead it makes me very happy

Dinghy_Dog
Dinghy_Dog

this game looks like 1999 trash. Next game, please.

vezon
vezon

I think this game would be a different kind of battlefield1942, where the loss is not at the level of a soldier instead of a vehicle. This idea could be a very good improvement over battlefield, because in my exp(talking about battlefield) if we were to many in the game u stucked very often with only a gun, and in if we were less there was waste of vehicles, now everything is buzzing around. If the controls and AI is well made this could surpass battlefield, wich is in the list of the very few games from the past few years who earn my respect.

rokkuman09
rokkuman09

This could be very interesting if it's made right...but of course it also be very crappy...but hopefully it will be very good

feds
feds

The idea behiind Battlestations is good, but i have one question. With the ability to switch between different roles (Planes, Subs, Ships), will this at all limit the amount of freedom and replayibility in the levels? As a whole the game may be superb, but as individual campaigns, wouldn't it be worse? Why not just get three different WWII games and play them instead of Battlestations? Either way, Eidos have achieved a lot and i hope the game is successful.

norbee007
norbee007

I'm a hungarian boy...if we want we can make very good games. This will rox!!! :D

Grive
Grive

Wytefang.... um... how do I say this to you? 1) THIS IS AN X06 EVENT. AS IN A XBOX 360 EVENT. As such, it's rather hard to get a PC version to demo, compared to getting a 360 version seeing as how the whole idea of the event is to get journalists to play upcoming 360 games... 2) It's no secret that PC gaming has been falling out of the limelight as of late. The price drop of the previous standard of $49.99 to $39.99 for a lot of new PC games is an effect of this. You can see this if you go outside to an EBGames or similar. Nowadays, All the walls are console games , and there's an island rack somewhere with a mix of recent and old games. The PC market is shrinking relative to the console market, and thus, an unbiased gaming site must shrink it's PC coverage and increase its console coverage. Anything else, is PC bias. Look, I'm a PC gamer. I love my PC for gaming, but that doesn't mean the market is at it's heyday. Consoles are "winning" this "war", if you wish to see it as such.

vezon
vezon

Ohh, u have to, at least every 2 year. Just the budget decide what level of PC u buy every time. Those who buy a PC and is acceptable after three years, he throwing money out of window. Just make a feedback, todays acceptable pc would have a 150$ graphics card, that card would have a 500-600$ value 3 years back. I'm a PC user, right now I dont even own a X360, but if u want to stay on top with graphics, with console its much more affordable. But even if the consoles too tend to stay alive shorter and shorter period, the price of console is the same with graphics card(witch dont even have the same performance right now).

_Sam_
_Sam_

you don't need to get a new PC that often

D1STURBED0NE
D1STURBED0NE

Why would I want to change pcs every three years if I could use the same console for six or seven yeares and still play the latetest games without having to by a new one?

neonvzla
neonvzla

Common misconception that of the "buy a new pc every year to play the latest". You can last at least 3 years without needing to change computers. And PC's are more practical, anyway.

Kenny007
Kenny007

Wyte, This preview was from X06, hence the "console" bias. The thing everybody likes about Consoles is that you don't have to go buying a new one every 10-12 months to play the latest and greatest. PC developers are typically (a Generalization of course) sloppy in their design and coding, letting processors and memory pick up the slack. Consoles typically deliver good games, and no need to worry about, "am I going to have to download DirectX10, or swap out my motherboard because the latest NVidia/ATI card won't fit in my old one". I own a PC too, and I like to play games on it, but sometimes it's just nicer to throw a brand new game in and play. A lot of people are leaning toward this way of gaming. It's cheaper and easier. As for this game being announced for PC first and as the primary system. It was acutally anounced as a PC/Xbox game. The 360 came along, and they decided to postpone the release date for the PC, so that it would coincide with the move to the X360. And for Pong and Tetris, or even Mrs. Pacman. They did much better in their time than F.E.A.R. or Resident evil have ever. And if you can't appreciate them for that, then that's simply too bad.

wytefang
wytefang

Actually, AncientDozer, it's a good things those of us around here who actually enjoy PC games speak up to counter the creeping bias that's been permeating gaming sites as of late. There's absolutely nothing baseless about what I said; it's a known fact among long-time members of this website that GS has slowly slipped more towards a console bias in their coverage. It's pretty obvious to even the most casual long-term observer. This has nothing to do with taking anything too seriously and everything to do with challenging the journalistic integrity of this site. Everyone here who has their favorite system should expect to see balanced, fair coverage. In this specific instance, I do not see that. It would be nice for people like yourself (who either lack the motivation or determination to take any kind of stand about anything) if we all just passively sat by and watched the slow consolization of gaming occur. Thankfully there are people out here, myself included, who watch for this kind of crap and call it out the moment it rears its ugly head. If this is being 'too serious' then maybe you should go back to playing PONG or Tetris since you don't seem to give a crap about gaming that much anyway...? Just an idea... Nuff said.

Ryir554
Ryir554

this game is FINALLY coming out i have been waiting for it for ages

AncientDozer
AncientDozer

Got to love how people make baseless and biased opinions of their own. Save it for people that care, Wyte. If you don't like it here. . . get the hell out (I hate cliches but it's just so appropriate). It'd probably be best that fanatical fanboys disappear. Me. I don't care where the announcements are so long as they are made. The only things that matter is if the game is interesting, fun, and available. That's it. Some people take this stuff way too seriously.

wytefang
wytefang

Gotta love how Gamespot continues to prove their console bias by searching out the less-than-impressive (and tacked on) X360 version of the game's preview rather than doing a preview of the PC version (where it was first announced and the primary platform of the game). Good job, Gamespot! And you wonder why so many of us dropped our membership in past months?? Weak.

mbott1701
mbott1701

Sounds like BF:MC set in WWII. Game is gonna rock!

Necros_21
Necros_21

These Hungarian guys, who are developing this game, know what they are doing. :) I think it's gonna be a great game!

comthitnuong
comthitnuong

i hope this is good but i have a feeling its gonna be bad

SilV3RSix
SilV3RSix

Please oh please be good. I have high hopes for this game. I wanna RTS where I don't have to worry about how many workers I have gathering resources and crap...

MartyredShadow
MartyredShadow

Could be good, could be bad. A lot of RTSs have tried this idea before and screwed up, but it might work out this time.