Battlestations: Pacific Preview - The Invasion of Port Morseby
The strategic point known as Port Moresby was not invaded in World War II. Battlestations: Pacific will pose the question: What if it had been?
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2007's Battlestations: Midway was a unique hybrid game that combined elements of strategy with vehicle-based action. The game let you play through major battles of World War II's Pacific theater either as a strategic commander or as a pilot or sea captain of an individual fighter plane, battleship, or submarine and take part in some of World War II's most epic sea battles. The follow-up, Battlestations: Pacific, will offer the same sort of hybrid action-strategy gameplay with even more explosive, in-depth missions, documenting more of the conflicts in the air-sea slugfest between Allied and Japanese forces, who struggled for control of the various islands of the Pacific Rim. Like its predecessor, the game will reenact several famous historical battles and even explore theoretical conflicts that never happened.
For instance, one of the new game's missions will be focused around Port Moresby, the present-day capital city of Papua New Guinea, and, at the time of the war, the location of a strategically located Allied communications base. Since this base was potentially the last line of defense for Australia against a Japanese onslaught, it was planned as an invasion target by the Imperial Japanese Navy. As it turns out, the losses that the Japanese forces sustained as a result of their Pyrrhic victory at the Battle of the Coral Sea prevented the nation from pursuing Port Moresby as an active target. Instead, the action shifted away from New Guinea toward Midway Atoll, between Tokyo and Honolulu, as Japanese forces turned their attention to Alaska. (And of course, after the war, the two territories of Papua and German New Guinea were united as the single nation of Papua New Guinea.)
Battlestations: Pacific will offer a fictional invasion of Port Moresby as one of its missions--a mission that will involve some pretty heavy-duty land and sea combat. The level will put you on the side of the Imperial Japanese Navy, in command of the following: the heavy cruiser Kako, a Mitsubishi F1M observation seaplane (known by Allied forces simply as "Pete"), a squadron of Zero fighter planes, a pair of destroyers, and a fleet of transport ships carrying Japanese infantry to take the island itself.
As it turns out, one of Battlestations: Pacific's new gameplay features is "island capture." This new feature will let you attack occupied islands, conquer them, and claim them as your own, and for this purpose, you'll be able to deploy marines by way of assault boats.
The primary objectives of this particular mission will be to first capture and hold the radar center, since cutting communication ties between Australia and Allied forces was the actual primary objective of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Once you've taken the radar center, you'll then be required to capture and hold the Port Moresby airfield, provide support for an additional task force with your own fighters and ships, and eventually destroy the port itself. As it turns out, the game will also toss additional sub-missions into this particular mission at random--these additional objectives will add new challenges and will also help you pursue a higher battle score.
Battlestations: Pacific will look to build on the foundations of air and naval combat laid down by Battlestations: Midway. The game is scheduled for release in April.