CES '08: Turning Point: Fall of Liberty Hands-On

This alternate history first-person shooter gets a public display before shipping out next month.

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LAS VEGAS--Turning Point: Fall of Liberty revolves around the premise that Winston Churchill died when he was hit by a taxi in 1931 (in reality, he lived, but had to use a cane the rest of his life). With one of Hitler's most stalwart foes out of the way, the Third Reich conquers all of Europe and then sets its sights on the US. So this is very much an alternative history first-person shooter, one that tasks you with being an ordinary Joe who must help defeat the invading German horde.

With Turning Point due to ship at the end of February for the PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360, we got a chance to play through the first mission of the game. This is a mission that portrays the invasion of New York City by German airborne forces. Your character is a construction worker on a high-rise project downtown when the Nazi bombers arrive on the scene. The opening mission requires you to escape in a highly scripted sequence full of moments like steel trusses being knocked out moments before you're about to cross them, explosions opening up new avenues for you to navigate, and environmental interaction where you activate sprinklers to put out a fire that's blocking your way.

In the middle of the escape sequence, German paratroopers arrive on the scene. One of them lands directly in front of you, but he has his back to you while he struggles with pulling in his parachute. This provides an opportune moment for you to grab him from behind in a grapple hold and dispatch him using a number of different moves. The bonus out of this is that by killing him, you get to pick up his weapon. So, yes, you have a machine gun, too. Have fun killing Nazis with that.

Because the game is set in 1953, it doesn't feature a lot of conventional and familiar World War II weapons and vehicles. Instead, there are a lot of weird, prototype weapons that were on the drawing board when the Third Reich got crushed, such as jet bombers and zeppelin troop transports. So Turning Point manages to avoid the burden of being yet another World War II first-person shooter and instead promises something interesting and different. We'll see how it pans out next month.

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