• Review: Battleship

    Single Issue VII (Written by Gen. Chris)

    Battleship (2012)

    Battleship Yes, this a serious review.

    Battleship takes place among the Hawaiian Islands in the midst of an alien invasion, similar to the 2012 movie. Yes, this game is based on the movie, which is based on the original boardgame Battleship. Playing as an EOD specialist named Cole Mathis, the player is charged with defending the islands and wreaking havoc on the invading forces, all the while coordinating the various support ships to attack and defend against the navy of the aliens. In effect, the game is a combination of a shooter as well as a strategy game, and it ultimately falls short in presenting anything other than a dull experience.

    There really is only one really positive attribute of this game. The ship combat and strategy is perhaps the most fun out of the whole game, though it can get a bit repetitive. The player every once in a while must use his battle command device to give orders to the various naval vessels off the coast. Depending on their location on the map, they can either attack or defend against the alien vessels, or also help the player by being in support positions where they can use their various munitions (depending on the ship type) to fire against enemy positions or targets on the islands. The player must also kill enemies to acquire what can essentially be described as ship tokens that can be utilized to upgrade the ships with greater weapons or armor and other upgrades, or repair the damaged vessels. Arguably the best token, however, is the command token, which allows Cole to personally command a vessel and fire on the ships, which leads to a much higher damaging attacks, for up to twenty seconds, or until the enemy ship is destroyed. This really is basically the most fun that can be had in the game, and it is kind of a pity that it can only be done against one ship at a time, and again for only up to twenty seconds. Though relatively minor, it is rather cool that you can in fact watch these ships fight off the coast and move around according to your orders, but it can get a bit dull after a while as it does not really change much.

    There are numerous flaws in the rest of the game, however, and none of them can really be overlooked. For example, the graphics are simply awful for a game made in 2012, even on console, and the landscape and maps are simply boring. I would have considered it impossible to make a game based on Hawaii to make those islands look ugly, yet Battleship managed to achieve this. The game looks more appropriate to the graphical level of several years prior to 2012, if that, and while I typically try to overlook graphical shortfalls this one is simply too much to really ignore. It is simply an ugly game. Adding to this is the fact that all the maps look relatively the same, and I am even fairly certain two levels used the same map, just slightly tweaked. The combat is dreadfully inadequate as well, and incredibly repetitive. There are only perhaps a half dozen weapons for the player to utilize, and really only a couple of them are very helpful. The enemy consists of only three archetypes comprising of soldiers, thugs, and commanders, and while they are pretty straightforward there is little in the way of variety when it comes to taking them down. Their AI is one of the only bright spots, though sometimes it borders on the realm of omnipotent as sometimes they seem to know where I am even before I arrive in their line of sight. The missions are incredibly repetitive as well, and there is absolutely zero story or side characters; the game solely consists of “do this, do that” objectives with only Mathis and the operator on the nearby USS Reagan as consistent characters, yet they are incredibly one dimensional. Mathis does not even speak the whole game, remaining silent and otherwise unimportant for the player. The ending, a supposed epic final battle, was actually quite easy even on a harder difficulty, and there is really no sense of conclusion or achievement. There is simply nothing to care about other than the objectives, and even for a first person shooter that is awful.

    Battleship is simply nothing but a rather blandly presented game, and the overall mechanics and other elements simply do not come together to offer anything really for the player. This is really the first game I have reviewed where the positive aspects, or rather the only one, cannot save this game. It is clear this game was nothing more than a cash grab like most movie tie in games, and it is rather unfortunate as this actually could have been a decent game if it had some effort put into it. The best part of a game should not come down to sporadic twenty second intervals of what should really be considered a side activity in a first person shooter, but that is what this game is. It does not even have the benefit of being so bad its good, or even fairly fun given all its faults. It is just simply an awful gave whose sole redeeming feature does not even begin to redeem it enough. Ultimately, Battleship sinks because of its flaws, and I would not recommend this game outside of maybe a bargain bin purchase.