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Turning Point - Fall of Liberty - Xbox 360
Set in America in 1953 this is a take on what would have happened if England had not won World War Two and overthrown the Germans.
As you may or may not know, Winston Churchill was involved in an accident where he was struck a glancing blow by a taxi. This is the reason that he spent most of his days walking with a cane.
In the alternate history depicted in the game, Churchill is struck by the taxi a split second later and as a result loses his life. Germany goes on to conquer Poland, France, Spain, the rest of Europe and mainland Africa. This leaves the Germans with one target....The United States of America.
You play Don Carson, a mild mannered construction worker who finds himself at the front of the effort by the resistance in a fierce battle to save his countrymen and the people of the world.
The game is divided into various chapters, which get progressively harder as you make your way through the story. The opening level contains button hints and acts as a play tutorial as is the norm with most games nowadays. The graphics aren't outstanding and it won't win any awards and when I first played it I didn't think it would be a game to hold my attention for long. I purchased it second hand and it only cost me seven pounds, so no big deal if it wasn't up to scratch. So off I went just going through the motions.
Then something happened; I started getting involved in the story and started to realize that although the graphics aren't as plush as a 'call of Duty' offering, the atmosphere and game play help you to overlook this and it all starts to becoming rather interesting and charming; also quite addictive. The sound of the air-raid sirens, bombs going off and gun shots in the distance really make for a realistic backdrop.
You can play the game at various levels from Easy to Normal, hard and Insane. I started on 'normal' as I usually tend to do on games and I actually found some of the levels quite challenging and had to play them over a few times in some cases. I actually prefer this though instead of breezing through a game on the easy level and not really facing any challenges.
WEAPONS AND COMBAT
The weapons available are really quite unique to this game in the fact that they are fictional weapons made up from actual blueprints that were discovered after the real war.
As usual on the Xbox 360, the right trigger is used to fire the weapons. Left trigger, when pressed, brings the gun up to eye level so you can use the gun sight for more accurate shooting.
You can only carry two weapons at any given time, so you have to use your discretion when swapping guns. You do this by holding down the 'X' button when standing over a rifle on the floor. This will swap the weapon you are armed with so make sure you are holding the weapon you wish to swap. For example; you may need a rocket launcher to take out a couple of troublesome blimps that have you trapped on a bridge, only to realize that you dropped the rocket launcher earlier. When you replay the level, make sure you hang onto the rocket launcher.
You can also carry hand-grenades as well as your two weapons. To throw a grenade you have to press the right bumper button and you can determine the height and angle of the throw with the 'Right' analogue stick.
Some weapons have night vision equipped and the MP50 rifle is fitted with a flashlight, which comes in handy in dark areas of the game. Clicking the 'Right' analogue stick down activates night vision and flash lights.
Sometimes you will find yourself out of ammunition or simply to close to an enemy to draw your weapon in time. When standing adjacent to an enemy you can press the 'B' button, which activates the grapple action scene. Once the scene unfolds you will be locked in a grapple with a German soldier. Use the 'D-Pad' to initiate and perform different kills. For instance; pressing upwards on the 'D-Pad' will cause you to punch the enemy in the face and disarm him. You then finish him off by whacking him over the head with the rifle or weapon that you took from him. Pressing down on the 'D-Pad' will cause you to grab the soldier by the throat and spin him around, thus using him as a human shield.
Once you have rendered the enemy immobile you can pick up any ammunition he has or swap one of your weapons for his.
MOVEMENT AND AI
The movement is in first person and quite fluid and easy to get the hang of. You can invert the x-y axis to your own preference.
There are certain parts of the game where you will encounter flashing yellow objects such as walls and drainpipes. You can climb or use these objects by pressing 'B'. The mode then shifts to third person so you can better control the climb or slide down a zip wire. Once you have accomplished your task the game reverts to first person view again.
The AI of the enemy is pretty good considering this was not a high brow game as such. The Germans will attack you incessantly and take cover from your return fire. They intelligently disperse from the area when you throw a grenade and regroup to start a new attack. It's best to throw a grenade as late as you can after holding the 'right' trigger. This gives the enemy less chance to avoid the explosion. Don't hold it for too long mind.
The menus are straight forward and easy to follow.
The game screen has five major indicators in the bottom left corner. You have your current weapon being used, your secondary weapon and number of bullets remaining. When the enemy fires at you, you are warned in the shape of a red indicator and an arrow in the centre of the screen, pointing in the direction of the fire. You are also prompted when an action is necessary; such as 'A' to open a door or 'X' to pick up or swap a weapon.
On completion of a chapter within a mission you are provided with a statistics screen that tells you how many enemies you shot and how accurate your shooting was.
Saving your game is automatic and allows you to start again from your last saved checkpoint if you are killed. Some of the checkpoints are quite challenging to reach, so you will find yourself right back where you started on occasion, which can be a little frustrating if it took you a while to get through a chapter, especially on the harder levels.
The online multi-player function allows you to log onto X-Box live and play with two to eight players in any number of death matches and survival modes. You can choose 'Quick Match' to be randomly selected to play with other online players or you can create your own custom match, which enables you to choose your own settings, such as weapons used and areas to battle it out in. You can also create private games to invite your friends to.
I would like to go more into the online play on this game but sadly the feature as been disabled due to lack of players as the game is now quite old. It was a lot of fun and in my opinion better than some of the bigger sellers such as 'Call of Duty' and the like. There was no lag and two to eight people was just the right number of players. In some games you can have anywhere from ten to sixty players and it all becomes a little pointless. Having fewer players allowed you more freedom to plan your attacks.
Overall I was pleasantly surprised by this little gem of a game and had a few good hours of fun on it. I was a little perturbed by the fact that my second hand game had a scratch on it which caused a glitch on one of the later levels so I still have yet to see the ending. I will definitely be buying it again as I would like to see the outcome of the story, which as I said is pretty involving without being too drawn out. There are also extras unlocked on the games completion.
All in all I can't fault this game, which you can pick up for ten pounds or less brand new now. Definitely worth a dabble.
This game is set in an alternative universe with a different time line to our own. The basic premise is that America has been invade by Nazi Germany and I the protagonist are a member of the resistance against the Nazi Occupation.
It is a first person shoot 'em up much the same as any other. However it is quite entertaining and silly good fun if you like to shoot things up.
Now let's talk weapons. There is a large variety to choose from, both historically accurate for the era such as a Thompson submachine gun and Winchester 45 on the American side, but when you kill a German I can take his weapon and. These are a variety of weapons that the German's were either planning to build in real life but never got to due to the ending of the war, fantasy pieces that never existed on paper or real life. It is are these weapons that bring the most interest to the game.
Game play is quite smooth once mastered, the controllers are similar to other shoot them up games. Three are only 3 minor gripes:
-When climbing a ladder or hanging on a edge to cross to another place the camera angle changes which can be infuriating
-there is no save function. You play is automatically saved at checkpoints. This can be really annoying if you get a hard part and keep getting killed and get sent back to the beginning of that section.
- there are scattered through out the game items which you have to climb to continue to the next playing area but they do not stand out much. But they are confusing because you don't see them until you are up near them.
Overall is a nice little game and is a cheap away to while away the hours. I think is worth it because it only cost me £4.95 second hand, absolute bargain fun, soldier!
Turning Point: Fall of Liberty is set in World War II, however it takes a new perspective of things and allows the player to imagine what would have happened had the Germans invaded the United States of America. This is an intriguing plot line, one which is different from ones that have been so commonly followed in other World War II games, however the player never really sees the full potential of what this game could have been. The player plays a construction worker caught in an air raid whilst constructing the Empire State Building.
The gameplay feels somewhat sluggish throughout and whilst at the time there were some cool innovations such as being able to grab AI opponents and use them as cover these features have now been overshadowned by those which are featured in game such as Gears of War 2. The controls are fairly clumsy and there is no assistance from the computer when it comes to aiming either. The multiplayer is also nothing when compared to other first person shooter i.e Halo and Call of Duty.
The graphics also feel very dated, the designs of the weapons and enemies are ugly and very block-like, especially in comparison to games that were released on the Xbox 360 around the same time. This is a big disappointment as this game has the potential to be set in a war torn New York City which could have potentially been an eerie and beautiful piece of design, but instead lacks character and depth throughout most of the game.
The sounds are pretty run of the mill, there is some nice musical scores throughout the coarse of the game which suit the moods and the tempo of the gameplay quite well. The sound effects for the weapons and enemies are standard throughout the coarse of the game. The sound is the part of the game, suprisingly, which stood out overall for me.
The game, apart from the setting and story outline, lacks innovation and originality. In essence this is still a cliched World War II game in which the player must struggle against the unconditionally evil Nazi war machine, complete with the usual weapons and standard allies which you would expect.
Overall this game is very poor quality, despite having a few moments which are good the game overall is too bad to put the effort in, even for the gamerpoints. This game is available very cheaply due to it's poor reception, however it still isnt worth a purchase to be brutally honest.
Overall the game has moments where it is
Turning Point: Fall of Liberty-Fall of Decency...
Have you ever wanted to change the past? I'm sure you have, whether it's to watch that show you missed on TV or pick up those flowers you forgot to pick up so your lover doesn't kill you. It would be awesome if you could change time, though the results would be quite disastrous as we all know what happens when we change the past-just watch the Butterfly Effect. Thankfully, the media industry does it for us as films, books and games change the past and show the consequences of the future if the past was changed. Enter Turning Point: Fall of Liberty, a first-person shooter set after WWII but rather than having us Brits stopping the Nazi regime, there's a huge difference in events-all because of one of one change in the course of history. Does it make for unique fun?
Turning Point: Fall of Liberty takes place in the 1950s. In the real-life WWII, Winston Churchill survived a Taxi Crash, merely walking on a cane for the rest of his life, as he stood for Prime Minister and with his personality, kept the morale up for the British and helped win the war. However, in Turning Point WWII, the taxi crash kills Churchill, and without his morale power, the British are overrun by the Nazis and taken over as are many other countries like Canada and France. Now America is being attacked by the enemy Nazis, and it's up to blue collar worker Dan Carson to help the resistance fight off the Nazis. The plot is what got me excited about TP-having an alternate history WWII shooter is actually pretty cool. It answers an old age question-what would have happened if Churchill died? Unfortunately, that's about all it does. There are some fundamental problems with the story told here. There's little character development, meaning you don't really care about anyone in the game, and there aren't enough story segments. It's a missed opportunity.
Turning Point is about as standard a shooter as you get. There is no cover system, and the levels are linear to a fault. The game isn't claustrophobic, as there is some room in areas to hide from enemies behind objects using the crouch system, but to be honest that's about as deep as Turning Point goes. The game progresses like a shooter from the 1990s-you kill enemies, move onto the next area, kill more enemies, move onto the area after and repeat this until the next chapter of the game. The controls could have done with a bit of tightening up, as aiming is really stiff on the medium setting and some of the moves, like the action button, are sometimes unresponsive. The moving is fine, and the fast aiming setting is serviceable, but it could have been better. The shooting is very generic, as there isn't much original to Turning Point. You'll get a similar experience from a game from the last decade, and when a game from 1998 (Half-Life) is more fun, something is clearly wrong.
But there are a lot more issues than simply being generic. Turning Point can be rather frustrating at times, due to the fact that developer Spark Unlimited does a number of annoying things. First of all, there aren't nearly enough checkpoints. Sometimes, you have to keep playing for half an hour until the next checkpoint, which wouldn't be too bad if the game didn't frustrate so much. Spark didn't know when to stop, as they keep piling the enemies into the level to take you out. Sometimes, you randomly die from a grenade you didn't see or an exploding barrel you missed. This means you could play for twenty minutes, die randomly, and have to play that all over again. This is frustrating, to say the least, and it gets worse on the harder difficulties. It not only gets annoying, but also bores you as you play the same section of gameplay again and again and again.
The weapons also leave something to be desired. You get your typical WWII weapons like the Mi Garand, Thompson and other WWII weapons, but you'll also get prototype weapons that were on the Nazi's drawing boards but didn't make it. Flying Zeppelins which can't be damaged with normal fire power and sniper rifles with red vision scopes are among the weird prototype weaponry. The problem is that the weapons don't feel powerful. Thanks to the awful collision detection, it's hard to tell whether you hit the head, the chest or the leg and the poor death animations don't help at all. This means that aiming for the head with a sniper rifle isn't really worth it. The only decent weaponry is, actually, your hands. The melee kills are probably the bright spot of TP, as you smack enemies' heads in with their own weapons, shove a dude into an oven and even drown a Nazi into a toilet as you walk into them using it. It's the funny moments like these that are nice, but not enough.
There are a couple of moments in the game which capture the potential and are quite epic in their own right. For example, the game gives a great opening impression as you rush down a building as the Nazi destroy New York. You can throw an enemy over the edge, take their gun and use it to shoot down some of the Nazis parachuting down to NY. Another bright fight is when you must defend a barricade from Nazis with tanks and Zeppelins attack with a beautiful view of a destroyed Chrysler Building in front of you. Unfortunately these sequences are an exception, as most of the time you are fighting in bland corridors and boring underground tunnels. It's hard to tell you're in famous locations like New York or London. The levels are bland, with boring colours and a lack of detail in most of the environments.
Unfortunately, the A.I. is pathetic in every way. This applies to both enemy and friendly computer controlled characters. Don't expect any help from your team mates, as they can't hit a target right in front of them and they actually sometimes shoot you. This can be frustrating in a fire fight as if you are about to die, having a team mate shoot you won't help. The enemy A.I. is terrible though. They rarely take cover, and if they do sometimes they show their head anyways which is idiotic and sometimes they just stand out in the open firing at you and, usually, missing most of their shots. They can't hit you even if you are in their face, and constantly put themselves in a position for a melee kill. The A.I. also is very annoying as they constantly move around the level meaning you can't get a shot on them until they suddenly stand still. It's all very predictable and, yet again, boring.
Turning Point looks like a mediocre PS2 game. The textures look blurry, even when they pop into view. Environments look bland and have little interaction, characters are made up of as few polygons as possible, gun models are weak and jagged, the frame rate is wildly inconsistent, and unless you install TP to your hard drive, the game's loading times are horrible. Animation is terrible, as stiff movement and awfully funny running animation hurt the game considerably. Everything just looks really rough and old-generation, despite the fact it's running on the usually impressive Unreal engine. You know, the engine for Gears of War, Army of Two, Turok, Mirror's Edge, Mass Effect and more impressive looking games. TP can't hold a candle to none of these games in terms of visuals.
The game is also extremely unpolished. There are some serious issues which sometimes are game breaking. The minor glitches are characters clipping through walls or guns floating in mid-air. Then there are more serious issues, like friendly team mates standing in doorways and not moving and crashes meaning you must restart from the nearest check point, and considering how much time gap there is between checkpoints, the game is incredibly frustrating. There are some nicer glitches however, like being able to play the last level on Insane and getting the achievement for completing the game on Insane, which save some time and patience. But all the annoying glitches and bugs add up to make for one incredibly buggy game that needed much more development time.
The only decent thing about Turning Point is the sound. Weapons are weak, yet everything else is fine. The grenades pack a good punch, the melee kills sound satisfying and other such sound effects are good, even if they're not jumping out at you. The best thing about TP's sound is by far the musical score, created by Michael Giacchino. He's composed such music for media like Ratatouille, Medal of Honour: Underground and The Incredibles. He's a high calibre music creator, and his work has been done here too. The musical score for TP is brilliant, with a perfect feel for a 1940s and it adjusts perfectly to big epic battles to smaller, stealth missions. The only thing is that the sound isn't balanced very well, so you might not hear it very well. Still, it's a brilliant soundtrack, and the standout feature in TP's ocean of mediocrity.
As mediocre as the campaign is, the multiplayer fares much worse. It's clear that it was shoved in at the last minute, with only two modes and a handful of maps. The two modes are...deathmatch and team deathmatch. There's nothing standout about the multiplayer at all, as the modes are very standard, and the maps are basic. That said, there could have been some old school Quake style fun with the multiplayer...if anyone was playing. However, the online community is dead as I only found one person online, and they left anyways. I had to play with one of my mates to find any people to play with and to be honest, only two people in games is boring as you are limited to standard free-for-all and it's just boring. Online is basically useless unless you have people to play with.
The campaign is very brief, clocking in around 6 hours which is rather quick and the multiplayer is worthless unless you have friends who own the game. However the 39 achievements in TP are actually pretty good. There are the obvious achievements for completing the campaign, but then there are different, fun achievements like sprinting for 30 minutes in the campaign, getting 10 headshots in a row and lots of level specific challenges which adds replay value. Unfortunately there are a few multiplayer achievements meaning you could be out of reach from the full 1000. The achievements are also quite funny, with names like 'Exploding Monkey' and one of the achievement pictures (Stayin' Alive) is rather funny. Of course, they don't make up for the game, but you could still get a good 500 gamerscore on your first playthrough.
Is Turning Point: Fall of Liberty good, bad or ugly?
Maybe if Turning Point had been released in 2001 on the PS2 then it could have been good, but in 2008 with so many better shooters, TP reeks of mediocrity. From the generic gameplay to the laundry list of glitches to the forgettable and disappointing story to the bad collision detection and horrible A.I., Turning Point is a disaster. The campaign is brief, the multiplayer is useless and its big gimmick is rarely taken advantage of meaning the potential is untapped. If you're looking for a quick, and now cheap, shooter then Turning Point may be for you, but if you have played high quality shooters like Call of Duty 4 and Brothers in Arms, then this isn't for you. And if you have played these games, then really you should just avoid this garbage.
Turning Point was released on March 14th 2008 for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. It is rated 16+ for violence and can be found for around £10-20 if not cheaper
Let's face it, there's no shortage of World War II based first person shooter games available on consoles. Even just taking into account the mighty behemoth franchises that are Call of Duty and Medal of Honour and ignoring the rest, there doesn't seem to be very much room at all for any more games in this genre.
This is a thought that (thankfully) seems to have crossed the minds of the developers, Spark Unlimited, and as such although Turning Point may at first look like your bog standard WWII shooter, on further inspection it has a rather intriguing twist.
The only video game I can think of that takes place within an alternative history scenario to any major extent, Turning Point is a first-person shoot em up, based in a world where Winston Churchill died in a car accident before the Second World War. As a result of this, Europe was taken over by those nasty Nazis and they're now mounting their invasion on New York.
The storyline that you follow throughout the game is fairly intriguing in a simple action movie kind of way - you know the drill, pick up the secret papers, plant some bombs, kill so and so, find the top secret uberweapon that's going to destroy the world. The game spans three main locations where the action takes place: New York, Washington DC and London.
The most compelling element of the game however is the setting itself. At the start of the game, you are a construction worker building a New York skyscraper, and as such you start off perched on a piece of scaffolding. However the air is black with smoke and dust, and there are bombs going off all around, and looking down you see traffic jams of ant-sized vehicles filling the streets - then, feeling woozy, look up again, only to be greeted with skies full of zeppelins and bomber planes. Yikes.
Another interesting aspect of the game is that each location is a city, and I feel that the game executes the feel of a city under attack very well. On top of this, each city is easily recognisable, and the landmarks that make up each level add a nice element of novelty to the game. Areas to explore include a New York subway line, the White House (that has been occupied by the Nazis, of course), the Tower of London and Tower Bridge!
Unfortunately, there are considerably less exciting things to say about the gameplay, which is decidedly mediocre. Nothing really jumped out at me that made this game stand out from other shoot em ups, in fact controlling your character and shooting your weapon occasionally can feel rather clunky. The A.I. of your adversaries seems to be poorly implemented, and it occasionally feels as though the Nazi soldiers are dumber than Doom baddies from 15 years ago. Ok, that might be an exaggeration, but the point remains that the A.I. is buggy and unimpressive.
Although the atmosphere created by the various city settings in the game is great, the graphics engine itself seems a bit poor. At points there is grainyness and jagged edges - sometimes the environment / enemies are difficult to make out - even running the game in HD. There's even some slowdown at points - as far as I am concerned, with so many beautiful looking games running without a hitch, there's no excuse to make an XBox 360 game with graphical slowdown, ESPECIALLY a game that has mediocre looking graphics in the first place.
I'm giving this three stars because I like the concept of the game, and I enjoyed the atmospheres evoked in the city settings. Unfortunately the gameplay itself is really quite unimpressive, and if you aren't really bothered about the alternative history angle, avoid this game at all costs.
Otherwise, if this idea really appeals to you, rent it for a week or so, (like I did!), and you may be pleasantly surprised!