Review by NPKrews

"Turning Point: Fall of Liberty"

What if Winston Churchill died in 1931? What if the United States never entered World War Two? Well our friends from CodeMasters and Spark attempt to answer those questions for us with their unique take on World War 2.

Turning Point: Fall of Liberty

The game starts out with a scene depicting Nazi fighter planes dropping bombs through the clouds. The bombs fall through the clouds to their target, the Statue of Liberty. The Nazi's have control over all of Europe and have come to complete their world-spanning empire in the United States. The game casts you as construction worker Dan Carson. You're working on a skyscraper up in the steel girders when the attack begins. The Nazis are making short work of the city and you scramble to get back to street level off the treacherous girders. Once you make it to the street you fight your ways through Nazis, using guns, grenades and you're trusty fists. You eventually meet up with the National Guard unit who is scrambling to mount a resistance. The Nazis succeed in usurping the American government, appointing one of their puppets as president.

For starters, the game looks amazing. Great environments, sharp resolutions and as we all know HD makes it even better. The animations are smooth and crisp for the most part, making the grapple kills even more enjoyable. The soundtrack is a part of the game that is easy to over look, especially when it's doing its job right. When you don't notice a soundtrack then it's doing its job. The soundtrack in Turning Point does the job, it's not a majestic John Williams composed symphony orchestra, but that wouldn't really do well in Turning Point. I took time to stop and just listen to the underlying track and it is extremely well done, perhaps a CD in the future?

Turning Point makes its first misstep with the controls. I don't know about anyone else but I don't often play a game where you crouch by pressing the ‘Y' button on the 360 controller. Other than that most of the controls are standard with movement and aiming on the analog sticks. You will notice though that the movements are sluggish, or incredibly unresponsive, depending on your experience with other shooters. The problem is helped by increasing the sensitivity on the sticks from the options menu, but there's still that reflex-type adjustment that most veteran shooter players have come to expect from top notch games. Don't get me wrong it has its bright spots. The grappling is fun, who doesn't love using an unsuspecting Nazi as a human shield? Or tossing a Nazi into an incinerator. Or doing some crazy thing that involves a conveyor belt and a file cabinet. The animations for the “instant kills” performed by grappling with the ‘B' button and pressing up on the d-pad jump to a 3rd person view and are varied and smooth, save for when you're too close to a wall and the camera flashes away, or is viewing the inside of a wall. While I'm talking about this the AI, does it even exist? I didnt know Nazi's we're all incapable of firing their weapons in the general direction of their enemy.

The box and everything I've read says the game is run on the Unreal 3 engine. I've never seen the engine run this bad or slow. I don't know if the developers we're going for the glitchy slow response time for a reason but geez, how can you pull of a snap shot when the game won't snap?

Mechanics aside the plot of the game is amazing. If you're a history buff and when you have a talk you love talking about history instead of American Idol or whatever reality show is on TV now then you will definitely want to pick up this game. If you call yourself a patriot, a red-blooded American then you too will enjoy this game, just for the satisfaction of kicking the Nazi's out of the White House. If you just like WW2 era shooters, try this one out, a different viewpoint is never a bad thing.

If you're a shooter fan however, this one may not be what you're looking for. It's no Call of Duty, its not Medal of Honor, it's not even Halo. It's Turning Point: Fall of Liberty by Spark. As exited as I was about the game, I doubt I play through it more than twice haven't tried the multiplayer yet, maybe that'll be a saving grace but with poor mechanics and what seems to be sub-par game engine I have doubts.

The Rough
Concept: Great idea, and awesome for history buffs
Graphics: Smooth, sharp in HD, but glitchy at times.
Sound: Without a doubt, the best part of the game
Playability: Give me 3 seconds to aim while you don't shoot at me. Unorthodox scheme hard to grasp for the first level
Replay: Low

Overall: 5/10


Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 03/03/08

Game Release: Turning Point: Fall of Liberty (US, 02/26/08)


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