With wartime shooters ten a penny over the last decade or so, a decent twist on the genre can be enough to get a game noticed. And with Turning Point: Fall of Liberty, that’s exactly the hope.
The idea is that without Winston Churchill proclaiming that we’ll fight them on the beaches, the Allied forces crumbled. The Nazi regime spread throughout the world at a rapid pace, and in 1953 they’re finally ready to stage a full scale assault on America, who failed to join in and kick some Nazi bottom like real life. As alternate histories go, it's one that’ll have the wartime history buffs intrigued.
Sadly this dazzling start isn’t built upon. Outside this initial bout of story telling and intrigue, there’s little extra meat to tuck into during the rest of the game. No real characterisation outside the standard "Nazi bad, American good" scenario.
But then this is a video game, not a book, so story still isn’t too high on the agenda for most modern day gamers/developers. Hence it’s a downright shame that Turning Point is little more than a sub-par first person shooter.
The levels you’ll be rushing through are lacking in any real variety, and the admittedly few impressive sections are too few and far between to keep the excitement levels ramped up high enough to keep you ever plodding forward.
There’s none of the exploration or secrets to discover that you’d usually expect from a game of this ilk developed within the last decade. You’re just urged to continue ever forward, slaughtering enemies, and closing in on your ultimate goal.
The dull design isn’t helped by the pathetic intelligence of the Nazi hordes that you’ll be facing. With the likes of Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4 spoiling us with some fantastic examples of what can be achieved with the powerful modern day gaming hardware, Turning Point feels positively ancient. There’s no hint that your enemies are working together to defeat you, nor do they seem particularly interested in keeping their own lives.
Not only are they lacking in intelligence, which leaves you feeling that you’re up against the standard generic goons that populated all those side-on brawlers in the early-90s, but they also come in pitiful variety. See one enemy, and you’ve seen them all.
It’s the visuals that come the closest to reminding us were playing a modern day title, with some cluttered, if somewhat drab looking environments to contend with. No they’re not approaching the kind of design flare that Call of Duty 4, and Assassins Creed enjoyed, but it’s the one area where Turning Point at least appears to initially impress.
Sadly the quality levels dip when more than a handful of enemies appear on screen as the frame rate judders and struggles to keep up with the action. Certainly not helpful once you discover that to contend with the stupid enemy AI, the developers have decided to simply inflate the number of enemies you’ll be forced to contend with as you progress through to the game's conclusion.
With so many top quality titles available, there’s little point to pick up sub-standard example of the genre.
The initial story and premise is intriguing, but never built upon. Toss in some daft enemies, and a lack of quality to the level design, and you’re left with a title that doesn’t deserve to find home in your modern console.