Battlestations: Midway Download
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode
Sad To Say, but the reported 'lost at sea' status of Battlestations: Midway sometime after its announcement in 2004 wasn't greeted with the usual sorrow and rending of hair, but more with the irritated tch' noises people make when the cat's pissed on your second-favourite rug. Considering the lukewarm emotion attached to it the game's return, steaming at full speed back from the horizon, isn't likely to be greeted by cheering crowds on the dockside. Rather, there's more likely to be a mild interest as to where the f*** it's been. Not all escapees of development hell get the welcome of Prey.
The game is based around the naval war in the Pacific. In the main campaign, you take control of two friends, captain Henry Walker and his pilot buddy Donald. You follow their careers and their overrapid promotions between the tragedy of Pearl Harbor (it was a truly awful film) to the Battle of Midway itself (not quite such a bad movie), some 11 missions later.
The plot is a familiar warfare tale, though it has a touching respect for the Japanese side. There's also a trio of Challenge modes, allowing you to take control of subs, planes or ships in progressively more difficult scenarios.
which are passably entertaining'if not particularly challenging. In the battles, you take control of the various vehicles in arcade-style versions of popular games. So the subs are Silent Hunter-lite, the planes are diet IL-Sturmovik and the ship bits are faux Battleships. You can control them personally or give them orders through a top-down strategy screen. In each mission, you have various objectives to achieve, though it's not always clear what they are. We have no problems with any of this, though controlling any of the craft gets same-y very quickly.
In addition, as PC users we're more used to complicated controls - but for a game with a simplified console interface, Midway can be astoundingly convoluted. Many of the controls are scattered over the keyboard, with different set-ups to remember for each type of craft but no real reason why. It also feels harder on PC than on consoles, with the higher difficulty levels being nigh-on impossible. As the Al gets more accurate and more damaging, there's simply no way of avoiding its attacks and, as the ships don't repair during battles, take a torpedo and you might as well start again.
Battlestations: Midway doesn't go for realism; however it doesn't go for totally arcade action either. It's not terrible by any means, but it's just not very exciting either. It's not hideous to behold, but it's not up-to-spec. The question is, would anyone have noticed if it had stayed lost at sea?