Battlestations: Midway is, in fact, a war simulation that lets you take part in the greatest battles of the Pacific by playing, in turn, the ships of the fleet, fighter planes and submarines of the U.S. and Japanese armies. The title of Eidos sounds like a Battlefield-like but without the ability to take over land units. The concept is simple: you simultaneously control your army troops on the map (up to a hundred units!). Each of them can be governed by the tactical map, which allows you to assign attack or defence orders to your squadrons. Of course, it is also possible to embody each unit by pressing one of the keys on the multidirectional cross. This feature gives the Eidos title two gameplay elements, with strategy phases on the tactical map and in-game air and naval combat scenes.
A mix of genres that is not only original but also enjoyable to play. Be careful not to lose sight that it is above all a simulation and not a shooter. Eidos pushes us to use strategies and tricks by forcing us to manage all our squadrons and act prudently.
The number of possible actions proves to be particularly high. In addition to your fighters' attacks, you will have to manage your entire fleet by paying close attention to the fires that break out onboard your ships and by not forgetting to launch new squadrons on the way to war.
If the piloting of different aircraft and warships is relatively easy, with alternating analog sticks (which direct speed and direction) for the plane, and slightly more complex for the ships, the switch between these two types of gameplay may irritate many people. Rather, it's the fact that your enemies have more than one trick up their sleeve and are therefore tough opponents. The difficulty of the game seems to have indeed been pushed to a fairly high level. This is probably due to the rather limited lifespan of the single-player adventure. In any case, the challenge proves to be tough enough to keep you on the edge of your seat for hours, and above all: to force you to use the strategic order system. So there's no point in rushing into the heap at 200km/h with the hope of destroying a squadron of fighters all by yourself. It's better to establish a real team strategy and put forward your skills as admiral of the fleet.
Unfortunately, Midway offers only eleven unfortunate missions in its single-player mode. Each of them is played on the side of the U.S. Army. The single-player adventure moves fairly quickly, although the level of difficulty is relatively high. Fortunately, Battlestations also features a challenge mode, which will allow you to embody the Japanese forces through a dozen more missions. It's a chance to experience war from a different perspective and, most importantly, to manipulate troops' arsenal of the Empire of the Rising Sun.
Technically, Battlestations: Midway would have looked good on the original Xbox but is a bit of a stain on Xbox 360. Eidos' game has undergone a slight facelift to meet Xbox 360 standards. However, it still falls far short of the competition, displaying graphics that make use of the power of the Xbox 360, with plenty of antialiasing and characters made up of millions of pixels. Unfortunately, the lack of details, especially the aliasing, sometimes a little too present, definitely prevents this game from appearing among the most beautiful on Xbox 360. Still, we will appreciate the huge cloudy masses, particularly impressive, and the sublime explosions that will plunge you into the heart of the action.
On the soundtrack side, Battlestations: Midway does itself rather well, with extremely realistic sound effects although sometimes absent and music that perfectly fits the old war movies of the 80-90s. No doubt that Midway will give you some great sensations, and you will be amazed!
In the end, Battlestations: Midway turns out to be a great surprise, mixing the qualities of a real-time strategy game with those of an aerial shooter. No doubt this new mix of genres will easily be appreciated by fans of aerial and naval combat, who will be delighted to rediscover World War II from a new angle. Nevertheless, it is important to point out the game's graphics engine's weaknesses, which is rather disappointing for a console as powerful as the Xbox 360. In addition to this technical delay, Eidos' title suffers from a difficulty that is sometimes quite high, which unfortunately may put off more than one novice.