Hour of Victory (2007) Xbox 360 Game Review

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3 years ago

Overview

Hour of Victory puts you at the head of a group of three elite soldiers, consisting of a commando, a maverick and a spy. Each of them has characteristics and can perform unprecedented actions, such as hooking a door, pushing a trailer, and climbing a rope. Our small team of soldiers will have to take part in the most significant conflict of all time and try to tip the balance in favour of the allies. To do so, you will first have to choose one of the three protagonists according to your affinity with them and your style of play, of course (horseback riding, sniper, infiltration). Once you've selected your hero, head to the battlefield, usually with one or two men who will serve as your cover at the beginning of the level. And if on the whole, this idea appeals to you, although inspired by Commandos, one will regret that the game's overall realization does not follow.

Gameplay

Incredible as it may seem, the Hour of Victory developers have oriented their game to the force's dark side by giving it arcade-like gameplay. In practice, this results in a shooter where you generally move forward without thinking and can shoot down entire rows of Nazis without paying attention. The enemy you'll be facing is indeed devoid of intelligence and has the unpleasant habit of reacting in a surreal way as soon as you move towards him. Apart from the blatant lack of cover, this very peculiar kind of Nazi is incapable of reacting to your movements, so that once you have moved from your place of origin, he continues to shoot where you were a few moments earlier without noticing that you are now standing next to him and you are ruthlessly shooting at him.

Hour of Victory's walk through the relatively cramped levels of Hour of Victory usually consists of long corridors strewn with boxes that will serve as a cover for you to calmly plunge the rows of pigeons that continue their way without suspecting the sad fate that awaits them. Apart from these long strolls through the city, you will occasionally have to take command of a tank and destroy groups of enemy panzers. This is an incredibly dull phase of the game, with the annoying habit of being bugged to the bone. Because the tank is already not very easy to handle, the developers have had great difficulty designing a physics engine worthy of the name, with extraordinary swings during the hits received and sometimes even real flights several meters above the ground. And that's not to mention the impossible objectives, such as when you destroy two enemy tanks in the space of a few seconds, and the counter refuses to indicate the second tank as destroyed, forcing us to restart the mission from the beginning. In addition to this simplistic approach to the genre, Hour of Victory suffers from a flagrant lack of depth and seriousness.

On the life span side, developers didn't bother much with a single-player mode that closes in just 4 hours in easy. A popcorn game that will probably not stay more than an afternoon in your toy library.

Graphics and Sound

Indeed, it's hard to find anything positive in the game's graphics engine, which uses, let's remember, the Unreal Engine 3. One has to wonder how programmers could have overlooked such a high number of textures and omitted a significant amount of detail in almost all levels. There is no doubt the few levels on the side of the Soviet forces, with devastated cities of particularly uninspired design, too bland textures and often disastrous modelling to top it all off. Despite this, the title still benefits from an excellent soundtrack with music that fits perfectly with the game's universe and English voices relatively pleasant to listen to. But compared to the other FPS hits of the genre, Hour of Victory has too many flaws to convince us.

Conclusion

Hour of Victory indeed takes what made Call of Duty's triumphant, but it adds to it an ultra-scripted and short solo campaign. Moreover, the technical aspects are rather disappointing with bland graphics and scenery cruelly lacking in details. Needless to say that it is better to refrain from investing in such entertainment.

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