|System: X360, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Nfusion||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Midway||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 25, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by D'Marcus Beatty
It has been said many times; World War II shooters have been done to death. If a publisher is planning on releasing yet another WWII FPS, they should stop and consider the overabundance of the same already on the market. If they still want to persist in releasing another dreaded WWII FPS, it would be in their best interest to add something to the formula that distinguishes its game from the hundreds of other similar games on the market. With Hour of Victory, developer nFusion appeared to be attempting to distinguish their game from the numerous others, but they failed miserably, because HoV is completely mediocre in nearly every respect.
Hour of Victory allows you to choose one of three different soldiers as you fight your way through various battles of where else?...World War II. You have your choice of playing as a brutish and powerful Ross, Bull, the sneaky sniper, or the roguish and stealthy Taggert. While this is an attempt by the developers to differentiate the gameplay, it doesn't work. The major distinction between the characters are the avenues open to them. Ross has the strength to push certain objects out of his way, allowing him to access areas the others can't. Similarly, Taggert can pick locks and sneak through certain areas. Bull, finally, has the ability to climb to high places to make use of his sniping abilities. However, the swapping of characters doesn't change the gameplay by very much, which negates the game's biggest claim to uniqueness. Ultimately, it becomes best to always choose Ross, as he is the hardiest and takes the most damage before dying. Without this poorly done swapping mechanic, the game quickly becomes a less than average WWII FPS.
The story is the standard WWII, with a lot of yelling and ordering from COs and Nazi fighting. There is nothing that stands out in the storytelling that hasn't been already done and better implemented in another game in the last few years. The ugly graphics don't help the story at all, as there are times that you'll be so repulsed by the character's faces that you'll be hard pressed not to fire at your allies. The character models all have unnecessarily dark edges that give the characters an unintentionally zombified look.
The voice acting in the game is also mediocre, but the sound effects and soundtrack are less than average. There is a moment in the first stage where an aircraft crashes in the background, but there is absolutely no sound of crashing at all. In fact, it is easy to miss the crash of the aircraft if you aren't paying attention, and it should never be possible to almost miss the crash of a nearby aircraft. Never.
The A.I. in the game is also especially bad. A.I. is important in all games, but it has always seemed an especially important factor for FPSes. The immersive nature of the game requires that the enemies aid in completing the experience by reacting to situations realistically. However, the foes in Hour of Victory are incredibly dumb most of the time. They react in unpredictable ways, sometimes ignoring your presence, waiting for you to shoot them, or otherwise acting like they don't really want to win the war against the Allies.
Hour of Victory also includes an obligatory online multiplayer, but it's as unfun as the single player experience. The modes include Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and Devastation. While the first two modes are self-explanatory, Devastation has the teams competing to blow up enemy targets with a bomb.
Overall, Hour of Victory feels like a chore to play. The gameplay is anachronistic and doesn't bring anything new to the genre at all. It actually feels like a few steps backwards for both the FPS genre and the WII shooter. I couldn't find anything about the game to recommend for enjoyment. Hour of Victory turns out feeling more like a few hours of lost time that I'd like to have back.
CCC Co-Site Director