It seems like game developers are finally starting to abandon the completely overused WWII shooter genre of games. Call of Duty 4 wisely changed their series to a more futuristic setting, meeting with great critical acclaim. It seems that the only way to create attention for a WWII shooter now is to put an interesting twist on the established formula and storyline. A good example of this is the PS3 launch title Resistance: Fall of Man. It was still based in the WWII universe but with invading aliens and some futuristic weaponry. This is fairly similar to the approach that was taken by Turning Point: Fall of Liberty.
The crux of the storyline in Turning Point is based on an alternate version of a real historical event. On December 13, 1931, Winston Churchill was struck by a taxicab. In reality, Churchill survived this unfortunate mishap and went on to play a very important role in WWII’s outcome. This game explores what could have happened if this crash had instead been a fatal one. With Churchill dead, Nazi Germany continued its domination and expansion, eventually winning WWII. In the 1950s, with Europe firmly under the control of the Nazis, they decide to set their sites on invading the United States of America.
While this may be an interesting variant on the standard WWII storyline, complete with a satisfying climax, Turning Point is still basically just a mediocre WWII shooter. The only real difference is that you are now fighting Nazis in the U.S. instead of in Europe. For the most part, weapons are slightly advanced versions of what you would expect from weapons in that era. There are some nice additions like a Tommy gun to spice things up a bit, but there isn’t much in the way of interesting and unique weaponry.
Another problem that I have with this game’s weapons comes when you try to utilize them. You can fire them normally with limited accuracy or you can use the game’s “iron sight” to focus your aiming. When you use the “iron sight,” you will lose most of your screen to the weapon. It is incredibly difficult to battle a barrage of Nazis if your gun is obscuring three quarters of your screen. I know this is most likely an accurate representation of these weapons, but it makes accurate aiming a very painful experience.
The gameplay isn’t all bad though; Turning Point did add some variety to the extremely tired conventions of the WWII shooter. Perhaps the most notable and entertaining addition is the ability to grapple with enemies. When you get close to an enemy, a simple press of a button will enter you into a grapple. With your enemy grappled, you have the option of instantly killing him, using the environment to kill him, or using the Nazi as a bullet shield by pressing the appropriate direction on the D pad. None of these grapple moves are guaranteed, however, since the game will often give you a hard time when trying to enter into a grapple. It seemed that if your enemy was doing anything other than standing still in front of you, the game didn’t allow you to execute a grapple maneuver.
Instant kills aren’t very flashy but they are effective. These usually consisted of just slamming the butt of your gun into your enemy’s head. Environmental kills are fairly entertaining but also insanely predictable. While playing the game, almost every enemy is apparently omnipotent and knows exactly where you are at all times. The only characters who don’t instantly know where to find you are the enemies that are supposed to be killed using the environment. These enemies will always be standing close to some sort of perilous object or pit and facing away from you, making it possible to execute the environmental kill. By far, the most useful grapple move is using your enemy as a bullet shield. When performed, you will grab your enemy by the neck with one arm and use the other to fire their gun at other enemies. This move not only saves you from taking some damage, but it also lets you save ammo by using your enemy’s firearm. While this move is extremely effective, it does seem to make advancing through the game just a little too easy.
For anyone who quickly powers through the game’s campaign and still desires more Nazi shooting action, Turning Point has an online multiplayer option. Don’t expect too much out of this mode, however, since this is one of the most limited online experiences I’ve ever seen. You can play in deathmatch or team deathmatch modes in either ranked or player matches. It is extremely disappointing that these are your only options, but with as bad as the online gameplay is, you will quickly not care about the lack of modes. Most of the maps that you will play on are extremely small, and the game really enjoys spawning you right in the middle of groups of your enemies. Turning Point also has a sprint button, making the already inaccurate and sluggish aiming that much more frustrating. Since your gun is taking up such a huge portion of your screen, all it takes is for your enemy to sprint towards you, and you will often lose them in your gun-created blind spot.
Although Turning Point had an interesting storyline, it still ends up being an incredibly limited and generic WWII shooter. I would like to say that the storyline alone makes this game worth playing through but the quality is just not there. With all of the great first-person shooters already available on these consoles, this game is honestly just a waste of your money. If you own an Xbox 360, just pick up a copy of Bioshock, Halo 3 or Call of Duty 4. If you are a PS3 owner, grab a copy of Call of Duty 4, Resistance, or just wait a little while for Resistance 2 to be released. Any of these titles should serve you better and make you less angry about the money you’ve spent.
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 2.5 Graphics
Far from visually impressive, Turning Point is instead just barely visually competent. 2.0 Control
The aiming is sluggish, the grapple moves are buggy, and using your gun’s “iron sight” makes it impossible to see enemies. 3.5 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
There are some decent sound effects and music present, though nothing really stands out as amazing. 1.80 Play Value
The single-player experience is fairly short and uninspired, and the multiplayer is virtually nonexistent. 2.1 Overall Rating – Poor
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.