Battlestations: Midway

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Battlestations:Midway
Battlestations - Midway Coverart.jpg
Developer(s) Eidos Hungary
(PC and Xbox 360)
Robosoft Technologies (Mac OS X)
Publisher(s) Eidos Interactive
(PC and Xbox 360)
Feral Interactive
(Mac OS X)
Composer(s) Richard Jacques
Series Battlestations
Platform(s) Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X
Release date(s) January 30, 2007
Genre(s) Action, Real-time tactics
Mode(s) Single-player, Multiplayer
Distribution DVD, Steam download

Battlestations: Midway is a video game developed by Eidos Hungary and released on January 30, 2007 for the Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows. The Mac version of this game was developed by Robosoft Technologies, based out of India and published in July 2008 by Feral Interactive.[1]

Set in the Pacific during World War II, it is a hybrid of action and real-time tactics as the player can both command his fleet assets and assume control of any one of them at will. The single player campaign is a series of missions from Pearl Harbor commanding an Elco PT Boat to the Battle of Midway commanding an entire Carrier Battle Group.

Gameplay[edit]

In either the single-player or multiplayer game the player starts with a ship, submarine, aircraft, shipyard, airfield or a combination of any of them. The player can switch between their allocated units in order to complete objectives. Each unit also has its own unique features and controls. For example, using a carrier, shipyard or airfield, players can release carrier aircraft, ships, or land-based aircraft respectively. These units can then be used to engage in naval battles, undersea actions or dogfights and bombing runs.

Players are encouraged to work together online. In multiplayer, each player controls a different group of units. Each player has different units allocated to them, each with unique strengths and weaknesses. Each side will have a specific objective to complete, whether it being to destroy or protect a certain unit or reach a certain point on the map. The team wins when they are the first to complete their objective(s).

Single player campaign[edit]

The single player campaign contains 11 historically based from the American perspective and is played through the eyes of Henry Walker, an aspiring young man trying to follow in his father's footsteps of being a great Navy Admiral, and his best friend Donald Locklear, an ace in the Flying Tigers.

  • Stationed at Pearl
The mission starts off with Henry on a PT boat on his way to the USS Phoenix. When approaching the Phoenix the ship is torpedoed by a Kate and the Attack on Pearl Harbor begins. Henry and his crew try their best to shoot down as many attacking planes as possible and later attack and sink a midget submarine. At this point a Zero attempts to strafe his PT boat but Donald intervenes in his P-40 and shoots it down. He then proceeds to engage some of the retreating Japanese planes.
  • Defense of the Philippines
Following the events of Pearl Harbor Henry is moved to the Philippines where he is briefed by Admiral Thomas Hart. Shortly after the base comes under airborne attack and all vessels are ordered to evacuate the harbour. Things do not go to plan as Henry's PT boat fails to start its engine so the crew starts firing on the attacking planes. After a few minutes the crew manages to get the engine running and flee the harbour under sustained attack. Once they clear the harbour an invasion fleet is spotted and the crew teams up with two other PT boats, of which one, PT-109, is commanded by Lt. John Kennedy. The invasion is successfully averted but Admiral Hart informs Henry the base is to be evacuated and the two argue on whether to stay and fight or not where after Henry is promoted to captain a Clemson class destroyer.
  • Running the Palawan Passage
While escorting the retreating convoy from the Philippines, Henry is ordered to move through the Palawan Passage and meet up with a US vessel of high importance. Shortly after entering the passage Henry and the crew realize that the Japanese have taken over the area and started to fire on the ship, the USS Kane responds by engaging the land based guns and Gyoraiteis. They reach the end of the passage and encounter the last obstacle in their way, the Japanese destroyer Hatsushimo. After sinking the destroyer the objective turns out to be Admiral Hart escaping by means of a submarine, which Henry comments on as "hard to admire."
  • Vengeance at Luzon
The mission begins with an unnamed Dutch submarine firing torpedoes and damaging a Japanese battleship before being sunk by the escorting destroyers. It is decided to go after the damaged ship, seen entering the harbour at Luzon. A wave of B-17 bombers is dispatched to take out the airfield and Donald escorts them with his F4F Wildcat. After the airfield is taken out various waves of SBD Dauntless dive bombers and TBF Avenger torpedo bombers attack the battleship in port and successfully cripple it. As Donald flies over he realises the target they hit was a heavy cruiser and not a battleship. Shortly afterwards a PBY Catalina spots the real target, the Fusō. Donald is ordered back to the USS Lexington to organise the attack on the fast approaching battleship and after numerous airstrikes the battleship is sunk and the mission is over.
Following his success Henry is assigned a new destroyer, a Fletcher class, which Henry notes as "A serious vessel for a serious war." He is dispatched to Balikpapan to sink cargo vessels being assigned two destroyers. The small flotilla arrives and quickly starts engaging the two destroyers and remaining patrol craft guarding the convoy. It only takes a while to sink the cargo ships before reinforcements in the form of the light cruiser Naka and a destroyer arrive. After sustaining heavy damage to their ships, the US ships manage to sink the reinforcements and then flee the area only to learn a few hours later that a Catalina has spotted more reinforcements in the form of a battleship, two heavy cruisers and numerous destroyers.
  • Holding the Lombok Strait
Henry is moved to Den Pasar Airfield on the island of Bali with the task of defending the base as Admiral Hart leaves with the USS Houston to command the ABDACOM force in the Java Sea. Radar detects incoming level and dive bombers with fighter escort and the base's P-40's are scrambled to intercept. After the aerial attack is thwarted the Japanese attack with a surface force comprising destroyers, landing craft, troop transports and the light cruiser Nagara. The airfield and shipyard launch all available assets to attack the fleet. Henry's flagship the USS John D. Ford also participates and the base remains intact at the end of the battle. After the battle Henry learns that Admiral Hart has failed with his ABDACOM fleet and upon Hart's return, he flies back to the mainland US, leaving the badly damaged Houston to Henry.
  • Rendezvous at the Java Sea
After the Houston is repaired Henry takes the Houston back to the Java Sea to rendezvous with and help any surviving ships. The Houston with its two escorting destroyers are attacked by two waves of dive bombers and torpedo bombers but only sustain minor damage. A periscope is soon spotted and the two destroyers sink the submarine. The Houston successfully located a small force of British ships lead by the HMS Exeter currently engaged in a skirmish with the Japanese cruiser Haguro and two destroyers. After sinking the Japanese ships the two fleets meet up just as the Haruna shows up with three more destroyers. Hopelessly outclassed the only chance the US fleet has to engage the battleship is their torpedoes but fortunately the USS Nautilus makes an appearance to help up and after a long engagement the Haruna is put out of action and the fleet retreats.
Henry is recalled back to Pearl Harbor, now more or less recovered from the bombing, by Admiral Nimitz himself. He is taken aboard the USS Yorktown and meets Admiral Fletcher who promotes him to Captain. Henry is enthusiastic as he can finally go on the offensive and the fleet sails to Tulagi where they perform airstrikes on the island's airfield, shipyard and coastal defenses in preparation for the landings. As the landing ships move towards the island the Kumano and two destroyers show up threatening the whole operation but after a few airstrikes the threat is neutralised and the landings are a success. After the mission Henry and Admiral Fletcher discuss the mission when Donald, now promoted to Major, appears and lands on the Yorktown to the surprise of Henry. The two joke around and Donald is surprised that Henry now outranks him and Henry reminds him they had a bet of $10 they made at Pearl Harbor that Henry will never outrank Donald.
The two friends are busy catching up on what happened to each other after Pearl Harbor when the Yorktown and Lexington are called to Battle Stations due to an incoming air strike. Donald takes off but could not stop the destruction of his ship, the Lexington. The first aircraft carrier battle in history begins and Yorktown soon comes under attack. The Combat Air Patrol and Anti-Aircraft guns keep the Yorktown safe while its strike aircraft search for the Japanese fleet. The fleet is located en route to Port Moresby. The carriers are identified as the Shokaku and the Zuikaku and the fleet is attacked. One of the carriers is badly damaged and the fleet turns around. Both sides lost and won in this engagement. After the mission Donald lands his damaged Wildcat on the Yorktown and demands a new plane but Henry tells him he cannot assign him a plane from his own airgroup just as a Kamikaze crashes into the bridge where Admiral Fletcher is standing. Donald runs back to his plane and starts it up and Henry orders him to get out of the plane. Before he can take off he is killed when another Kamikaze crashes into him. Henry walks back to his office and finds a note from Donald on his desk reading "Another ten bucks says I'll outrank you within six months. This war ain't over yet."
  • Turning Point at Midway
Henry takes the badly damaged Yorktown back to Pearl Harbor to be repaired but on arrival he is informed that the US codebreakers have learned that the Japanese plan to invade Midway Atoll and he is to organise the defense. He is then flown to Midway.
The Japanese launch a massive air attack and it is met by Midway's obsolete Brewster F2A Buffalo fighters but the worst damage to the island is averted. A landing fleet arrives to capture the atoll and Henry responds by launching all Midway's bombers to sink the fleet and succeeds. A Catalina locates two of the Japanese aircraft carriers, the Akagi and Kaga. Henry orders an attack on the carriers and both fleets have a massive aerial battle to try and gain the upper hand and just as it seems that Henry might lose Admiral Fletcher and the Yorktown make an appearance. The Yorktown's attack planes waste no time in sinking both carriers before the Yorktown gets badly damaged in a counterattack.
  • Endgame at Midway
After the loss of the Yorktown Henry moves to the USS Enterprise to finish the fight. The Enterprise and USS Hornet (CV-8), escorted by a heavy cruiser and two destroyers start looking for the two remaining carriers, the Soryu and Hiryu. Two Japanese submarines and cruisers are located searching for the US fleet and Henry immediately ordered an attack that sinks all four vessels. Both fleets locate each other and start sending in aircraft to attack. Later Japanese reinforcements arrive in the form of two more cruisers and destroyers that sail straight for Henry's fleet. The reinforcements are sunk not too far from Henry's fleet and he drives home his advantage and sinks the Japanese carriers. He returns to Pearl Harbor and commemorate his lost friend Donald and salutes all the brave soldiers of the US Navy.

Multiplayer[edit]

Battlestations: Midway supports multiplayer matches of up to eight players. Matches are team-based, beginning with each player choosing either an Allied or a Japanese starting base from a list of preset slots in the lobby. Each slot has its own unique unit or building allocation. A slot can have up to four units. Each multiplayer map is essentially a "set-piece" battle whereby all of the units on the map at the beginning of the match are the only units available to the players for the entire match. The two exceptions to this are units that can be spawned (e.g. aircraft from airfields, aircraft carriers, etc.) and the planes that respawn in the map "Air Superiority at Luzon", which is very infrequently played.

Since December 2012 GameSpy closed down all their support for Battlestations: Midway. Players trying to play the Multiplayer (Powered by GameSpy) getting only error messages.

Single player challenges[edit]

Battlestations: Midway offers several challenge levels where the player's skills are tested.

Ship Challenges

  • "Strike on the Monster" - February 28, 1942
The player commands the battleship Fuso and engages waves of enemy ships from destroyers up to battleships with the aid of its sister ship, the Yamashiro.
Regarded as the most difficult mission in the game, the player commands the heavy cruiser Nachi and two destroyers and face seven destroyers and four cruisers.
  • "Hunt for the Cruiser" - June 11, 1942
The player uses three destroyers to hunt down the cruiser Nachi. The Nachi is aided by two light cruisers and four destroyers.
  • "Might of Yamato" - July 19, 1942
The player commands the battleship Yamato, a light cruiser and two destroyers. The aim of the mission is to catch up to and sink the USS Enterprise and Hornet.
Based on the historical Raid on Truk the player in turns take control of P-38 Lightnings, the USS Enterprise and the USS Iowa to sink the anchored Japanese ships.

Plane Challenges

  • "Shortage of Reinforcements" - December 9, 1941
A squadron of Ki-43 Oscars must strafe and sink a supply convoy as well as engage scattered enemy planes
  • "Saving Tulagi" - May 4, 1942
The player takes control of the Airfield on Tulagi and must protect key objectives from level bombers and dive bombers.
The player has two Airfields from which to launch fighters and bombers to attack and sink Force Z.

Submarine Challenges

  • "Crucial Cargo" - January 12, 1942
The player takes control of the USS Narwhal and must find, track and destroy two key ships in a convoy.
  • "Periscopes Threatening" - February 17, 1942
The player must use I-15 to sink a battleship, heavy cruiser and three destroyers.
  • "Coup de Grace" - May 27, 1942
Using two submarines the player must find and sink the USS Enterprise but she is heavily defended.

Demo[edit]

A multiplayer demo was released on the Xbox Live Marketplace on January 18, 2007. The PC demo was released on January 26, 2007, and the Mac OS X demo followed on July 24, 2008. The demos contain the multiplayer map Battle of Solomon Islands, which supports up to 8 players.

The PC demo works only for LAN play. Players will disconnect frequently when attempting to play via the internet. The Xbox 360 demo functions correctly via Xbox Live online play.

Downloadable content[edit]

Eidos released the "Iowa Mission Pack" on the Xbox Live Marketplace. This update includes several new ship models, as well as the "Raid on Truk" ship challenge and the "Battle of Sibuyan Sea" multiplayer map. A patch has been released for the PC version.

Inaccuracies[edit]

There are several inaccuracies regarding the Pearl Harbor level. The design of the battleships are different than the real battleships. The Vestal is portrayed as a battleship, while in reality she was a repair ship. Before the attack begins in the game, there are at least four aircraft in the air. During the actual attack, no United States aircraft were airborne when the attack began. The USS Nautilus appears in the harbor, but she was not at Pearl Harbor at the time of the attack. The position of the capsized Oklahoma is moored inward when she was moored outward. The Phoenix is positioned facing Battleship Row sideways, when she was facing it vertically. In the game, the Phoenix is hit by a torpedo and blown apart, but she was wasn't touched in the attack. And while US aircraft did get in the air during the attack, none of them found the Japanese fleet, as they do in the game.

Also every battleship in Pearl Harbor is identical to the New York-class battleships, though in reality there were several different classes at Pearl Harbor, like the Pennsylvania-class battleship, this is probably because Eidos didn't have the space or time to make several different classes for battleships which on first glance look identical to each other, and appear in only one level.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 75% (PC)
73% (Xbox 360)
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com 7/10
Game Informer 6.5/10
GameSpot 7.9/10
IGN 8.5/10
Official Xbox Magazine 7/10
X-Play 3/5

The Xbox 360 version scores 73% on Metacritic based on 33 reviews, the PC version scores 75% based on 11 reviews.

Game Awards[edit]

Awards in order on the in-game-display.

Award Award Name Requirements for Award Accessible in Notes
Medal of Honor ribbon.svg Medal of Honor Must reach the Time and Hit Limits of the Service and Marksmanship medals Multiplayer
Air Medal ribbon.svg Air Medal Kill 20 Enemy Planes, 5 minute plane usage Singleplayer
Distinguished Flying Cross ribbon.svg Distinguished Flying Cross Kill 40 Enemy Planes, 5 minute plane usage Singleplayer
Navy Distinguished Service ribbon.svg Navy Distinguished Service Medal Kill 5 Enemy Ships, 5 minute ship usage Singleplayer
Navy Cross ribbon.svg Navy Cross Kill 10 Enemy Ships, 5 minute ship usage Singleplayer
Silver Star ribbon.svg Silver Star Kill 10 Enemy Planes and 5 Enemy Ships Multiplayer
Air Force Distinguished Service ribbon.svg Distinguished Service Cross Kill 50 Enemy Planes and 10 Enemy Ships Multiplayer (Air Force Ribbon, non-existent medal)
Purple Heart BAR.svg Purple Heart Worst Kill/Death Ratio Multiplayer
Bronze Star ribbon.svg Bronze Star Team Kill/Death Ratio must be 3:1 Multiplayer
Legion of Merit ribbon.svg Legion of Merit Team Kill/Death Ratio must be 5:1 Multiplayer
Noribbon.svg Artillery Marksmanship Citation 200 Artillery Hits All
Noribbon.svg AA Marksmanship Citation 100 AA Hits All
Noribbon.svg Torpedo Marksmanship Citation 15 Torpedo Hits All
Noribbon.svg Sea Unit Service Medal 25 Minutes unit usage All
Noribbon.svg Air Unit Service Medal 20 Minutes unit usage All
Noribbon.svg Submarine Service Medal 15 Minutes unit usage All

Sequel[edit]

On February 28, Eidos Interactive announced Battlestations: Pacific for PC and Xbox 360.[2] In May 2009 the game became available to the public.[3] This sequel takes place right after Battlestations: Midway and has twice as many missions as the game before. It also includes 21 new units and add the ability to command troops to fight on the islands, though the player has no control over any individual land unit.[4] Naval mine and Kamikazes have also been added. A new feature includes the ability to play as the Japanese from commanding the Pearl Harbor attack to Midway. Details have been added for a more realistic effect; for example, while submerged in a sub flora and fauna are visible, as well as a sea floor. The game also provides an alternate history timeline for the Japanese, a what-if scenario that tells the story of the IJN's victory at Midway, which later considers Pearl Harbor a threat to its already overextending conquest borderline, therefore forcing an invasion of Hawaii.

References[edit]

External links[edit]