Heroes of the Pacific

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Heroes of the Pacific
Heroes of the Pacific box art
Developer(s) Transmission Games
Publisher(s) Codemasters
Ubisoft
Designer(s) Shane Collier
Justin Halliday (Producer)
Engine Renderware
Platform(s) Xbox
Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 2
Release date(s) PS2, Xbox
September 28, 2005
Windows
October 2005
Genre(s) Combat flight simulator
Mode(s) Single-player, Multiplayer

Heroes of the Pacific is an aerial combat simulator game set in the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II.

Overview[edit]

The game allows the player to assume the role of a combat pilot named William Crowe as he experiences the various phases of the Pacific War with Japan, beginning with the Pearl Harbor attack. There are six game modes: Campaign, Instant Action, Single Mission, Historical, Training, and Multiplayer. One or two players can play simultaneously on the console or up to eight players can play on the network via Xbox Live or using a PlayStation 2 with network adapter.

There are two different control schemes for flying the planes, Arcade and Professional. The Arcade control scheme allows for easier control of the plane via a single joystick with automatic rudders, while the Professional controls offer separate control of the pitch, roll and yaw of the plane.

Heroes of the Pacific also offers multiple difficulty levels: Rookie, Pilot, Veteran, and Ace. Completing missions on higher difficulty unlocks more planes and rewards the player with more upgrade points, which can be used to upgrade your unlocked aircraft after missions are accomplished.

This simulation also allows players to pilot famous planes such as the P-40 Warhawk, P-51 Mustang, F4U Corsair, P-47 Thunderbolt and a number of Japanese and German planes from World War II, including several experimental planes, such as the Blohm & Voss BV P.215 and the J7W Shinden.

Plot[edit]

The game begins with the player at Pearl Harbor (or in flight school should the player choose to learn the controls first), as the Japanese begin their attack. Crowe manages to get to a plane and hold off the enemy forces until the rest of his squadron get into the air. After defending an oil field from fighters, the Arizona explodes and Crowe's brother Charlie is killed. Crowe expresses rage, and he nearly pursues the fleeing enemy planes before Hickam Control tells him to re-fuel and re-arm.

Crowe shortly visits home after Pearl Harbor and writes his mother a letter about Charlie, although it states that the Navy will get the telegram to her before the letter arrives. He is restationed at Wake Island where he comes under the command of Admiral Daniel Howells. He later participates in escorting Howells off the island as it is about to fall to the Japanese. When they make it to the Lexington, Crowe gets a new squadron consisting of Cunningham, Murphy, Slater, and commanded by Callahan.

He participates in the attack on the Marshall Islands, where he steals a Zero fighter, and is ambushed by the first member of the 13th squadron, the same squadron that sank the USS Arizona and killed Crowe's brother. He shoots down the 13th squadron member and makes it back to the carrier in once piece. After escorting a team of commandos to rescue prisoners from the islands, he is introduced to Tom Stuart, a pilot who was shot down, captured, and freed by the commandos. Stuart goes on to become a member of the squadron, and its best pilot excluding Crowe.

After fighting in the Battle of the Coral Sea, and watching the USS Lexington sink, Crowe and Callahan witness someone try to sabotage Crowe's plane. At the Battle of Midway, he goes on a reconnaissance mission in a PBY Catalina seaplane, and finds the fleets. During the attack on the base itself (where Stuart nearly shoots down Murphy, Murphy never forgives Stuart), the squadron shoots down many fighters, except a new member, "Ox". They then assault the main Japanese fleet, where Crowe and Murphy sink the Akagi, Callahan sinks the Soryu, while Cunningham sinks the Kaga. they receive new orders to take down the heavy cruiser Mikuma, a warship seen fleeing the area. As they get there, fighters manages to keep Crowe, Callaghan, and the rest of the fighters tied up. This causes Callahan to send Ox and his squadron of SBD Dauntless dive bombers to attack the small fleet on their own. By the time Crowe and the rest get there, Ox and his entire wing of bombers are shot down, not even getting close enough to drop bombs, although Ox manages to pull off a suicide dive into the Mikuma after he is hit. However it still remains afloat. Crowe and the rest concentrate on one area at a time, and eventually avenge Ox by sinking the ship. As they head back Stuart sees something in the clouds, and Callaghan sends Crowe to check it out. It is a group of Japanese fighters, the leader being another member of the 13th squadron, who is also shot down by Crowe.

On Guadalcanal, Crowe and the others take the airfield and take down the Tokyo express, a Japanese supply route, defend the USS Enterprise from attack and return to Guadalcanal to defend the island from a retaliatory Japanese attack. During this time Crowe learns that his father has died, but didn't know until it was too late due to the fact that the mail had been held up.

On a recon mission in the Gilbert islands, he runs into yet another of the 13th squadron who is still shot down. On the way to the main attack, Tom Stuart's plane blew a gasket and turned back to the carrier while the others went ahead. Shortly after Tom leaves, the entire squadron is ambushed by enemy planes hiding in the clouds. After the ambush, Murphy thinks "It's awfully convenient that Tom wasn't here". Crowe realizes that Murphy, and probably many others, think that Stuart is the traitor. Before they can speak any further, Callahan tells them to deal with it on the carrier. Back at the carrier, nearly all the pilots riot, and try to kill Tom. He is only saved by Crowe and Callahan defending him. Admiral Howells grounds Tom for his own safety stating "It's just as likely that he's going to get a tailful of U.S. bullets as much as Japanese".

In the Marianas, Crowe saves an agent undercover for the allies from the Japanese. They later go to attack the Japanese fleet, but bombers come at their carrier before they can get there. After dispatching them, they hit the main fleet, and after Crowe's plane suffers engine problems as Callahan, Cunningham, and the rest have to leave him behind. The 13th squadron second-in-command tracks down Crowe and nearly kills him, but he dodges, and is only saved by the timely arrival of none other than the suspected traitor himself, Tom Stuart. Tom draws off the Japanese planes and buys enough time for Crowe to get to the carrier. In the morning, a team goes out to find Stuart, but discovers that he was shot down and killed, but not after killing the second-in-command. Tom Stuart was buried at sea with full military honors.

What remains of the squadron goes to the Philippines to try to help the Allies, and Crowe is sent to steal a prototype German Me262 jet fighter. After he takes off, he dogfights a German ace flying another Me262 jet. The German constantly taunts Crowe. However, Crowe kills him, makes it back to the fleet, and helps to sink the Japanese super-battleship, Musashi. They participate in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, where they provide aerial support for Taffy 3 in its encounter with an entire Japanese task force. They go on to sink the last two carriers that attacked Pearl Harbor, and after Crowe is called into Howells's office. One, the man who sabotages Crowe's plane at the Coral Sea was not Tom Stuart, but a pilot named Mike Canning, who wanted to take Crowe 'a few slots down on the kills board'. It states he'll be peeling potatoes for the rest of the war, as the admiral gives Crowe a note he somehow acquired from Shun Ogawa, the leader of the 13th squadron, and the one who killed Charlie. The note said only two words: Iwo Jima.

On Iwo Jima, Crowe helps fight off attacks from baka bombs, and destroys much of the first airfield. Then he covers the landings while in a B-25 Mitchell bomber, and covers the battleship USS Missouri as she is attacked by kamikaze submarines. In the final mission, it appears that something happened to Cunningham, as only Murphy and Callahan are flying with Crowe. He destroys the AA guns around the enemy airfield so it can be bombed by friendly bombers, and saves the American-held airfield from annihilation by tanks. He escorts Sergeant Thompson and his squad of Marines up the side of Mt. Suribachi to plant the flag. After destroying the fortress within, the men nearly plant the flag, when an unknown plane flies by, and comes after Murphy. He states 'Looks like lighting, kicks like a mule too' meaning he may have been hit. The pilot identifies himself as Shun Ogawa, the 13th squadron's leader, and they proceed to one on one combat. Crowe eventually kills him, and makes it back to the fleet after Mt. Suribachi is taken. He and Callaghan both receive the Navy Cross for their actions during the war, and the entire squadron is sent home. Crowe states that Charlie and his father are buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He gets together with Callahan and the rest of the boys every year, indicating that Cunningham made it, and so did a few others, and talk about the war, and the true Heroes of the Pacific, the ones who didn't come back.

Missions[edit]

  • Ten campaigns, with 26 missions taken from real events of the Pacific campaign:
Pearl Harbor (1 mission);
Wake Island (3 missions);
Marshall Islands (2 missions);
Coral Sea (2 missions);
Midway (4 missions);
Guadalcanal (3 missions);
Gilbert Islands (2 missions);
Marianas (2 missions);
Philippines[disambiguation needed] (4 missions);
Iwo Jima (3 missions).
  • Five historical missions recreate actual acts of heroism in the Pacific:
"Against all odds",
"Flight of the Avenger",
"Chain lightning",
"Zeros over Rabaul", and
"Escape over Rabaul".
  • Five training missions:
"Learning to fly",
"Advanced flight and combat",
"Wingman training",
"Dive bombing training", and
"Torpedo training".
  • Varied mission types:
Ground attack, ground support, escort, defense, patrol, torpedo and dive-bombing. Each require different tactics for completing the mission.

Planes[edit]

While some of the missions in Heroes of the Pacific require specific planes (such as the PBY Catalina), the player can usually choose which plane to fly from the allowable classes for each mission (Fighter, Dive Bombers, Torpedo Bombers, Bombers).

The full list of unlockable planes in Heroes of the Pacific is:[1]

Allied[edit]

Axis[edit]

Characters[edit]

American characters[edit]

  • Lieutenant William Crowe: Main character. A young pilot who joined to the US Navy with his brother Charlie in order to support his family. He and Charlie used to ride their father's crop duster when they were young (and hence were nicknamed the "Dirt Duster Brothers"). After losing his brother in the Japanese air raid of Pearl Harbor he was transferred to Wake Island, and barely managed to escape with his plane while escorting an important US Navy admiral. His natural flying skills did not go unnoticed by the admiral, and he was recommended to the air wing of the USS Enterprise as a wing leader.
  • Ensign Charlie Crowe: Crowe's brother. Unlike his brother he chose to become a sailor and was assigned to the USS Arizona after graduation. He was killed in the Japanese air raid of Pearl Harbor when the forward ammunition magazine of his ship was hit by a Japanese bomb.
  • Lieutenant Commander Callahan: Commander of the air wing of USS Enterprise. An experienced, grizzly veteran who somehow always manages to get his men back to the carrier in one piece.
  • Lieutenant Tom Stuart: A navy pilot who was rescued from a POW Camp in the Marshall Islands and immediately joined Enterprise's flight crew. He was originally captured by the Japanese after ramming a "Betty" bomber in mid-air and bailing out. His skills in piloting make him one of the top pilots in the unit, second to Crowe. He was accused of treason later in the game and was grounded as a result. He proved his innocence after stealing a plane and protecting Crowe from a member of the Japanese 13th Squadron during the return from Battle of Marianas Islands. He managed to shoot down the Japanese Ace but he was shot down and killed as well.
  • Lieutenant Murphy: An outspoken pilot, Murphy is somewhat of a comic relief within the Enterprise's flight crew. He annoys Callahan with his irresponsible actions.
  • "Ox": A pilot with a distinctive southern accent, Ox is a talented and well-liked pilot with a strange sense of humor. He made a suicide dive into the Japanese Cruiser Mikuma when his plane got hit and lost control.
  • Zak: Another pilot from Enterprise, he appears in the game to pilot a captured Japanese Betty bomber as a diversion to allow Lt. Crowe to steal a prototype Me-262 jet.
  • Admiral Daniel Howells: A Navy admiral stationed at Wake. When Lieutenant Crowe sinks the Japanese landing craft, a few Japanese jeeps get behind him. Crowe comes to the rescue and destroys the jeeps, but then he has to face three waves of six Zeroes while escorting the admiral's PBY Catalina. He escorts the admiral to the carrier Enterprise and the admiral reassigns Crowe from the fallen Wake Island to the Enterprise's air wing.
  • Usurper: A former Japanese soldier, who decides to defect to the U.S forces. He was arrested by the Imperial Military Police, later escaping captivity and stealing a Rufe seaplane, but is intercepted and shot down by the IJN Zeroes. Later, he spies on a conference between Germany and Japan and witness a project to acquire a license of the Me-262. He is intercepted by officers and was pursued, but manages to escape by stealing a boat. He is later pursued by 3 Japanese light cruisers in search for him in order to retrieve a blueprint of the Experimental Kikka aircraft that he has stolen. Fortunately, the ships were destroyed by Lt. Crowe who was piloting a Catalina and Usurper was rescued. However, during their return to the U.S fleet, Crowe and Usurper were attacked by a pair of Emily seaplanes sent to capture or kill Usurper, Crowe manages to shoot down both aircraft. After getting back to the carrier safely, Usurper thanks to Lt. Crowe for saving him from the Japanese.

Axis characters[edit]

  • 13th Flight Squadron of the Imperial Japanese Navy: A squadron of highly trained and experienced pilots in the Japanese Navy. The 13th Squadron has five known members, although this excluded unnamed pilots who are fought over Tarawa, or unknown wing mates. Also a German pilot flying an Me-262 "Japan" Messerschmitt fighter.
  • Shun Ogawa: Commander of the 13th Squadron, flies a J7W Shinden. Shun Ogawa is William's Crowe's nemesis, having killed his brother and they finally meet and fight in the last mission of the game.
  • Hiroyoshi Nishizawa: Pilot of the 13th Squadron and the second after of the Squadron commander Ogawa with more U.S aircraft shot down, flew in a Ki-84Ic Hayate Frank and appears in the Leyte Gulf Battle. During his encounter with Lt. Crowe, Nishizawa is killed.
  • Ibuki Ishihiro: Pilot and second-in-command of the 13th Squadron, flies a Ki 84Ia Hayate "Frank". He is the only character of the 13th Squadron not killed by Lt. Crowe. Rather, Ishihiro was killed by Tom Stuart, who also died in the process.
  • Kazuya Yamashita: Youngest pilot of the 13th Squadron, flies a J2M7 Raiden "Jack". The first to encounter, and be killed by, Lt. Crowe.
  • Oberst Karl Heinz Krueger: A very experienced, highly skilled but somewhat cocky German pilot. He was sent from Nazi Germany to Japan with two new prototype German Me-262 jet fighters to demonstrate the plane to the Japanese. One of the planes is a standard prototype Me-262 that Lt. Crowe steals. The other one is most likely Krueger's personal Me-262, which is similar to the Me 262A1/U4. Krueger was killed by Lt. Crowe in a dogfight between the two planes.

Reception[edit]

According to Metacritic, Heroes of the Pacific received 'generally favorable' reviews, with an average score of 76% across all platforms.[2]

Praise for the game includes:

  • "With gads of planes and missions, a moving story mode, and total multiplayer functionality, Heroes of the Pacific sets it apart from the competition and puts this into the 'worth owning' category."[3]
  • "Heroes of the Pacific does a great job of combining a fun, loose aerial shoot-'em-up with real-life battles from the Pacific Theater of World War II."[7]
  • "...Heroes of the Pacific is a genuinely entertaining game for those who dig WWII aviation but don't feel quite like diving into a hardcore sim."[8]

Criticism of the game includes:

  • "While solid in its presentation and adequate in its basic gameplay, it's little more than another individually-wrapped snack in the great and majestic adventure of human flight."[9]
  • "Difficulty, repetition and an overall lack of tact keep the game from being anything more than an average flight game. It's good enough, but there are far better offerings out there."[10]
  • "If intense dogfights and Yankie banter sound appealing then Heroes of the Pacific is for you; sadly the repetitive gameplay is a major deciding for everybody else."[11]
  • Despite dynamic graphics and gameplay there are several inconsistencies in the aircraft performance details; For example the G4M "Betty" bomber in the game is heavily armoured and can be hard to shoot down. However, in reality it lacked sufficient armour protection and self-sealing fuel tanks. This made it an easy target for Allied Fighters. Another such inconsistency is that the A6M Zero in the game has superior flight performance when compared to that of the P-38 Lightning and the F4U Corsair. However, in reality the Lightning and the Corsair were far superior aircraft.

Development Information[edit]

Heroes of the Pacific was developed by Melbourne development company Thatgame, who merged with IR Gurus shortly after the release of the game. In 2008, IR Gurus was renamed Transmission Games.

Many of the members of the development team previously worked together at Melbourne House, on titles such as Test Drive: Le Mans, Grand Prix Challenge, and KKnD2: Krossfire.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.gamefaqs.com/computer/doswin/file/920406/39868
  2. ^ http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/ps2/heroesofthepacific
  3. ^ a b "Team Xbox Heroes of the Pacific Review". 
  4. ^ "IGN Heroes of the Pacific Review". 
  5. ^ "Boomtown Heroes of the Pacific Review". 
  6. ^ "Game Chronicles Heroes of the Pacific Review". 
  7. ^ "Worth Playing Heroes of the Pacific Review". 
  8. ^ "Yahoo! Games Heroes of the Pacific Review". 
  9. ^ "Game Revolution Heroes of the Pacific Review". 
  10. ^ "TotalPlayStation Heroes of the Pacific Review". 
  11. ^ "Total Video Games Heroes of the Pacific Review".