Heroes of the Pacific
|Heroes of the Pacific|
Xbox Cover Art
Justin Halliday (Producer)
|Release date(s)||PS2, Xbox
September 28, 2005
|Genre(s)||Combat flight simulator|
Heroes of the Pacific is an aerial combat simulator game set in the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II.
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.
Ten campaigns, with 26 missions taken from real events of the Pacific campaign. 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 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, Kazuya Yamashita, 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, Kaito Fujiwara, 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, Taiki Hasegawa, 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 undercover agent, Usurper, 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, Ibuki Isihiro, 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 using information obtained from Usurper. After he takes off, he dogfights a German ace, Karl Heinz Kruger, 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.
According to Metacritic, Heroes of the Pacific received 'generally favorable' reviews, with an average score of 76% across all platforms.
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."
- "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."
- "...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."
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."
- "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."
- "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."
- Despite dynamic graphics and gameplay there are inconsistencies in the aircraft performance details; For example, the Mitsubishi 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 which made it an easy target for Allied Fighters.
- Heroes Over Europe - The sequel to Heroes of the Pacific
- Secret Weapons Over Normandy - LucasArts' World War II flying game that was released in 2003
- Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII - The first of the Blazing Angels series of games, released 6 months after Heroes of the Pacific.
- Heroes of the Pacific home page
- Heroes of the Pacific at MobyGames
- Heroes of the Pacific Team Xbox review
- Heroes of the Pacific GameSpy review
- "Team Xbox Heroes of the Pacific Review".
- "IGN Heroes of the Pacific Review".
- "Boomtown Heroes of the Pacific Review".
- "Game Chronicles Heroes of the Pacific Review".
- "Worth Playing Heroes of the Pacific Review".
- "Yahoo! Games Heroes of the Pacific Review".
- "Game Revolution Heroes of the Pacific Review".
- "TotalPlayStation Heroes of the Pacific Review".
- "Total Video Games Heroes of the Pacific Review".