Turning Point: Fall of Liberty Demo Impressions

23 01 2008

Developer: Spark Unlimited
Platform: Xbox 360
Genre: FPS/Nazi Shooting Simulator

Turning Point Logo

Nazis, is there any better enemy than Nazis? Sure North Koreans are quite evil, and aliens? Yeah they can be pretty darn evil too. But Nazis… there’s just something about them. They are like actual non-fiction ‘bad guys’ who did exist and are just begging to be shot. You just can’t beat authenticity like that.

Anyway, Jerry is at it again in Spark Unlimited’s new FPS game Turning Point: Fall of Liberty. The demo opens with some text that ponders what would happen if Winston Churchill had for some reason had not existed ever. Presumably if that scenario were to occur, this particular game would of had a different premise. That’s all I can think of really. Maybe bowler hats wouldn’t of had a brief resurgence of popularity back in the 50s? Nope, can’t think of anything more.

Fortunately, Spark Unlimited (I will keep using this name, because it’s retarded) are more imaginative that I, so what apparently happens is war would come to New York and mess it the hell up! You seem to play a nameless mute construction worker, who is busy hanging around precariously on a bunch of girders at the top of a skyscraper under construction, as was the style at the time. This isn’t necessarily the best place to be if hundreds of Nazi’s were to descend out of the sky in fighter planes, and zeppelins. After blowing up the Statue of Liberty, they proceed to bomb the shit out of let’s say Manhattan, my knowledge of New York is rather limited so let’s just assume it’s Manhattan.

Turning Poing - Olde Time Photo
I think the whole demo area was based on this photo.

Your first task is to navigate the girders as they collapse, and all your friends die. Then you navigate through a building, push a Nazi to his doom and take his gun, kill some of his friends, and onwards down to the street. Despite his current occupation, this unnamed construction worker is much better at killing Nazis than Nazis are at killing him. Oh yeah, he has regenerative powers as well, which come handy in a nazi invasion. At this point, the game just sort of turns into Call of Duty set in New York, and a few minutes later the game does an impression of 9/11 which ends the demo.

Turning Point Screen shot
If the actual Nazis had had a fleet of Zepplins that could somehow make it over the Atlantic, this is totally what they would of done.

Here are some positive and negative things that occurred to me while I was playing it.

+ Overall the graphic design is pretty decent. Some textures look a bit blurry if you stop and look, but it doesn’t ruin the overall effect.
+ Frame-rate was largely solid, with a few slight dips when things got busy.
+ Shooting felt okay, nothing special. I have an aversion to iron sights, but was plenty still able to kill Nazis with my random bullet sprays.
+ Scripted sequences look great, and I think I caught most of them which mean they were well directed. I wasn’t looking down while on the elevator though, so I missed that one. (Hint: look down while you are on the elevator)
+ Nazis.
+ There’s a brief moment inside a building that gave me a Bioshock flashback because of some art deco. More of that would be great. Actually, I should just play through Bioshock again.

– The AI seems to be a bit thick. I found a Nazi blind firing over a wall while I stood right next to him and bullet a bullet in his ear.
– Would it kill them to not make the view leave the character’s head so much? It kills the immersion for me. Note to Spark Unlimited: If you want to know how mantling can be done from first person, play Thief: The Dark Project. If you want to know how ladders can be done without it, play Fear. Go on, I’ll wait…you done yet? Good, now put it in the final version chop chop.
– Medium sensitivity is slightly too insensitive, High sensitivity is slightly too sensitive. Maybe they could just make a 1-10 slider?
– No sign of robot Hitler in demo. Any self respecting Nazi game needs robot Hitler.

There’s not really much more to say about this given the length of the demo. I went into expecting it to be rubbish, as I hadn’t even heard the name before which usually isn’t a good sign. Release seems to be scheduled for Q1 2008, so my advice the devs would be to polish the hell out of it, and release it during a quiet period, like not the same exact same day GTA 4 comes out or something, and it’ll do okay.

Arbitrary Rating: 7.5 – Nazis.