Turning Point: Fall of Liberty for the XBox 360 and the PC is a general disappointment of a first person shooter that gives an alternate history of World War II.
Ratings: Graphics & Audio: 10/25, Gameplay: 10/25, Creativity 10/25, Fun 10/25
Turning Point: Fall of Liberty is brought to the major consoles and PC by Codemasters and Spark Unlimited but it just is not a finished game. Fall of Liberty brings an alternate timeline to the war and starts with Winston Churchill not being around for the English powers. After his accidental death England does not rally to fight the Germans and ends up losing to the Axis powers quickly.
Their downfall leads to the Germans becoming all powerful in Europe and eventually coming after the United States on her own soil. You start the game as high rise steel worker Dan Carson and suddenly your America’s only hope of winning the war against the Germans. The introduction and beginning show that there is a great storyline and it could have gone places but the gameplay and graphics just did not come together for a complete and well done game.
You begin your fight for America on a high rise under construction as the Nazis are attacking New York City, you have to rush and make it to the ground to bring the fight to the invaders. Part way down to street level you get a weapon and are introduced to a decent weapon texture as well as how to grapple with others but the game does not come up with much more.
The first few minutes of the game show there is a definite premise and it could have gone places but the game falls apart quickly. Turning Point has some decent story in the few clips of cut scenes to give you enough of a reason to fight but the gameplay is just not here.
Turning Point’s graphics look good but are still that non polished type that could have been worked on more, you have good textures and decent graphics but the game has severe stuttering and even pauses at times. The game probably would have been great a few years ago but today you have to go above and beyond to turn heads and even to get decent ratings the games graphics have to be at least passable.
Turning Point fails in so many areas that it is almost not playable and definitely not enjoyable, whether you’re playing the XBox 360 or the PC version. Both the PC and XBox version have the same stuttering and lack of smart AI so either version is not a matter of choice but a matter of the lesser of two evils.
This may sound harsh but I find no excuse for a game that has so many problems in not only technical aspects like stuttering and poor graphics but a terrible AI that allows you so many chances to shoot all the guys standing behind cover from in the open. You can actually stand in the open and do pretty good against the AI that does not even shoot well from cover when your wide open.
The hit detection and how much damage you can soak up is ridiculous to a point that on the XBox version you can stand and use the joystick to fine tune your aiming while getting hit by foot soldiers so that you don’t waste ammo. You can actually get hit a dozen times before dying in the beginnings of the game by other soldiers on foot on normal difficulty settings.
The levels are very linear and you will almost always go from one firefight to the next from places of cover from beginning to end. The enemies fire from mostly decent cover but they just stand and shoot at you from the same scripted spot or will move from one place to another and back.
The AI is heavily scripted and very single minded in purpose so defeating them by outflanking or just shooting from distance is the easiest way to get through each level. The enemy will not use these same tactics and you can even find the shooting distance of many by advancing until they shoot and then backing up a step to stand clearly in the open and not get shot at.
The weapons are nice and you get a good variety of WWII period types but they are spotty as to aiming and how well they work. The Garand with its distinctive empty sound of the clip part flinging out of the chamber is missing here but in all the weapons look and sound decent.
One real problem is with hand grenades and just not know how close they are or where they landed near you. When a grenade goes out from anyone a symbol appears and lets you know a live grenade is somewhere but with no indication of which direction or how close you have no idea where to run to. The same is true when you throw your own and maybe hit an object only to have the grenade go off near you because you didn’t realize your throw was bad.
The PC version and the XBox version differ in so little terms that purchasing either would make little difference as the XBox version actually allows you enough time to aim precisely due to the bad AI. I have this problem with the XBox 360 and controllers and the games like Turok just don’t work for me as I am all thumbs when it comes to the controller. I just can’t get used to the XBox controller for FPS games but Turning Point allows me the time to aim perfectly while getting hit so it just doesn’t matter if I take my time to aim.
Other than a great idea to begin with Turning Point: Fall of Liberty also has some great orchestral music playing to help fill out an otherwise mediocre game. The music is great but the voice acting is almost a joke in the scenes where there is some. Other scenes have little or no voices and seem to be much of an afterthought to the gameplay throughout the storyline and gaming.
The difficulty is fine from the easy to the very hardest settings but it merely throws more Nazis in front of you and doesn’t give more emphasis to the AI. The game does worse when more is happening on the screen though so using the higher difficulty setting does not make the game more enjoyable by being tough, it stutters and pauses a lot more.
This is made worse when larger objects such as blimps, that are used quite frequently, appear on screen as well as ground troops. More objects on screen seem to slow down the action and add more stuttering so the higher difficulties only make the gameplay worse and not more fun.
Clipping is another problem and many of the dropped weapons will be sticking out of objects and walls while enemies will fall through objects or come through doors often. The animations of men running and falling look comical at times and often dying looks more like a puppet getting its strings cut than someone getting shot.
Overall Turning Point: Fall of Liberty is a great concept and more effort and time should have been spent to make it a decent game from the beginning. This is one game that is not really even worth renting unless you just have to whether you try out the XBox 360 or PC version as I did for this review. I also just received the PlayStation 3 version and it is not much different than the others, only a bit better in graphics due more to the better system graphics and television than anything else.