previewed on PC
Winston Churchill was never there
It is 1931, New York. Winston Churchill is hit by a cab and, unlike our history books tell us, dies. This sets off an alternate timeline that is the backstory to the upcoming Turning Point: Fall of Liberty. Churchill's untimely death has great repercussions, because he was no longer there to rally the British troops in the fight against the Germans. This ultimately led to the Brits being invaded by the Third Reich. After finishing in Britain, the Axis decides to take arms up against the United States of America in 1953. This brings us to the starting point of the game. You are just a regular citizen of New York, a construction worker, with no military background, forced to watch the invasion as it takes place, and ultimately forced to take action. But unlike other World War II games, this isn't about winning the whole war single-handedly - this is all about survival.
Vehicles of war
Few major details have been released on Turning Point: Fall of Liberty as of yet, due to its release being pushed back into 2008. However, some information about the weapons and vehicles has been disclosed. Some of the weapons include the famous M1Garand Semi-Auto rifle (what kind of a World War II game would it be, if it didn’t include that?) as well as the MP50, the fictional upgrade of the MP-40 sub-machinegun. A few unnamed weapons have also been seen. A triple shooting rocket launcher housing all three rockets to fire in a single shot, seen being used on a zephyr, and finally some sort of a rifle. As far as vehicles are concerned, so far we have seen Tiger 2 tanks, a double-barrelled tank that was designed near the end of World War II. Then there are the Blimps/Zephyrs, as well as two styles of aeroplane that are yet to be named.
Graphics of war
The graphics are looking pretty solid at this point. Turning Point: Fall of Liberty uses the Unreal 3.0 engine, which seems to be used by more and more games these days. From what I’ve seen, the graphics are more than enough to keep everyone happy, especially if compared to the standards of the current generation of consoles. The textures and locations by no means look dull, with action always going on, whether it is planes flying overhead dropping bombs, explosions happening all around you or tanks ripping down streets, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. The hand to hand combat animations look a little unrealistic at the moment, but with such a powerful graphics engine to back it up, it is more than likely that these will be improved prior to the final release.
Sounds of war
The sounds seem to be one of the biggest features of this game and will likely make it stand out from all of the other World War II titles out there. The director of the production, Scott Langteau, has the wish to NOT include the trumpet in the score, which has come to be known as the patriotic symbol of war. Instead, an orchestra has been brought in, to create a more atmospheric symphony for the game to be set against.
A composer, Michael Guacharo, who has previous experience with a lot of movies, was called in to direct the scores for the game. The general style of the music has its similarities to mainstream themed World War II "anthems" - shall we say, that we've come to expect. However, following the request of Scott Langteau, Mr. Guacharo put tradition on the backseat, with the idea of not including a trumpet, at all, in the game's soundtrack.
Personally, I think this will work to the game's advantage, because it will give a much more exciting experience to the player, being surrounded by the sounds of bombs dropping, while an orchestra plays their violins to express the chaos in another way, putting both hand in hand, like a well-layered cake.
Something fresh, perhaps?
So far, Turning Point: Fall of Liberty is looking to be a promising game, and certainly a new breath of life into the FPS genre, as well as the World War II genre, which was getting as old as the war itself. Although it may not be up to the standards set by previous titles, such as the Medal of Honor and Call of Duty series, which both have a long history to draw upon, there is certainly a nice twist in it about the alternate reality that may just get people hooked enough for them to pay proper attention to this title.
One thing I took particular interest in was the phrase “finish the fight” in one of the preview materials I saw, which reminded me that Halo 3 had the same saying related to it. Hopefully, Codemasters aren’t running short of the creativity that their upcoming title otherwise shows.