Hour of Victory: Hands-on impression

While in Vegas last week, one of the new Midway titles I was lucky enough to take for a test drive was the Xbox 360 exclusive World War II shooter Hour of Victory –– coming out this summer. Was it generic? Do we need another WWII first-person shooter? Does the gimmick the game uses set it apart? Find out after the jump.

Using the Unreal Engine 3, Hour of Victory has the beautiful visuals — even in the early stages of development. But, that’s kind of where it ends for this game. Everything you’d expect in a WWII FPS is right here: We got the tanks that you drive, we got the big gun turret, and we got the same environments you’ve been blowing up since the first Call of Duty.

So what makes this game different? Why should you care about this shooter? Well, Midway hopes it’s the character swap gimmick that will entice the average shooter fan. Here’s how it works:

Instead of playing with just one sytle of character — run around, pick up random guns, shoot and kill Nazis — players can now play and swap different classes. The choices include “a covert operative, specializing in stealth and sabotage; a British commando proficient in the guns-blazing frontal assault; or an Army ranger who excels in sniping and demolitions.”

Because I was only able to play the demo, the full feature and aspects of this gameplay addition weren’t really available to be fully tested out, so it’s hard to say it will work. It is, however, better than just an old standard FPS scheme, right?

You’d think in a game like this that online would be a key, but sadly no details on just how online will be handled were revealed. But, considering how important a role vehicles play on the single player side, perhaps a variety of tanks and such will be ready to use in multiplayer.

Overall, I wasn’t that impressed with the game. It seemed just like Call of Duty but with a couple extra gimmicks thrown in. Now, I’m not as tired of WWII shooters as most people, frankly I don’t care so long as the game mechanics and fun factor are there — and of course the multiplayer is robust and kick ass. 

For now, let’s keep an eye on this thing. Maybe it’ll pull through at the end. Who knows, stranger things have happened. 

Robert Summa