Hour of Victory Review

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Graphics: 5.0
Sound : 5.0
Gameplay : 6.0
Multiplayer : 6.0
Overall : 5
Review by Kerim Senkal
A few hours too late. Personally, I have not had an overly extensive exposure to too many WWII shooters, but even I felt this was game was just a hot mess of recycled genericness. Yes, genericness. So, Allied forces have discovered the Nazis are attempting to develop an atomic blah blah blah. While Hour of Victory does have some redeeming qualities, they’ve all been redeemed already in another game three or four years ago.

Published by Midway, Hour of Victory falls short of victorious with an uninspired story, unoriginal music, and graphics that make you wonder when the “next-gen” revolution is going to start. Don’t be surprised if you periodically check to make sure your system isn’t an Xbox in 360 clothing. Apparently, the Unreal Engine 3.0 that was used on this game was suppose to provide some really spectacular graphics. Nothing I saw in game or in the cut scenes would qualify as spectacular. The game play is very typical and will seem familiar because its all been done before, and probably better. Very barebones it lacks a lot of the more intricate controls and commands found in other WWII shooters.

Trudging along through war torn territories, pegging off the endless onslaught of Nazi soldiers, you are faced with little diversity or challenge other than being sure not to get pegged yourself. Some missions can prove to be a bit tedious because there are no checkpoints or areas to save your progress in the level. If you get killed you will have to start back at the beginning of a mission that you may have just spent twenty minutes getting through ninety percent of. It makes an otherwise moderately exciting game a little more challenging. Patience and planning are your best weapons as there are no health packs to be found. When you take too many hits, a veiny, red haze will appear around the outside of the screen, standing still for a few seconds will replenish health and stamina. That being said, it’s harder then it sounds. If your health is being sapped you are obviously being filled with lead by some inconsiderate Nazi swine, so first you need to either dispose of him, or get the hell out of Dodge. If there are a few other sneaky shooters around, your chances of a dirt nap are quite good.

Developer Nfusion added one somewhat unique element to this game giving you the option to choose from three different characters on basically every stage. The first is William Ross, a Scottish, run and gun style commando who is described as “an old-school gentleman“. Strength and toughness are his unique attributes as well as the ability to push heavy objects. Strength and toughness… hmmm are those important? Combined with a more powerful and faster reloading machine gun, Ross can cause more damage and take more hits than the other soldiers. So right off the bat he is obviously the best choice for pretty much every mission thus rendering the “character choice option” of the game a complete useless gimmick.

If, however, you were so inclined, and interested in making this game needlessly more difficult, you could also select to use Calvin “Bull” Blackbull, a Ranger/Sniper who can climb ropes when he comes across them and jump higher and farther to get into position to snipe Nazis from a cozy safe distance. Or Ambrose (Ambrose?) Taggert, expert in stealth and covert ops, armed with a silenced machine gun and lock picking capabilities.

While it seems this gimmick was well intentioned, it doesn’t translate well in the game. It would have been much better if more of the stages were built with one character in mind rather than all of them. In the end you pretty much wind up in the same drag out gun fight no matter which soldier you use. When you come across an obstacle where there is something that needs to be moved by Ross, a few feet away will be a rope for Bull to climb or a fence to be cut by Taggert. There may as well be three doors next to each other with the names of the three soldiers written on them. Missions that were geared towards one character were more engaging.

The AI in Hour of Victory is also mediocre. The Nazi fighters can perform some basic tactical moves, hide around corners and duck behind objects but they don’t really react until you are pretty much right on top of them. As far as the Allied soldiers, they help the cause minimally by drawing fire and the occasional enemy kill.

Finally there is the Multiplayer mode which was really nothing to speak of at all. Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and Devastation are the options here. I didn’t spend a whole lot of time with it and suggest you don’t either.

After all is said and done, this game is a step in the wrong direction and is a disappointment. For the sixty dollar price tag most 360 games retail for, I think there are much better ways to spend your money. You could probably find a used Xbox and copy of Call of Duty and have a much more satisfying experience blowing up Nazis. What’s more fun than that?