Battlestations Pacific Demo

Why spoil a nice sunset with a war against the Japanese?

Eidos’ Battlestations Pacific is due some time next month, but the demo is out already. In it you get to play shooty-bangs with both boats and planes in a short mission, as well as a couple of skirmish games that I couldn’t make head nor tail of. 1.23GB of it, and very pretty it is too.

The mission is super-easy, first having you hammer things out of the sky from a boat, then zip around in the sky in planes, each time taking out the naughty Japanese. Perhaps a better person would tell you the names of the boats and the planes, but I’m not that man. What I can tell you is that despite the barrage of tutorial tips that will appear, and the oh-good-grief-close-it-now unclarity of the strategic map, just hopping into the cockpit and shooting at stuff is super-simple, and pretty good fun.

The demo takes you through a few different ammo types, getting you to use missiles, rockets and torpedoes, with a pretty much infinite supply of aircraft. It means you can fly all loosey-goosey and smash into mountains without the game getting cross with you. Beyond the impressively post-mortal cries of fear from your crew, there’s no punishment for screwing up – in fact just one button press has you flying in a brand new bird without even a second’s pause.

My top-tip for maximum demo enjoyment: in the rocket firing section, don’t aim for the three boatyard targets, but instead focus on taking out boats, planes and missile launchers. That way you get to keep playing the game’s most fun section, and the AI doesn’t interfere and hurry you along.

Couple of warnings. It’s one of those godforsaken demos that doesn’t flipping well ask you where to install, so if you’ve got a weeny C: drive, you could be in trouble. And as you quit out it’s going to force you to sit and watch a long, dull advert for the game that you clearly don’t want to see because you just clicked on a button saying “QUIT”. Even in windowed mode (in which the game plays perfectly), it won’t give you your mouse back until it’s done screaming numbers at you.

25 Comments

  1. ilurker says:

    Couple of warnings. It’s one of those godforsaken demos that doesn’t flipping well ask you where to install, so if you’ve got a weeny C: drive, you could be in trouble.

    Reaching for that retro charm you could only find in 1996, I see.

  2. SpoonySeeker says:

    Oh hey look, Someone released a demo of their game Before releasing it; what novelty!

    Hint, Hint developers

  3. jonfitt says:

    As you quit out it’s going to force you to sit and watch a long, dull advert for the game that you clearly don’t want to see because you just clicked on a button saying “QUIT”. Even in windowed mode (in which the game plays perfectly), it won’t give you your mouse back until it’s done screaming numbers at you.

    Three-fingered salute to quit then :)

  4. Gurrah says:

    I second that, SpoonySeeker.

  5. bergotronic says:

    I want to try it, but 1.23gb is quite a bit given my crappy American bandwidth cap.

  6. MrBejeebus says:

    ill try it out once ive finished downloading the v1.5 beta of bf2, maybe time to bf2 up again

    i enjoyed battlestations: midway quite a bit so this should be good

  7. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    so if you’ve got a weeny C: drive, try cialis

    FTFY

  8. DK says:

    Is this as crappily ported as Battlestations:Midway? That one was near unplayable (and utterly unplayable in aircraft mode).

  9. Flappybat says:

    I didn’t have to quit as it bluescreened Vista when I crashed my plane.

  10. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    The skirmishes are essentially unplayable. The “siege” map locked me out after I lost two planes. The “island capture” one didn’t tell me how to build units until there were way more Japanese than me.

    Add in combat that makes you feel really ineffective, and I think I’ll pass.

  11. A-Scale says:

    Installed it on Vista 64, yet there is no trace of it on the desktop or in the start menu. Had to dig into C to find it.

    Short review: The sense of speed is completely nil. I feel like I’m traveling at about ten miles per hour in the planes. I don’t think they’ve adequately captured the shakiness, noise or airflow that would make the speed feel realistic. The planes fly clunkily, but I’m no expert in that field. The vistas are pretty, and the graphics are nice, but overall it’s a bit unremarkable. It thus far feels like a 7/10 game that could be made into a truly extraordinary game if they were willing to make the requisite changes to give a feeling of flying realistically, and made the combat lock on system easier to use.

    Two additional points
    1. The voice acting is awful. Not Men of War awful, but I never thought I would hear such a disaffected voice announcing the first encounter with kamakazis.
    2. Making me watch a literally 2-3 minute long clip of the game before I’m permitted to quit, nice. And I do mean making me. Even Vista’s ctrl alt delete menu couldn’t get me out of it. Heckuva job, Eidos.

  12. agent x says:

    i thought it was ok, it sports improved graphics and game modes over midway though the planes havent changed much and the jap cruisers are too weak compared to there american conterparts. i’d like to test the full copy once its done then figure out wheather i’ll buy or not after all $50 dollars is a lot these days

  13. Shadowcat says:

    Oh hey look, Someone released a demo of their game Before releasing it; what novelty! Hint, Hint developers

    Give me a post-release demo over a pre-release demo any day. I want a demo to represent the retail version, not be based on some older version of the game without all of the final polish that happens at the end of a project.

  14. Colthor says:

    @A-Scale:
    Installed it on Vista 64, yet there is no trace of it on the desktop or in the start menu. Had to dig into C to find it.
    It might have hidden itself in Vista’s awful (and unkillable, alas) Game Explorer thing; it’s in Start->Programs->Games.

  15. Walsh says:

    Its absurd you can’t change the install path. It’s basically built into the install creation tools (such as Installshield) and they would have had to willfully remove it.

  16. clive dunn says:

    …..download cancelled…..

  17. Sparvy says:

    @Walsh, Its possible that they use some sort of weird ass coding/linking method that requires the game to be run from C:\. Of course they would have to be idiots to this but thats hardly impossible.

  18. Chaz says:

    I rahter enjoyed the demo, and I’m rather looking forward to this. A sort of arcade/strategy title that has you controlling a fleet of ships, subs and planes, it’s got me interested. Although I’m too much of a coward to try the skirmish bits yet, as it all looks rather complicated. I’m hoping the full SP campaign will break you in gently when it comes to the strategy bits.

  19. cliffski says:

    i aborted the download. lifes too short to tie up my net connection that long at that speed.

  20. DK says:

    @Walsh, it’s quite clearly indicative of zero effort going into the PC version – they can’t even be bothered to do make a proper PC demo (no install directory….I think I know that from some directory less boxes…..).

  21. Bert says:

    cannot change the install path, installer needs hours to start while macking my complete pc slowing down as hell-> ergo i have deleted the setup without installing and lost any interest of this game.

    maybe one time they will learn it the hard way ;)

  22. army of none says:

    This was actually really fun! Less crying over install directories and more commentary on actual game, me thinks.

  23. Jackmang says:

    Tch i downloaded the demo, but for my own surprise each time it starts to install, nothing happens. Just shows the “Preparing installation” crap and nothing happens. Waited 2 hours, left for school for 7 classes and still the same <_<

  24. Jake79 says:

    Do You know how to star playing the demo?

    I install the demo (it takes few minutes) and then I can not start the game. There is no shortcut. I can not even find istall directory.

    Any ideas?

  25. Maes2502 says:

    Yeah wow, I can’t install it even tho my SATA drive has 100 gig free but couldn’t just prompted for it oh no… purchase not looking so good after demo won’t even install..