World War II first-person shooters are the gold at the end of the rainbow for game publishers. The success of the Call of Duty and Medal of Honor series triggered Midway to try their hand at the format with Hour of Victory. Unfortunately, Midway forgot that gamers are a brainy lot and scornful too. The game appears unfinished, with a shaky plotline and copious bugs, instigating thousands of gamers to aim for Midway's heart via consumer reviews online.
The setting is World War II, Germany, as gamers operate an elite allied taskforce attempting to stop the Nazis from developing an atomic bomb. Hour of Victory's gimmick is the gamer's ability to select between three slightly differing characters for nearly every mission. Ross is the clichéd brawny, loudmouthed Scotsman, Bull is the humble sniper and Taggert plays the role of ethically questionable assassin. Each character has a definite skill; Ross can move heavy objects, Bull can climb and Taggert picks locks. However, aside from the means, the mission always remains the same: Kill all the fuckin' Nazis.
Hour of Victory's AI characters, well, they show little intelligence at all. AIs often shoot at each other and, at times, have their backs to the mounting Allied insurgence explaining why the Nazis lost the war.
The recycled World War II plot is tired and with poor gameplay, Hour of Victory does offer an hour's worth of enjoyment. Hell, the immensely successful Call of Duty series has abandoned the WWII format for Call of Duty 4 now it's in Eastern Europe during the Cold War '80s. With COD 4 hitting shelves in less than three months, Hour of Victory COD's cheap, humdrum knockoff (think Captain Action vs. G.I. Joe) will soon be history.Dustin Walsh is a freelance writer. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org