Within the first five minutes of Turning Point: Fall of Liberty, you'll know whether you're going to like this game. You find yourself as a construction worker atop a partially constructed building in the 1950s as swarms of Nazis invade New York -- by boat, on land, and in the air -- and you have to carefully walk across the beams and cross a few buildings to reach the ground. It's an intense scene, with explosions going off all around, and the sky thick with Nazis and Nazi residue.
A press release describes it as "creating a D-Day in reverse scenario in which the Zeppelins are the battleships, the blimps are the landing craft and the rooftops of downtown New York are the beaches."
In fact, in the intro. sequence alone (that we saw at a recent Codemasters press event), we noted the following list of "stuff in the sky": blimps, smoke, buildings showing realtime damage from incoming attacks, planes, people falling to their death, explosions, papers flying around, cars realistically moving on the streets below, and Nazis with parachutes. Developer Spark Unlimited is putting in a lot of effort to make this opening a good demonstration of what the game is all about: an alternate universe story of the Nazis making this kind of attack on New York.
SCREENS: Spark is promising tilt controller functionality for the PS3 version of the game and good achievements for the 360 version, but roughly speaking the three versions should appear the same. [Click the image above to check out all Turning Point screens.]
In this world, the Third Reich kills Winston Churchill in 1931 and takes over England in 1940, leading to a 1952 invasion of New York. You play Danny Carson, an everyman who has to use what he can find to stay alive. It's an odd and refreshing feeling to see a main character in a game like this that doesn't dress like a soldier but instead a civilian trying to get by, and we wouldn't be surprised to see your outfit change over the course of the game when you move to places like Washington D.C. to meet up with other members of the resistance and continue the fight (though the game's title doesn't exactly give you much hope).
Much like Spark's best previous game, Call of Duty: Finest Hour, Turning Point is being designed as a rollercoaster of a first-person shooter. The 10-minute or so intro. sequence isn't just there to set the scene, according to the developers, but as a lead in to what we can expect from the rest of the game.
Apart from beam balancing right at the beginning of the game, we didn't get to see much in the gameplay that differentiates it from other similar shooters, but players will be able to perform one-button context sensitive grappling attacks as they sneak up on enemies from behind. In one scene we saw, a Nazi on a parachute landed on a platform Carson needed to cross, so Carson snuck up and knocked him out as the Nazi was adjusting from the landing, using moves based on Krav Maga martial arts. In scenes like this and climbing/ledge-grabbing, the camera moves into a third-person view to show the character in his 50s garb.
There's plenty more about the weapons and enemy types that we could elaborate on, but that's not what Turning Point is all about (and from what we've seen, it doesn't seem all that different from what you'll find in other military shooters). Check out the screenshots and imagine them in motion to get a feel for how the game starts off, and see if that's a shooter you might be interested in.