Battlestations Midway is actually three or four games in one, combining real-time command decisions, flight combat action, and warship and submarine simulation for a blend of complex naval warfare strategy and seat-of-the pants excitement.
The player starts out as the commander of a PT boat at Pearl Harbor and progresses through the ranks, with opportunities along the way to fight in many of the important naval battles from those desperate early days in the Pacific. The game culminates with the player taking command of the carrier Yorktown and the rest of the U.S. Navy forces at the Battle of Midway.
You can manage units from an overhead operational map, organizing ships into fleet formations or sending aircraft squadrons on bombing runs. Or you can take direct control of any weapon under your command. You can man the antiaircraft guns aboard your cruisers, fire your battleships’ artillery, torpedo enemy ships from a submarine, or hop into the cockpit of any of more than twenty four types of planes.
As daunting as all this sounds, the strategy element is not complex, and the controls for each type of ship and aircraft are easy to handle. The difficulty of Battlestations Midway comes from the sum of its parts. The battles are immense in terms of action and scale. The key to victory lies in management and control. To succeed at this truly excellent naval warfare game, you must use the right combinations of units, manage forces via the operational map, and periodically take control of individual units to achieve specific objectives.
Originally published in the July/August 2007 issue of World War II Magazine. To subscribe, click here.