Previews// Turning Point: Fall of Liberty

Posted 31 Dec 2007 11:57 by
Craig Allen is passionate about history. So much so that the CEO of Spark Unlimited arranged to present his latest project at the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms in Westminster. Not only that, but Allen was also encouraging the press to check out the Churchill Timeline ? it?s actually worth a read as well. I'm glad I took his advice.

Being behind Call of Duty: Finest Hour and leading a team that has been involved with the Medal of Honour franchise, I asked Allen what it was about historical events that excite him so much. ?All good things come from life experiences, I believe. And I think it?s important to keep learning and teaching about the life experiences of others who have made a difference, it?s incredible to see what people have gone through in their lifetimes.? In developing Turning Point, he reveals in his presentation that games based on history have the power to teach gamers about important events. ?Once you?ve explored history however, you start to take that further and begin to ask ?What if???

It?s this ?What if? concept that Turning Point adopts to give it a unique angle on the now familiar World War II FPS. The game is set in an alternate reality to our own, based on one pivotal moment in history - Winston Churchill, having been involved in a traffic accident in New York, 1931, does not survive. The accident kills him and Britain becomes defenceless against the Nazi regime.

The game then focuses on the United States some years later, once the Nazis have a complete hold on Europe and most of the world. Dan Carson, a New York City construction worker, has the strangest day of his life when he finds himself battling Germans for survival. The impact of this alternate history really hits home in the trailer Allen showcases, which displays the Statue of Liberty emblazoned with a Swastika banner.

I was then treated to a few game-play demo clips. The first has Carson trying to escape a series of high-rise buildings and scaffoldings as airships loom overhead, blowing the landscape to smithereens. German war planes litter the skies, and all around the player there are civilians hanging onto edges of scaffolding for dear life. The graphics wonderfully detail the chaos and the sense of immediacy hits you, even from an audience perspective.

The immediate aim in this demonstration is simply to survive, as you traverse scaffold to building and more scaffolds. In an image more evocative of a more recent NYC tragedy, people are falling past windows when in the office blocks, and entire rooms collapse beneath you as the Nazi invasion rages on. You meet your first enemy on an overpass as the paratrooper scrambles to find his gun. It?s at this point Carson can use his varied number of melee moves to grab the gun out of the enemy?s hand and shoot them. Or have them pushed off the edge. Either is fine I guess.

This is my guess because one of the things Allen is trying to push is the amount of personal connection the player can have with Carson, and thus can approach situations in different ways. ?We really wanted to outline a set piece experience with Turning Point, but I also wanted to display a personal side. You can run in guns blazing if you fancy, or you can also outsmart your opponent and in that way be more resourceful with your game-play.?
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