Step back in time into World War II, video game style. It’s unique, right? We’ve never done this before. Okay, we have, but Midway and N-Fusion Interactive, the developer, want to do something else, that maybe is a little different for you. That is tackle the war with three different characters, in three different ways. Hour of Victory puts you through the paces as your choice of Sgt. Calvin Blackbull (the sniper), Sgt. William Ross (the Commando), or Lt. Ambrose Taggert (the covert ops agent), each with their own unique way of getting around the various obstacles put in front of you. Throw in tanks, anti-aircraft guns, and escort/protect missions and Hour of Victory may just be able to provide gamers with their own chance at reliving history as a hero.
When I think about World War II, I don’t exactly think about music, though you do think a little about the sights and sounds of war. Hour of Victory has a decent score, though you don’t hear it as much as you might in other games. The sound effects, however, are much more prevalent with the sound of gunfire and explosions going on all around you. The music is similar to anything that you might hear in your typical war movie. So, it’s not bad. It sets the tone and gets you into a fighting mood. The voice acting is surprisingly decent, though for the most part there’s not a whole lot to it and the dialog is rather straightforward. The characters exhibit no personality, which is kind of a shame because if the three different heroes also showed off unique personalities this game could have been more enjoyable and would’ve had more replay value.
Visually, Hour of Victory is a mixed bag. The characters are animated decently and modeled nicely enough, but some of the backgrounds and maps are dull and repetitive. The animations that come about when you kill an enemy are very cool and each one really seems to be unique and responsive to the methods by which they were killed. For example throwing a grenade will result in an enemy flying through the air from the explosion or if you shoot someone from a distance they may end up firing off a few rounds into the ground before they actually fall down. That part is really cool and you can tell they paid extra attention to it, whereas, some of the levels just look rather plain. You can’t interact with objects in the environment, and you typically don’t see damage done. By now, I would think that we were at the point when all shooters would have destructible environments, but apparently not. Hour of Victory is a good looking game, but not exactly at the top of the short list when you discuss the best graphics on the Xbox 360.
Interestingly, I found Hour of Victory to grow on me after a while. It’s not a horrible game by any stretch of the imagination, but on a system with a plethora of first person shooters, this falls way short of reaching elite status. For one thing the enemy A.I. is terrible, they’re either too smart for their own good or they’re too dumb, they can pick you off from what seems like a mile away or they can be completely be oblivious to the fact that you’re sneaking up on them with 100 pounds of equipment strapped to your back including giant guns dangling off your pack. Not often, but often enough, I found the game to contain a few glitches. On one of the final levels where you drive a tank I fell through the floor and found myself in a perpetual fall until I was forced to exit out of the game and restart the level. Another time I found myself dying by a tank artillery shell, which was never fired at me. Things like that really make a game less enjoyable for people, especially when factored in with unforgiving (read: cheap) A.I. The fact that you can play as three different characters is nice, they have different abilities like Ross, the Commando, can move heavy objects which will open up different areas, while Bull, the Sniper, can climb objects, and Taggert can sneak through tunnels and the like. Unfortunately, this is underutilized and the fact that whichever character you choose never gets to show off any sort of personality gives the player no attachment to any of them. Hour of Victory is a decent enough game. Again, it’s not horrible, but it’s not great and when it comes down to spending your hard earned money on a game you want the best game for your dollar.
In terms of multiplayer, Hour of Victory offers some of the same standard fare that’s become the norm of the first person shooter genre. It almost seems as though the multiplayer was an afterthought. It really isn’t fun when you’re playing a team match and die only to spawn at your start and find your opponents standing there ready to kill you again…and again…and again. You get the picture. Not to mention that the Xbox LIVE servers are virtually empty and devoid of much competition, or at least they were on the several attempts I made at playing. Eventually I found games, but most of them consisted of people boosting for achievement points.
Speaking of which, Hour of Victory is fairly easy and any veteran of the FPS genre should be able to breeze through it in probably much less than ten hours. The only reason you even go back to replay the game at all is because you want to unlock the achievements of using each character on specific missions. Really, this game is probably good for a rental just to pick up a few hundred easy achievement points because there are far superior shooters on the Xbox 360 to this one.
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