Just like racing games, World War II shooters are more prevalent than original IP's in the gaming industry. There are already some sensational World War II shooters, but with so many released every year, the genre has become a bit tired. Other developers have tried to spice things up by changing the setting, time period and adding in a heck of a lot of innovations, but unfortunately some developers are quite happy just to change the setting and call it a day. Sadly, Turning Point falls into the latter category.
Fall of Liberty poses an alternative history - in 1931, Winston Churchill was hit by a taxi while crossing Fifth Avenue. He went on to lead England as Prime Minister and basically helped to keep England from being invaded during the war. Well, Turning Point kills off Winston Churchill. Due to his death, England ends up being invaded by the Nazis and eventually falls to the Germans. After Hitler has taken over all of Europe, the Germans head to America. Turning Point picks up on November 10th, 1953, where a blue collar New York City construction worker (Dan Carson, the protagonist for the game) is working the weekend away until things go wrong, both for Dan and the game. First up, many people (including ourselves) were rather excited about Fall of Liberty's alternative view of history. Unfortunately, aside from presenting a change of locations, the storyline is quickly relegated to last priority after about ten minutes, which is a real shame. In fact, the premise for Fall of Liberty is arguably the most appealing thing about the title, so to abandon the story so quickly is borderline criminal.
Things kick off pretty generically in Fall of Liberty - you'll start on the top of a building as the Germans attack. While you'll start off without a weapon, it doesn't take long before you're in the thick of the action shooting down Nazis (sound familiar?). It's unfortunate that the gameplay in Fall of Liberty really lets the title down severely. First up, the levels are linear as they can possibly be - if you're hoping to explore New York City this isn't the game for you. Even worse is the fact that sometimes it will seem like you have got a chance to make the decision, you realise the path is blocked for some reason or another.
So, we've established the game is a rather linear title, which while it may not always be a bad thing really, it really depends on how the game plays. Unfortunately, Fall of Liberty doesn't shine in this category either. For silent kills or kills that are a little more gruesome the game lets the player walk up to an enemy and press B to instantly kill an enemy. When it comes to weapons, you can hold two weapons at once as well as grenades, firing weapons isn't easy though; it's very difficult to aim, meaning a lot of players will be grappling with the controls for the entire game.
Despite the fact the Nazis are trained soldiers, they seem about as intelligent as a three year old. Fall of Liberty prefers to send dozens of soldiers at you, rather than one or two intelligent soldiers. Often soldiers will just stand there, waiting for death. Your squad mates aren't any more intelligent either, consistently walking in front of you. Also adding to our frustration is the fact that Fall of Liberty just feels unfinished - we experienced several glitches throughout the very short campaign that just make the game feel incredibly unfinished as well. Fall of Liberty also isn't helped by the fact that in any real action sequence the frame rate takes a dive, which is rather questionable, considering the game isn't exactly a visual feast.
Multiplayer fares no better and feels like a last minute inclusion. The only options are deathmatch and team deathmatch and the only real advantage to playing multiplayer is the fact that you don't have to deal with the lackluster AI. All players are still grappling with the poor controls though and there is really nothing at all in the multiplayer that differentiates Fall of Liberty from any other first person shooter. The fact is, coming from a game like Call of Duty, which features a fantastic online component, to Fall of Liberty is frankly embarrassing for Spark Unlimited. That the online component of the game is so generic all but guarantees that in about a month's time the multiplayer for Fall of Liberty will be dead.
Despite the complaints, Fall of Liberty isn't a complete disaster. Special mention should go to the soundtrack, which is rather fantastic. The weapons (which are inspired by actual Nazi documents found after the war) are a decent inclusion, it's just firing them that's the problem. Those who go into the game fully able to accept the glitches, the linear campaign and the poor AI may possibly get a small, tiny amount of enjoyment from Fall of Liberty, but anyone who has played any half decent first person shooter in the past year will just be incredibly disappointed by the game.
It really is a shame how Turning Point: Fall of Liberty has turned out. When we first heard about the premise for the game we were rather excited, but the storyline is quickly forgotten about and was really only implemented in the game to justify the change of location. The silly AI, terrible glitches, haphazard frame rate, poor aiming and tacked on multiplayer mode don't do Fall of Liberty any favours. Anyone looking for an enjoyable FPS should avoid this game like War.