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Battlestations: Midway

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Strategy game regulars may be used to orchestrating battles and simply letting their ever-loyal automaton armies deal with the messy end of their master plan, but Battlestations: Midway does things differently - to improve the chances of victory, players will have to jump into the fray themselves. After all, if you want a job done right...

As we discovered during a recent hands-on with the single-player campaign, the ability to switch entirely at will between ships, planes and submarines gives this Pacific War focused (the game recounts events from Pearl Harbor to the Battle of Midway) action-strategy hybrid a unique hook. Tactics, orders, unit positioning and deployment can all be executed in a simple, top-down map screen and the player is given the freedom to take direct control of any allied craft active on the battlefield at any time.

If musing over maps isn't your thing, don't be deterred - we certainly don't think Battlestations will sink under the weight of studious strategizing in the war room. Indeed, the ability to oversee events and exercise your inner generalissimo simply adds extra depth when you dive into the bomb dropping, torpedo firing and bullet spitting action.

To earn the greatest tactical advantage, swatting up on the game's 60-plus different warships, planes and submarines will be crucial - how well you know your fleet could be the difference between victory and defeat. Who should you send out to destroy an enemy airfield - hulking great B17 bombers or nifty Dauntless dive bombers? It's all up to you.

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