Battle: Los Angeles Review
This March saw the release of Battle: Los Angeles in both the cinema, and on Xbox Live Arcade. With the reputation that movie games hold, can a lot be expected of this first-person shooter? Or is it to be just another flop as seen with so many movie games before it.
Firstly, let me say that the campaign is ridiculously short. It takes about 30 minutes to complete on easy, about an hour hard. There is no multiplayer or additional gameplay to bulk out the game. Even on hard difficulty the game is simple. There is some kind of story on offer, but one that is really quite uninteresting, and I wouldn’t be surprised if most players ignored it. The only replay value the game offers is to get all of the (easily gained) achievements, which have been designed so they don’t stack, meaning you have to complete the game three times to unlock them all. The game plays like a standard FPS, with a few oddities. You just work your way through a few levels killing identical enemies. There is no melee, and for some reason they assigned RB as reload, when X isn’t even used in combat. There is no way to change them either.
Some actions within the game feel very lagged. When looking down the sights, the act does not feel as smooth as it should do, and the general player movement feels very dragged. Running is completely pointless. If this guy was a U.S. Marine, I don’t know how he would pass all the fitness tests to be honest! He is literally out of breath after 2-3 seconds in what I can only describe as the shortest ‘sprint’ in video game history. The guns, especially the assault rifle, have no realistic feel to them either, and when throwing a grenade, it will usually end up nowhere near where you aimed with the crosshair.
Throughout the game you have access to only three guns; an M16, a sniper rifle and a rocket launcher. You also do not have a secondary weapon such as a pistol. Its basic yet important FPS features that the game really is missing. Another problem with the weapons is their power. The sniper rifle is always a one hit kill, no matter what difficulty, yet the assault rifle can take anywhere between a few bullets and a whole clip to kill an enemy even when stood next to them. There is a huge variation, and one which caused me to use the sniper rifle throughout 90% of the game, even in close quarters. When you die, the game just kind of stops; there is no animation, and it feels odd. The game is also let down by some disappointing AI. The movement is very clunky, especially that of enemies when jumping in and out of cover. This often causes you to miss shots that you would normally make. Because of enemy reactions, it’s hard to tell when you hit them. As well as this, I sometimes found my teammates randomly firing at nothingness into the sky, or a wall.
Despite the woeful gameplay, some areas of the game do deliver. Battle: Los Angeles has some of the best environmental graphics seen on the Xbox Live Arcade, and some world mechanics look really nice. The problem is you have to really concentrate to see these effects since they are so subtle. In fact, some of the best visuals in the games are only seen for twenty seconds, and then never used again! But these pros are let down by some lackluster enemy visuals, and poor looking weapons. The cut scenes look nice, but the comic style doesn’t really fit the story. On top of this, the voice acting is awful, which isn’t what you would expect from a movie game.
Battle: Los Angeles is another one of those rushed movie games. The gameplay value is not worth its 800 :MSPoints: price tag. Though it looks great in some places, the huge flaws in the gameplay, and the stupidly short campaign ruin the game.
Lacks a few essentials of an FPS and campaign is very short. No replay value or multiplayer.
Really nice environmental details let down by poor enemy and weapon visuals.
Poor voice acting and gun sounds. Not what you would expect from a movie game.