Game Reviews

Blood Beach

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| Blood Beach
Blood Beach
| Blood Beach

The historical last-ditch defence has excited readers and cinema-goers for decades. From Rorke’s Drift to the Alamo and General Custer, there’s something about the desperate last stand that ignites the imagination.

Plus, it's a good excuse for an obscene level of violence, all in the name of historical accuracy.

Blood Beach travels under just such a disguise with its representation of the Pacific theatre of the Second World War. Ostensibly a portrayal of the desperate struggle for supremacy between the United States and Japan, it is in fact a jazzed-up duck hunt.

Admittedly, not many ducks return fire with high-calibre weapons, but the fact remains that Blood Beach is nothing more than a static shooter. It just so happens to be a fairly decent one.

You man the sole defensive position of a key Pacific beachhead, using a variety of weaponry to fend off Japanese air raids, landing infantry, and even huge battleships.

The controls are as simple as they are flexible. You point your weapon with your left thumb and fire with your right, though the way you aim can be selected from a list of three options.

The default mode is joystick, which essentially acts as a virtual analogue stick. While jittery at first, it quickly becomes second nature. It's worth noting that the sensitivity can be tweaked. Then there’s an analogue pad, which tracks the movement of your thumb within a small area. This is the easiest method.

The final method is touch, which lets you push your sights around the screen manually. It's by far the worst aiming system and should be passed over from the beginning.

Once you’ve settled on your controls, it’s a matter of tackling each level in sequence as the Japanese threat increases. Unlike many turret shooters, the variety of foes and tactics necessary to defeat them keeps Blood Beach from growing stale.

Your default M2 BMG is a great all-around weapon, effective at taking down swooping Zeroes in early stages. While you’re fending off the last wave of these, however, you might notice a squad of troops set to land on the beach.

If you’re quick, you might be able to take out the boat with one of your high-calibre weapons, but if they’ve already hit the beach you could do worse than switch to your light sub-machine gun and engage them directly. That tank creeping in close could do with a couple of grenades throwing its way, while you’re at it.

It’s this constant shift in targets and range (there’s a permanent zoom toggle that allows you to pick off distant targets) that keeps Blood Beach interesting despite its rather crude concept.

Despite all the bells and whistles, it's a basic game. Once you’ve played through it once - a couple of hours' worth of play at most - there isn’t much to bring you back other than the almost-obligatory online leaderboards.

Blood Beach manages to make the typically shallow turret shooter both interesting and a little strategic, while the graphics and sound are good enough to draw you in. Even though it lacks long term appeal, Blood Beach fights hard and surprisingly smart to win your affection.

Blood Beach

Blood Beach is a decent turret-shooter that puts up a commendable fight against boredom thanks to some varied enemies and tactics