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Turning Point: Fall of Liberty

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Turning Point: Fall of Liberty is a first-person shooter video game, developed by Spark Unlimited for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows. It was released in North America on February 26, 2008; in Australia on March 13, 2008; and in Europe on March 14, 2008.[3]

The game takes place in an alternate history in which Winston Churchill dies in 1931, eight years before the start of World War II, presenting the possibility of what could have happened to Europe, the United States, and the rest of the world without his leadership. The United Kingdom is subdued by Nazi Germany in 1940, and the rest of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East fall soon afterward. The United States, infected with anti-war sentiment, does not get involved overseas. The game takes place in the midst of the Greater German Reich's invasion and occupation of the east coast of the United States in 1953.[4]

Gameplay

In Turning Point: Fall of Liberty, the player assumes the role of Dan Carson, an average New York construction worker who has no prior connection to the military. Unlike other similar war games, the player's objective is not to help the Allies win the war, but merely to survive in an environment of total war as a resistance fighter against Nazi Germany.[5]

The game includes many advanced versions of weapons used in World War II, and several that were being researched and developed late in the war but never made it to mass production. Super-heavy tanks such as the Panzerkampfwagen VIII Maus and Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte appear in the game, as well as the Nachteule troop-transport zeppelin, the Flugzeugträger German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin, and various advanced jet fighters and bombers, all of which are utilized by the German invasion force.[6]

The player can wield up to two weapons, which can be German or American. Weapons range from submachine guns to rifles to rocket launchers. He can also wield up to four grenades. When the player gets close to a Nazi soldier, a prompt comes up. Pressing the melee button when the prompt is seen allows two options to be taken. One is an instant kill, where Carson melees the Nazi soldier to death. The other is the human shield, where Carson knocks the Nazi soldier, holds him in a stranglehold, and takes his sidearm. He can walk around killing other Nazi soldiers with the human shield protecting him against most damages until his human shield dies. Occasionally, a Nazi soldier will be standing near an interactive object, such as a furnace or a toilet, allowing Carson to perform an environmental kill with it.

Multiplayer

Multiplayer in Turning Point: Fall of Liberty is available online via Xbox Live, PlayStation Network or through a System Link. Gameplay is divided into two modes: deathmatch and team deathmatch with players able to play as Nazi soldiers or as the American Resistance. The players can pick their primary weapon (a pistol serves as the secondary weapon). Gameplay is centered on four maps based on locations within the game and each map also has its own player limit with eight as the maximum.[7]

Campaign

Background

Turning Point: Fall of Liberty is based on an alternate history where the point of divergence occurs with Winston Churchill's death in 1931 from being hit by a cab while visiting New York City, instead of surviving.[8] Years later, without his foresight and leadership needed to keep the country together, the United Kingdom falls to the Third Reich in 1940 after the British Royal Air Force was defeated by the German Luftwaffe, achieving air supremacy, and Operation Sealion was successful, forcing Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain to surrender to Nazi Germany. This allows Germany to sweep through the other surrounding countries completely unopposed. The Third Reich invades the Soviet Union with Operation Barbarossa with a larger, stronger army unhampered by a battle with Britain, and conquers large amounts of territory and many Russian cities, including Stalingrad, Leningrad, and Moscow. After numerous German victories decimate the disorganized Russians, the Red Army and Joseph Stalin surrender to the Wehrmacht and Adolf Hitler. The non-aggression pact Stalin made with Germany prior to the invasion left him without any allies to back him up. The Nazis also help their Italian allies conquer North Africa, creating Mussolini's "New Roman Empire", by sending heavy Panzer divisions. They crush all opposition, and conquer the last safe haven for oppressed Europeans seeking to escape the Nazis. Japan also sweeps through Asia unopposed, due to the Japanese using Germany's captured Middle Eastern and Soviet oil, which makes any possible U.S oil embargo against Japan useless in stopping their conquest. This also keeps the Japanese from launching the Attack on Pearl Harbor, the attack that would've brought the United States into the war in the original timeline. Various Resistance groups start forming in occupied Europe against the oppressive regime. Unfortunately, they are unable to do much against the Nazis, and many Resistance groups are fiercely crushed. Even peaceful demonstrations against Nazi occupation is met with fierce hostility.[9] During the war, the United States chose an isolationist policy, implemented by Republican president Thomas E. Dewey (who defeated Truman in 1948), rather than engage Nazi Germany. The Germans made it clear that they are very thankful of U.S isolationism, considering that if the U.S did intervene during the war, none of what Germany done would've been possible.

A period of development follows the success of the Axis Powers, transforming conquered Europe, Asia and Africa into the Greater German Reich and allowing allies Japan and Italy to share in the prosperity; at the same time, the Nazis start engineering and mass producing many of their Wunderwaffen, including jet fighters, super-heavy tanks, high-tech bombers, and other advanced weaponry. These hyper-advanced weaponry makes Germany the strongest nation on the planet. With the war essentially over, the people of the world wonder why the weapons are being developed, and what is the purpose of the mass weapons build-up. This causes rising tensions between the now technologically superior German Reich and the United States, one of the few nations that are still free from Nazi rule. The United States and the rest of the League of Nations continue to condemn the actions of Nazi Germany in the occupied territories, but make no attempts to stop them, as the U.S is still stricken with anti-war sentiment, despite being very sympathetic with the oppressed Europeans. When secret plans for an American invasion by German and Japanese forces are found by the British Resistance, codenamed Operation Humpback Whale, Germany and Japan are quick to deny it, saying these accusations are ludicrous. The U.S was far off, and there was nothing of interest for them there, they claimed. President Dewey believes their lies, and continues his isolationist policies, refusing to stock up on arms and increase the size of the military in case of a possible invasion. The invasion plans turn out to be very true, however, and the Operation Humpback Whale is launched in 1953, with a combined German/Japanese offensive striking at the United States on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Large battle zeppelins, now filled with non-flammable helium, conquer the skies, fighter jets drop bombs on fleeing civilians, battleships fire cannons on crumbling skyscrapers, tanks roll down the streets, and paratroopers drop into the city in the thousands, each armed with advanced, post-war weapons. The attack also destroys many spiritual landmarks, like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and the Chrysler Building. Dan Carson, a construction worker who couldn't care less about politics in Europe, finds himself caught in the first modern invasion of the United States, right inside the German surprise attack on New York City.[10][11]

Characters

  • Dan Carson: A construction worker who is caught in the middle of the Nazi surprise attack on New York City. Although he was a civilian, being raised on the streets of New York City taught him many life lessons on how to take care of himself. He is a member of the American Resistance and he kills numerous Nazi soldiers in order to save his country. He assists the Resistance with many tasks, from helping civilians to killing the puppet President. He sacrifices himself to save New York City from the atomic bomb on the large Zeppelin.
  • Sergeant Callahan: The National Guard commander who is a member of the American Resistance. He's Carson's recruiter and commander for the first part of the game. He's not keen on using untrained civilians, but with the lack of mobilization, and Carson looking like a man who can handle himself, and he permits Carson to help out.
  • Angelo: An Italian-American who is a fellow Resistance member. He seems fairly high up in the Resistance ranks, giving orders to Carson on various occasions, especially toward the end of the game. He helps Carson defend the barricade, blow up the White House, and get Carson to the large Zeppelin carrying the atomic bomb.
  • General George Donnelly: An American general who hates the Nazi occupiers. He leads a raid on a federal court house where Joseph Goebbels was stationed, in defiance of the puppet President's orders. He is captured, but then freed by the Resistance. He's the person who first found out about the atomic bomb, and is the person who orders the assassination of President James Stevenson.
  • President James Stevenson: The pro-Nazi President who replaces Dewey and Haley. He is the President of the puppet government set up by the Nazi regime. His first act in office is the announcement of America's surrender. Because of his loyalty to the Nazis, the American Resistance decide that he is unfit to be President. They break into the White House, and he is killed by Dan Carson.

New York City

File:TurningPointScreen01.jpg

The game begins with German bombers destroying the Statue of Liberty. The protagonist, Dan Carson, is a construction worker who is on an unfinished skyscraper when the surprise attack hits. He makes is way down the skyscraper, killing a Nazi soldier and taking his gun in the process, and eventually makes it out of the building and getting to ground level. Following his harrowing escape from the skyscraper, he joins up with National Guard troops, seeing a destroyed Chrysler Building along the way, attempting to set up a barricade around the subway and railway systems to allow civilians to escape. He picks up a Thompson submachine gun, an M1 Garand, and some grenades, and assists the Army in defending the barricade against numerous Nazi soldiers and German armed vehicles. Two Panzer VIII Maus tanks attack the barricade. However, Carson sneaks under them using the sewers and blows both of them up with dynamite. Unfortunately, after Carson destroys the last tank, the barricade is breached. He continues fighting until he ends up being injured when the Nazis bring a Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte tank and fires, although Carson survives. The defenders, being unable to fight it, retreat to the subway. Later, the news programs report the rising of civilian insurgents battling the Nazi occupiers that attacked them a mere two hours ago. Later that day, Carson is sent to assist other American troops scattered across the city. Carson destroys a machine gun nest blocking the evacuation of civilians. He then travels through a recently abandoned stretch of subway line teeming with Nazi paratroopers, eventually reaching a small factory depot. There, he finds several civilians that need to escape in the nearby evacuation trains. He uses a sniper rifle to take out the snipers blocking their path. When he makes it to the trains, one of the German patrol zeppelins spots them. Carson grabs a rocket launcher, and takes it down. He then escapes New York City on board one of the evacuation trains. Several months later, the war takes a turn for the worst. The German invasion force overruns Washington, D.C. and Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels announces that President Dewey, and Vice President Haley will be resigning, allowing the Nazi-supported Speaker of the House James Edward Stevenson to lead the new puppet government. President Stevenson's first act in office is calling all American armed forces to stand down.

Washington, D.C.

Following America's surrender, a General named George Donnelly, in defiance of President Stevenson's orders, leads a raid against the Nazi controlled Federal Courthouse, where Minister Goebbels was stationed. Donnelly is captured, and faces charges of treason and possible execution. Carson, now a member of the American Resistance in Washington, D.C., meets up with other Resistance members about their next course of action. Their safehouse is compromised after they attack a group of Nazis doing a sweep of the neighborhood they are in, due to the German squad shooting innocent civilians. Carson's two allies are killed when they are attacked by a tank. Carson makes his way out of the safehouse through a hole that was created by the tank, and steals a rocket launcher from a nearby Nazi soldier. He uses this rocket launcher to destroy the tank. Afterwards, he makes his way through the city, fighting various Nazi soldiers, until he makes it to a truck driven by the Resistance. The Resistance attempts a rescue mission for General Donnelly. The truck brings Carson and the Resistance into the prison where General Donnelly was held. Carson makes his way through the prison, and finds him being interrogated by Nazi guards. Carson frees Donnelly, and they kill all the Nazis blocking their escape. They break out of the building and escape in their truck. Once free, General Donnelly claims he will continue to fight the foreign invaders. General Donnelly also accuses Nazi Germany of developing a prototype atomic bomb, which is scheduled to be tested on a major American city. Stevenson says that Donnelly's accusations are ridiculous hearsay from a "known traitor", but refused to comment on the weapon himself. The Resistance finally decides to assassinate President Stevenson, and launches a full assault against the heavily fortified White House. Carson goes inside alone, killing hundreds of Nazi soldiers, before allowing the demolitions team into the White House. Carson finds Stevenson in the middle of an address to the nation, and kills him. The Resistance then blows up the historic building. During the attack, the Resistance also discovered secret documents detailing the existence of a secret lab that developed the atomic bomb under the Tower of London. The plans also reveal the major American city it was supposed to be tested on is New York City. The Resistance manages to secure a small plane and airdrop Carson over London (launching another attack on the Houses of Parliament to serve as a distraction) in order to put an end to the threat.

London

Landing on the White Tower, Carson takes out the snipers guarding the outside of the Tower, and makes his way inside. There, he fights his way through the tower, killing wave after wave of Nazi troopers trying to stop him. He finds a secret elevator that takes him into the underground German labs. Carson makes his way through the secret labs, and finds two, non-operational, atomic bombs still being worked on. Carson destroys the two heavily guarded atomic bombs with dynamite, but a German scientist there informs him that the last, and fully operational, bomb has been moved onto an extremely large Zeppelin bound for New York City. He escapes with the scientist back up the secret elevator into the White Tower, where they are nearly overwhelmed by German soldiers before the Resistance come in at the last minute and saves them. The German scientist shows the Resistance a secret, underground passage that can take them straight to the location of the Zeppelin. The Zeppelin is docked over the Tower Bridge for last-minute repairs, where the Resistance sees the atomic bomb being loaded onto it. Carson goes by himself to sneak on board the Zeppelin. Carson takes out a gunboat trying to stop him from preventing the attack, and starts making his way through the bridge to the Zeppelin. When he makes it to the bridge, he finds out that the Resistance needs his help against Nazi tanks that are attacking them on the bridge. He fights his way into the control room, and raises the Tower Bridge, which causes all of the tanks on it to crash on the streets below or fall into the river. Carson then makes his way to the Zeppelin, taking out all of the guards guarding it and sneaks aboard.

After the Zeppelin leaves London for its target, Carson goes through the Zeppelin to find the atomic bomb. He fights his way through the garage, the boiler room, the aircraft hanger, and through the barracks. After fighting numerous Nazi troopers, he finally reaches the atomic bomb. Unfortunately, when he enters the cockpit of the Zeppelin, New York City is slowly coming into view over the horizon. Running out of time, he kills the last squad of Nazi soldiers trying to halt his tampering of the atomic bomb, but the bomb's controls are damaged in the firefight, leaving Carson unable to simply jettison the bomb. With time almost run out and no other options, Carson rewires the atomic bomb to self destruct. The atomic bomb explodes, destroying the Zeppelin. The blast kills all of the Nazi troops in and near it, as well as Carson himself. However, the destruction of the atomic bomb, the large Zeppelin, and all of the fighter jets near it saves New York City. This last act of sacrifice will hopefully inspire other Americans to join the American Resistance to fight, and ultimately defeat, the Nazi oppressors and keep liberty alive.

Marketing

Demo

A basic demo was released on the Xbox Live Marketplace on January 25, 2008. However, no demo was released on the Playstation Store. The demo showcased the initial level of the game and also demonstrated some gameplay features such as grappling and using enemies as human shields. However, the demo received negative feedback from gaming websites who criticized several disappointing aspects of the gameplay such as viewing sensitivity, problems with the AI, and graphics issues. The game's developers at Spark, however, stated that the game should not be judged by the demo, and that they have corrected several of the issues many people had with it.[12][13]

Collector's Edition and exclusives

A Collector's Edition of Turning Point: Fall of Liberty was made available for the Xbox 360 only. This edition includes a soundtrack and concept art book for the game. Those who reserved any version of the game before its release received a "Join the Resistance" pre-order gift pack containing a behind-the-scenes DVD, postcards featuring scenes from the game, and a timeline poster detailing the events leading up to the story. Video game retailer Gamestop also offered two exclusive items with a reservation of the game: an 8" by 11" lithograph print depicting the assault on New York City and a game code to unlock infinite ammo during gameplay.[14]

Reception

 Reviews
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 43.0%
(Based on 43 reviews)[15]
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com C+[16]
Edge 3/10[17]
Eurogamer 3/10[18]
Game Informer 3/10[15]
GameSpot 4.5/10[19]
GameSpy 1.5/5[20]
IGN 5/10[21]
Official Xbox Magazine 6.5/10
TeamXbox 5.3/10[22]
X-Play 1/5[23]

Turning Point: Fall of Liberty received generally negative reviews. IGN.com noted the unique concept for the game's plot, but criticized the quality of the gaming experience as "archaic". Other criticisms included a flat, linear storyline that provided little characterization, a lackluster and unamusing multiplayer mode, and frustratingly uncooperative gameplay actions such as climbing ladders. The musical score was better received, being described as a solid and well-made part of the game. Overall, the game was considered a "shining example of a great idea poorly executed."[24]

1UP.com gave the game a slightly higher rating, but identified the game's worst shortcoming as allowing "the potential-laden narrative (to take) a backseat for most of the adventure." While most criticism was aimed at the under-development of the plot, the review also commented on problems with repetitive objectives and control inconsistencies. In the conclusion, the review stated that "every time Turning Point does something well, it falls short somewhere else." On a more positive note, the game was called "a more than competent deviation for someone itching to kill more Nazis," mainly due to solid gameplay and the intriguing story.[16]

In response to the poor reception of the game by reviewers, the developers of Turning Point: Fall of Liberty have stated that their game was not intended for hardcore gamers, but rather a more casual audience. They claim that reviewers are "too hard" on casual games, explaining the low scores that several games, including Turning Point, have received over the weeks following its release.[25]

See also

References

  1. Xbox.com | Turning Point: The Fall of Liberty - Game Detail Page
  2. IGN: Turning Point: Fall of Liberty
  3. 3.0 3.1 IGN: WWII Comes to America as Turning Point: Fall of Liberty Ships to U.S. Stores
  4. Turning Point: International Journal
  5. http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=162234.html Preview: Turning Point: Fall of Liberty - ComputerAndVideoGames.com
  6. Turning Point: Fall of Liberty
  7. IGN: Turning Point: Fall of Liberty Collector's Edition Review
  8. Williamson Murray, "What a Taxi Driver Wrought," What If? The World's Foremost Military Historians Imagine What Might Have Been, Robert Cowley, ed. (New York: Berkley Books, 2000) 306-307.
  9. Turning Point: International Journal
  10. Griffin, Mike (June 2007), "Turning Point: Fall of Liberty", Play 6 (6): 48 
  11. Turning Point: International Journal
  12. http://www.gametab.com/news/1173700/ GameTab - Viewing External Article
  13. Turning_Point_Team's Blog - Turning Point Developer Blog
  14. Gamestop.com - Weekly Ad
  15. 15.0 15.1 Turning Point: Fall of Liberty Reviews
  16. 16.0 16.1 Turning Point: Fall of Liberty Xbox 360 Review Index, Turning Point: Fall of Liberty Reviews
  17. EDGE REVIEW: Turning Point: Fall of Liberty : Next Generation - Interactive Entertainment Today, Video Game and Industry News - Home of Edge Online
  18. Turning Point: Fall of Liberty Review // Xbox 360 /// Eurogamer
  19. Turning Point: Fall of Liberty for Xbox 360 Review - Xbox 360 Turning Point: Fall of Liberty Review
  20. GameSpy: Turning Point: Fall of Liberty Review
  21. IGN: Turning Point: Fall of Liberty Collector's Edition Review
  22. Turning Point: Fall of Liberty Review (Xbox 360)
  23. G4 - X-Play - Reviews
  24. IGN: Turning Point: Fall of Liberty Collector's Edition Review
  25. IGN: Hudson's Low Expectations

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