As the landing craft approaches the beachhead,
you take careful aim. As soon as that gate swings down, you will be pumping
the inside full of lead. Pity the poor fools who thought so little of life
that they would rush your installation.
Beachhead 2000, from WizardWorks, is a mindless little
arcade-style game that is meant for fun. There is a disclaimer at the front,
which may be a tongue-in-cheek approach, which states it does not depict
real events and is intended only for fun. Ok, so the cover shot shows a
soldier with a maniacal look on his face as he plows the beach with his
twin machine guns. It is only a cover shot.
But for this title, please check your mind at the door.
The game has limited options, limited ammo and limited
strategy. Kill anything that comes your way, save a few shells for the
cargo plane drops for resupply – don’t hit the cargo plane or it won’t
come back – and wipe out anything moving toward and shooting at you in
the quickest time possible.
You can use the mouse or a joystick to aim, but the controls
are extremely tight and seemed a little backwards. Usually when you push
up on a joystick, the object you apply that to goes down – an opposite
reaction thing. In this game, you push up on either joystick or mouse and
the guns rise. Pulling back and they drop. It takes a few turns to get
used to that. (And pity the plane you climb behind in the next flight sim
after playing this program for a while.)
There are hotkeys, which will allow you to launch a missile
at the incoming planes and choppers, as well as an artillery barrage. You
get three weapons to aim and fire, including the twin-machine gun placement
and your .45 handguns. This is a basic point-and-shoot game.
There are some drawbacks. If you fire at the landing craft
before they beach, you don’t do any damage. You cannot blow them out before
landing, nor can you start counting kills until the ramp drops. But if
you are lined up, the moment that ramp drops, you can blaze away and prevent
any of those soldiers from storming the beach. Sort of like shooting fish
in a barrel.
And don’t count on your machine gun to bring down a jet.
You’ll have to line up and launch missiles to do that.
There are no difficulty levels. The game gets tougher
as you progress. You can save a game in progress, in order to save your
level, and you do score points on each level. You can resupply by shooting
the cargo drops. The medicine package restores your health points, or shield,
and you can get ammo. Targeting the enemy is tough, because there are no
crosshairs. But you can bracket fairly well.
Beachhead 2000 is rated Teen for animated blood and animated
violence, and does not support Internet play.
There is a place in the world for mindless shooter games,
and Beachhead 2000 should fit into that niche very nicely.
Install: Quick and easy.
Gameplay: 7. The gameplay is non-stop arcade-style action.
Graphics: 7. The program looks pretty good, though the
graphics are a little flat and each attacking soldier tends to ‘blow up’
in the same manner.
Sound: 6. This program features the same death cry, the
same sounds of the gun, the same plane noise and the same sound of the
surf – over and over. Though not terribly done, it does get to be a little
Difficulty: 7. This is a shooter-arcade game where you
level up as you eliminate all attacking soldiers on the level you are on.
Each level does get progressively harder, and the controls are a little
touchy so you must maintain a steady hand.
Concept: 6.5. This crosses the bridge between war games
and arcade shooters. Not entirely original.
Overall: 6.5. This is a mindless little distraction that
requires reflexes, not brains.