Pearl Harbor: Defend The Fleet – PC – Review

Someone please tell me how in god’s name did
Shakespeare In Love beat out Saving Private Ryan for movie of the year. It’s
just not right! War seems to be very popular again, just check out all the
recent WWII movies lately. Saving Private Ryan, Enemy At The Gate, and Pearl
Harbor just to mention a few. The toy stores are littered with authentic looking
action figures like G I Joe and The Ultimate Soldier. The PC is no exception to
the current trend. The latest offering is Defend The Fleet Pearl Harbor by
Infogrames.

Pearl Harbor is a ship to air combat game that
puts the player behind a gun turret during the Japanese raid on the American
fleet on December 7, 1941. It is very easy to manipulate your weapons. Just move
the mouse to target, and left click to fire. There are several WWII era weapons
to choose from including a 40 MM and a 3 inch gun. Each weapon is unique in the
damage it causes, and each has a very cool authentic sound. The simplicity of
the controls make the learning curve about thirty seconds. You must shoot down
wave after wave of attacking fighter planes to protect your fleet. Gameplay
reminds me of an old coin-op shooter from the old days. It is both fast and
furious, and fun for a limited time only. However the simplicity quickly becomes
cause for boredom.

This title seems like a mad rush job to meet a
release date to coincide with the film. The graphics are fine, I saw at least
three types of Japanese fighters, but not much time was spent on detail. Terrain
is uninteresting and there really isn’t much to accomplish. We know the
outcome already. The challenge here is to see how many levels it will take you
to lose your fleet. It is inevitable to lose the fleet, and each level looks and
plays exactly like the previous one. The only difference being the speed of the
enemy fighters, and the quantity being thrown at you.

The enemy fighters don’t even really attack the
ship the player is on. Instead they focus primarily on the scattered battleships
in the background environment. The first time I played through the game I
advanced through level fourteen, and was number four on the high score list. The
first seven levels were entertaining, because I was anticipating something more
to happen. There didn’t even seem to be much difference in the environments.
The title does offer a brief section on the history of the battle, but it covers
a very limited amount of information. Nothing that a six o’clock news report
couldn’t cover in a forty second spot. I’d have to say this one is geared
toward the casual gamer, and not much more.  

Install: Easy
It doesn’t take up much space on your PC, and installs rather quickly.

Gameplay: 7
There is not much to it. You just spin around and shoot and shoot and shoot
and shoot…(you get the point.)

Graphics: 7
Not much detail here. The environment never seems to change.

Sound: 7.5
The sounds of battle are authentic, but the voice over is dry and
repetitive.

Difficulty: 5
Shoot and shoot and shoot some more. After thirty seconds it’s a walk in
the park.

Concept: 5
We already know the outcome here and it isn’t a positive one. Sitting in a
gun turret firing at wave after wave of enemy fighters is only fun for a short
period of time. The developers should have taken this into account.

Multiplayer: N/A

Overall: 6
This may be amusing to a casual gamer, or even a beginner. Replay value is
negative zero.