Review: Battleship the Video Game Sinks As Quickly As the Film (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)

Quick naval battles aren’t enough to save this terrible Halo clone.

It’d be interesting to talk to the executive who green-lit a big $200 million budgeted film “loosely” based on the Hasbro board game Battleship…especially considering it’s bombing something fierce this weekend against the mighty Avengers movie.  (We’re not that surprised – it sucks horribly.)  For that matter, we’re trying to figure out why Activision, of all people, would jump at the chance to make a game based on the movie based on the board game.  No matter – like most movie-licensed fare, it doesn’t really get anywhere.

Rather than letting you control a character from the film, you’re instead a soldier working with a bomb unit off the coast of Hawaii.  You’re just minding your own business disposing of old antique mines when, out of nowhere, an alien force strikes, and you find yourself fighting alongside fellow soldiers to eradicate the threat.

The game is divided into two segments.  The first is general first person shooting, where you use conventional weapons, as well as those dropped by the alien soldiers (KRAW for the win!) to fight back against the threat.  The second is issuing commands to ships scattered across the sea, directing them to defensive positions on a map and occasionally engaging in battle against alien ships.

To be honest, the commanding side of the picture is better.  Not only is the interface user-friendly and a cinch to use, but, using badges that are collected through the first person battle segments, you can actually control a battleship in the heat of combat, unleashing attacks on enemy ships and watching them sink beneath the waves.  These are the best part of the game – it’s just a shame that they don’t last longer than 20 seconds.

Through most of Battleship, you’re stuck in the first-person shooting action, and it’s decent, outside of the fact that the checkpoints are scattered way too far apart and none of your weapons really make much of an impact outside of wasting the same old alien soldiers.  What’s worse, the game as a whole feels like a big rip-off of Bungie’s Halo series, from the set-up of the visuals to the flying drop ships that come soaring in just to deploy enemy troops to the guy who calls you “Master Chief” midway through.  Seriously, outside of the sea battles, there’s not an ounce of originality here.