However, just like the game’s big budget movie source material, which rebrands the grid-based Naval combat of the original game as an epic battle between the U.S. Navy and a Transformers-like alien invasion, the upcoming Activision title is also set to drop its boardgame source material in favor of a modern spin – in this case a first person shooter hybrid.
The Battleship tie-in is set to be developed by Double Helix Games – the studio responsible for (mostly) a resume of uninspired games (Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters, Front Mission Evolved, and Silent Hill Homecoming) that don’t really warrant much confidence that the title will offer anything but average gameplay paired with an underwhelming story.
Speaking about the new Battleship “modern day spin” on the “beloved property” Senior Vice President and General Manager of Digital Media and Marketing at Hasbro, Mark Blecher said:
“With a Battleship video game, we have an amazing opportunity to take our beloved property and give it a modern-day spin. The merging of tactical and action elements immerses players in an epic maritime conflict. Activision is completely up to the task of delivering a high-intensity thrill ride that’s perfectly suited for today’s console owners.”
For full details on the Battleship video game story and play mechanics, check out the Activision press release below:
Battleship follows elite demolitions specialist Cole Mathis as he clashes against an aquatic-based extraterrestrial peril in the sand and sea of the beautiful Hawaiian archipelago. Trapped in a veritable communications dead zone, Mathis must command the U.S. Navy fleet in a “siege on the sea,” while simultaneously rallying the troops on land for a terrifying “war on the shore.”
Combining naval strategy simulation with first-person shooter gameplay, players fend off the enemy beachside while ordering attacks against their marine counterparts. Seamlessly switching between battlefield and overview “Battle Command” map, the Hasbro game is brought to life as carriers, frigates, cruisers, destroyers, submarines and the legendary USS Missouri Battleship pummel the enemy in a race to strategic points that turn the tide of battle. The Battleship videogame is a next-gen marvel perfectly suited to turn nostalgic game junkies into battle-hardened admirals.
It’s a no-brainer that Hasbro would want to cash-in on their big budget action film – especially since plenty of gamers no doubt have fond memories of the original board game. However, while many of us ware expecting an XBLA or SEN digital download in line with the series’ core PvP gameplay, it seems that, in an effort to make such a simple (and nostalgic) concept from the 1980’s a cash cow in 2012, the toy company (partnered with the Call of Duty publisher) is focused less on what made the original game unique and memorable in favor of blending in with a “me too” FPS that spends more time on land than near a titular Battleship.
Check out the Battleship screenshots below – which make modern day Earth look a lot like Halo: Reach (click to enlarge):
Of course, Hasbro is ultimately allowed to do whatever they want with their franchises, despite plenty of moviegoers and gamers thinking the “modern spin” is a bit of stretch. That said, the movie (not so much the game) will likely make a ton of money.
However, the frustrating part of this announcement is that, in the hands of the right developer, creative minds could have come up with a truly engaging and memorable strategy title that both hearkened back to the series’ roots while successfully competing in the current console generation. Instead, it’s easy to imagine that the majority of development on this “hybrid” will be spent on the FPS portion of the game – with the “naval strategy simulation” resigned to mostly an “well it is a Battleship game” afterthought.
Battleship is slated to arrive in May 2012 (alongside the release of the film no doubt) on PS3 and Xbox 360 – with “unique” versions, developed by Magic Pockets, also appearing on Nintendo Wii, 3DS, and DS.
Head over to Screen Rant for more on the Battleship film.
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for further updates.