Get ready for a video game based on a movie based on a board game! During a routine naval exercise in Hawaii, aliens from another planet attack. It’s up to you to travel from island to island, battling aliens on foot as well as command your fleet of ships to thwart the alien onslaught and save the world! Battleship is available for all the current popular game consoles, but the 360 version is reviewed here.
Believe it or not, the meat of the gameplay in Battleship is like a first person shooter. So fans of Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Halo will be able to jump right into this one. Use a variety of human and alien weaponry pick-ups to defend your bases, attack aliens, and blow up their strongholds. The graphics look just as good as they do in titles like Call of Duty. While there are multiple difficulty levels, the game is pretty tough even on easy, so it’s best for seasons FPS-ers only.
As you tromp around the islands, alien ships in the water can shoot explosive pegs near your vicinity, and you’ll have to quickly get out of their range before the pegs blow up. Luckily, at any time during the game you can open up your own command module, and direct your fleet of ships around the island on a grid-like panel. This is as close to the board game as you’ll get here. Move your fleet around to attack and distract enemy vessels. You can even position them to fire at points on the island if you need to open a hole in a cave or destroy a group of aliens. As you kill aliens you’ll collect cards that you can equip on your ships to give them extra ammo and other boosts of power. With certain wild cards you’ll even be able to directly control a ship and wail on the buttons to fire missiles and torpedoes at the alien’s craft.
While the story missions are short, the game is challenging and there are plenty of secrets and hidden pegs to find which will unlock extras and goodies. Personally I was disappointed that this didn’t play more like the original board game, but I hear the Wii, 3DS, and DS versions do, so maybe I should’ve requested those versions to review instead. Oh well, live and learn! If you enjoy the offline story modes in other FPS games, you’ll probably enjoy the 360 and PS3 versions of Battleship, though.
Battleship on the 360 is rated T for Teen with ESRB descriptors of Mild Language and Violence. While you do shoot aliens and blow up stuff, there is no blood, and characters curse sparingly. If you’re OK with your kids watching the movie, they’ll be OK with the game, too. Battleship might be a good compromise for teens and older players whose parents may feel they are too young for Call of Duty, as the gameplay in Battleship is similar but less violent.