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Turning Point: Fall of Liberty

Unique WWII shooter puts a twist on history

Very few war games stand out nowadays. With the same guns, same settings and same 'hero soldier' theme even the best WWII sims have a 'been-there-done-that' feel to them. But Turning Point: Fall of Liberty is different.

Turning point tells the story of an alternate history in which Winston Churchill dies and, because of that, he never lead Britain to win the war allowing for the Nazi's to take over. After that victory, the Nazis go on to attack and overrun the US, and the opening scene in the game slaps you right in the heat of the German's surprise attack on New York.

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The crucial point here is that you don't play as a soldier. You're not connected to the military at all. You're just a normal, average citizen and instead of trying to be a war-winning super hero, like in all the other war-sim FPS games, your main objective is simply to survive.

This totally changes the nature of the game because, without ties to the military, you find yourself running around mostly unarmed. You're not hunting Germans. You're trying to find a way to safety, and that's what makes Turning Point so interesting.

At the start of the game you find yourself balanced dangerously on a girder in the roof of a towering skyscraper in construction when the Germans fly in and start bombing the place. There are planes everywhere - dozens of them - explosions are rocking your building and the ones around you, parachuting Germans are filling the sky and the streets below are filled with smoke and rubble.

Suffice to say, it looks incredible. Standing atop the skyscraper, you can see for miles in the well-realised NYC, and the chaos of all the explosions, planes and fire makes this one of the most intense opening scenes we've ever seen. It reminds us of the Pearl Harbour scene at the start of Medal of Honor: Rising Sun.

As you try to edge yourself cautiously to a safer platform, you can see other people trying to do the same. The whole scene was pre-scripted brilliantly, with the people around you hanging from ledges - other trying to help them up - and falling to their deaths right in front of you.

A bomb lands just feet away, narrowly missing you but taking out another ill-fated group nearby. Platforms fall away just as you're about to walk onto them and planes whiz past just as you turn to face a window. It's cinematically excellent.

This is also where you're introduced to the third-person elements - the camera pans out from the eyes of your character to give you an external view whenever he performs special actions, like climbing ladders or hanging off ledges (after you nearly slip to your demise).

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Before long you encounter your first German who's just parachuted down to land on a bridge that hangs high over the street down below, connecting two skyscrapers. You creep up behind him as he unclips his parachute and this is where your melee combat skills, which come in handy an awful lot, come into play. You grab him, head-butt him in the face and, as part of an 'environmental kill' (of which there are many in the game) you throw him off the bridge, rescuing only his gun.

Now, with your first shooter you wander into the other building to continue your descent to safety but just because you have a gun, that doesn't mean you'll now be sprinting around like Rambo.

"There aren't any magic ammo crates in this game", Codemasters explained to us. When you get a weapon it's precious to you because you never know when you might get another, and ammo is never in ample supply. You can only carry two guns and some grenades at once.

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