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     " Essentially a third-rate run-and-gun shooter... "

      Title: Turning Point: Fall of Liberty by Codemasters

      Format: Xbox 360 Shooter

      Reviewing Monkey: Our Ape Masters

      The Hype: Codemasters, the developer that brought you greats such as Operation Flashpoint and DiRT, throws its hat into the World War II shooter arena with the much anticipated Turning Point: Fall of Liberty, but can Turning Point compete in a genre that is both saturated and dominated by long standing heavy weights? Read on, fellow Monkey, and find out.

      What This Monkey Thought...

          The premise behind Turning Point is a fascinating one: What if Churchill hadn't survived the accident that gave him his trademark limp and instead had died? Well, according to the alternate history buffs at Codemasters, that would have meant that he wouldn't have been around to lead the British, so they would have crumbled, and the US wouldn't have gotten involved in the war until the Nazis launched an all-out assault on New York. You, then, play a New York construction worker who must survive the assault, join up with the US Army, and repel the invaders at all costs. It's an interesting premise.
           Unfortunately, that's about all that's interesting about Turning Point.
           Essentially a third-rate run-and-gun shooter, Turning Point is lackluster in pretty much every way that matters. The action itself is standard FPS faire; essentially featuring the same basic weapons, strafe-shooting combat, and staged encounters you've seen in a gazillion other games. The graphics are tacky and incredibly dated, especially when stacked up against some of the cutting-edge games that launched simultaneously as Turning Point. And the levels are depressingly linear and nonsensical.
          But the worst part is how strangely buggy and under-coded the game is. Clipping is a huge issue, as is general glitching, and, shockingly for a game that's as unimpressive graphically as Turning Point is, frame rates can also become a real problem in some sections.
          Even the story, which could have easily been the highlight of an alternate-history shooter, ends up being effectively ignored--only peaking out periodically from this doldrums through some interesting, if infrequent, landmark locations.
          About the only noteworthy thing the game offers is a fun environmental melee system, which lets you use key terrain features to dispatch enemies. It's frequently good for a chuckle, but will fail to keep your interest for long.           

      The Verdict:

       What could have been an interesting re-imagining of the WWII shooter ends up really nothing but a quick shot in the dark. Unimpressive, glitchy, and storyless, Turning Point will quickly fade into the obscurity of me-too titles with a resounding "meh".

      The Good: Cool context-based environmental melee system.

      The Bad: Pretty much everything else.

      The Overall Ugly: I thought about ranting about how more time in development might have saved this title, but, honestly, it feels more like the developers just weren't interested in putting out anything really interesting.

      What it's Worth: Rental if you're REALLY curious.

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