WW2: Iwo Jima

12When you first start up Iwo Jima, you hear really sorrowful choir music. It’s quite appropriate, since there’s plenty of reasons feel sorrowful – you’re about to play the game. Iwo Jima wears a GI uniform but it actually has more in common with Doom than Medal of Honor. The action is strictly set on the arcade side of killing things. You carry a large armory – pistol, shotgun, tommygun, rifle, flamethrower, bazooka, landmines and grenades – and must methodically shoot your way through multiple levels of lame-brained Japanese soldiers for the US of A.

The only ‘tactical’ part of this entire affair is that friendly soldiers will tag along with you in most levels. Your buddies display the problem-solving capabilities of a crustaceans, but thankfully don’t get in your way that often. In fact they’re vital in solving most of the missions, since Iwo Jima has purposefully made the gunfights very difficult in an ill-conceived effort to make it more ‘realistic’.

Combat isn’t exactly ‘one hit, one kill’, but sustaining a few rifle shots and a close-up burst of machinegun fire will usually end your soldiering career. Not being able to heal turns play an endurance test. This is where your brothers in arms come in, since you’re pretty much forced to use them as pointmen to clear the way or at least give the enemies something else to shoot at. They’re also equipped with more hitpoints than you, so they’ll rarely die. This is useful, since enemies usually show up in groups, and are also good shots.

Their surgical accuracy won’t tame most of their stupid actions, however. Japanese troops will usually run around aimlessly, stand in open terrain like suicidal lemmings or walk into your ambushes after having seen you behind a corner. Objectives are extremely simple and non-scripted, almost always involving you clearing an entire level. They’re dressed in fancy military lingo, but can hardly mask the shooting gallery nature of this budget release.

System Requirements: Pentium II 233 MHz, 32 MB RAM, Win95

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