Like its predecessor Beach Head 2000, this first-person shooter focuses on fast action. Play as a lone soldier, surrounded by deadly enemies, and fend off waves of air and ground attacks.
Infogrames has done it again. They have produced a sequel to the old favorite shoot-em-up game Beach Head. The new release Beach Head 2002 is out, and people are reaching all new levels of ultra-violent, stress relieving fun! Usually, this is where the story line would be explained. You would be told about the characters you will control, or possibly the missions you will undertake. Normally, there would be a bit of background information to help acquaint you with the main idea behind the game. This would generally take a paragraph or two, but for Beach Head 2002, it can be summed up much more quickly... You are in a static defense location. You have enough firepower to kill many, many enemies. You are surrounded (by these enemies even). That should be enough explanation.
Many games try to take attention away from poor gameplay through the use of overly complicated story lines. That is not the case with Infograme's Beach Head 2002. It does exactly the opposite. No time is wasted on boring plot lines or character development. The player is thrown straight into combat knowing only two things: there are bad guys afoot, and they all need to be shot! No actual explanation is given as to why you are killing everything, but does that really matter? Not in the least. The beauty of this game lies in its simplicity. There are no confusing, under-developed plot lines to get bored with. There are no cheesy, over-developed, typical heroes to ruin the game with their clichéd "Lets help everybody," one-liners. No sir, you will find no Captain Planets here.
Stationed in a sandbag bunker, and armed to the teeth, you will be forced to hold off the swarms of troops, various armored vehicles, and of course, airborne threats which will be coming at you from all directions. That's right, 360 degrees of carnage that you must master alone, with only occasional help from friendly bombers. Enemies include ground troops, tanks, personnel-carrying armored vehicles, bombers, fighter jets, and plenty more. Your arsenal includes a bunch of sand bags to catch the bullets flying your way (hopefully), and a turret mounted with several different types of artillery. You have basic chain guns, more powerful anti-tank machine guns, heat-seeking missiles, air support provided by friendly bomber jets, and if all else fails, a .45 caliber pistol. Flares are also available to temporarily light up the sky when needed, but they hardly qualify as weapons. The real fun starts when the sun goes down. That's right, the night missions... you only have a limited field of view provided by a spot light and those flares previously mentioned.
The graphics presented are not the best in the world, but they do the trick. Enemy troops are semi-believable, but the many different types of vehicles are much more realistic. The fire effects and explosions are pretty good. Also, the scenery is rather nice. These three things stand out above the rest of the visuals, but let's not let the lack of astounding graphics distract us from the real forte, which is the gameplay.
Beach Head 2002 is highly addictive and easily learned. The 360 degree field of battle and primary weapon firing is controlled by the mouse. Weapons are changed by using the space bar, and a few other keys. Since the player is in a stationary bunker, there is no movement involved. It doesn't get much simpler than that. The controls can be learned in a couple minutes, but mastering your opponents will take much longer than that due to the fact that the levels just keep on coming, and they don't get any easier as you climb higher into the later stages.
Much like the lackluster visual effects, the sound is adequate. The background music played in the game menus strikes a stunning resemblance to the Rambo theme song. Coincidence? Maybe, but then again, maybe not. Sound effects during the game leave a bit to be desired. Sounds of men dying, depressing as they should be, never fail to draw a laugh. Maybe the producers were going for the dramatic effect, but what they ended up with is a little on the cartoony side. The weapons sound like peashooters, and the explosions fail to shake the earth. Once again, this is just a minor detail. This game is not intended to wow the player with dazzling effects, just to entertain them for a while.
On the whole, Beach Head 2002 is a fun little time waster that keeps on bringing the fun with countless levels of increasing difficulty. It may not be the most graphically intense production of the year, but that was obviously not the intent of Infogrames when they created this title. In this reviewer's opinion, what they were shooting for was a simple game that could effectively eat up hours of your day without you even knowing it. They definitely succeeded. If you are looking for mind-blowing realism, look elsewhere. But if you are looking for a good way to waste away the day, look no further. It's easy, fun, and very, very addictive..
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