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March 7, 2004
Pacific Theater of Operations IV - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price

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He's about to sink.
Pacific Theater of Operations IV is a rather obscure title from Koei, one of the biggest strategy/simulation developers in Japan today. Developed primarily for the strategy mad Japanese market P.T.O. IV has found a loyal audience in America, and as a result the game has been converted to the PAL market. So what is this game all about? Well, essentially this is a simulation of the Pacific theater of war during World War II. You have to command a fleet to victory through a series of major sea battles. Koei have recreated the atmosphere of the period with a realistic command room rendered in full 3D. Surrounded by this old wartime atmosphere the player becomes Commander whose decisions decide the fate of the entire world.

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One of the non-battle scenes.
Much like Koei's legendary Dynasty Warriors titles this game is littered with historical figures and commanders. In fact Koei have invluded over 100 of the bravest and best commanders from Japan, America, England, and Germany pursue victory. By appointing each of these Commanders to a ship, you increase the effectiveness of the ship and gain the advantage in battle. Each Commander gains experience from every battle he participates in. Increase your rank and take command of Battleships and Carriers; the kind of ships that control the flow of battle. Using this Fleet Agent System, Koei recreates the chaos of naval battle.

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Graphics look functional.
The game include two types of scenarios, campaign and short scenarios. In the campaign scenario you choose from 1939, when Germany and England first plunged into war, and 1941, when America and Japan joined in the fighting in the Pacific Theater of Operations. The short scenario allows you to campaign at some of the famous battles of World War II. “The Battle of Midway,” “Battle of the Mariana Straits,” “Battle of Ceylon” and others allow the players to try out their theories on how that battle should have been fought. At the end of these short campaigns, you are given the chance to move into regular game play. Experience the world of "what if." What if the Japanese had been victorious at Midway? You find out!

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That's a nice battle shot.
Up to 96 realistic 3D battleships, aircraft carriers, destroyers, submarines and other vessels have been accurately modeled for inclusion in the game. As many as 300 different aircraft also make an appearance as you wage naval battles of amazing ferocity on the high seas.

Although Pacific Theater of Operations IV has been out in America for over a year now it's a welcome addition to the PAL lineup and THQ must be commended for bring the title to Australia. Strategy fans are sure to get a kick out of this game.