Battleship has the unique distinction of being a video game based on a movie based on a board game, but that's probably the most interesting thing the game has going for it. Developed by Double Helix Games, the studio perhaps best known for and (more relevantly) for turning Square's beloved Front Mission strategy franchise into a , Battleship is a disappointing first-person shooter/strategy hybrid destined for a watery grave.
You play as EOD 1st Class Cole Mathis, and your job as the game opens is to dispose of explosives. That role evolves in the very first level when a strange object falls from the sky and interrupts a training exercise. In an instant, the Hawaiian archipelago finds itself cut off from the outside world and facing off against aliens who are launching an invasion from the sea. Your new task is to run around on land, shooting humanoid aliens and periodically ducking behind cover to give coordinates to ships that would be lost without your guidance.
Despite the mostly welcome and entirely appropriate presence of some strategy sequences, much of Battleship is devoted to clunky segments that play out on land. An onscreen indicator points you in the general direction you're supposed to move and lets you know how many yards you are away from that destination. You are left to fumble through dull landscapes that do a horrible job of making Hawaii look like a place worth saving. Generally, you head to one military compound or another, disable an alien barrier that is scrambling radio signals, and then repeat the process in the next level.
Besides being thoroughly uninventive (unless you count crates stacked in grassy fields and along ravines as creative), the game's environments are also designed inconsistently. Sometimes you can drop from ledges and scavenge for ammo along grassy slopes, but other times you smack into an invisible barrier that prevents you from descending toward shelter as gunmen pelt you with shots. There's a main path you need to follow through each stage, and you shouldn't stray from it...except when you are actually supposed to wander to find one of four useless peg collectibles hidden in each stage.
One of the game's more persistent issues is its awkward combat. While the controls feel like they were lifted directly from the Call of Duty series, something went wrong with the copy-paste job. Your weapons rarely hit their apparent target unless you get up close and personal, which is difficult when your enemies are so good at moving around and firing at you from unlikely vantage points. When you fire automatic weapons, your target reticle starts with a wide spread that only grows narrow enough to be helpful about the time you finally run out of bullets. Then you have to wait through some ridiculously long reload animations and hope that no enemies decide to rush you while you're defenseless (switching to a secondary weapon doesn't work nearly fast enough to be helpful in such cases, unfortunately).