Turning Point: Fall of Liberty is a perfect example of how a great concept doesn't always make for a great game. In this case, the concept is Turning Point's intriguing premise: Without the voice of Winston Churchill to rally Allied forces, Hitler's Nazi regime spreads like wildfire across Europe and Africa, eventually staging an all-out assault on the United States. It doesn't take long to realize that Turning Point makes almost no use of this potential. The result is a shooter that fluctuates between mediocre and disastrously buggy.
For a game that relies so heavily on the backdrop, it's remarkable how little it does with the actual story. Turning Point begins with your character working on the girders of an unfinished skyscraper in New York City as the Luftwaffe comes swarming into view. The fact that your character works construction is one of exactly two things you learn about him through the course of the game (the other being his name, Carson). That's as much character progression as you'll find. The plot itself can hardly be considered robust, either. We know the Nazis have exerted their control over the presidency and that some level of resistance is fighting through the invasion, but that's more or less it. There are no real examples of life under Nazi power and no memorable characters to share in the struggle.
Powerful set pieces like this one are a rare treat.
While the story fails to do much with the game's premise, the setting of this alternate history has a few breakthrough moments. A handful of set pieces do a good job of stirring your emotions. The first few minutes of the game are fairly nerve-wracking as you race down the aforementioned skyscraper while German airships litter the sky. There's also one scene where you're stationed on a turret gun fighting back several waves of soldiers as the top of the Chrysler Building lies in ruins before you. However, these powerful moments are the exception rather than the rule. Most of the time, you're running through nondescript buildings or underground corridors. It's much too easy to forget you're fighting Nazis on American soil (and in London, toward the end of the game). For the most part, it feels like Turning Point could be any old World War II shooter, albeit with weapons that never made it into production.
The combat fails to pick up the slack, because it's simply a poor imitation of the Call of Duty series. You can switch between two weapons and grenades as you run through linear levels, with most of the action dependent on using the iron sights to take out a room full of enemies. A major problem is that the targeting isn't very reliable, because the gun takes up so much of the screen. This often leaves you guessing where an enemy is before shooting. Even if you do guess correctly, you're usually punished by a wildly inconsistent hit-detection system that can't tell the difference between a headshot and a bullet to the leg.