While turn-based action games are fairly common on both the mobile and PC/Mac-based platforms, it's a little less common to encounter turn-based warfare games that deal specifically with the World War II period, and even more specifically with the naval conflict between America and Japan during that period. Whilst Battle Fleet 2 isn't exactly an epic, historically-loyal re-telling of the Americo-Japanese naval quarrel during WWII, it does muster up some easily-learnt and pleasantly varied turn-based gameplay with a decent amount of content to back said gameplay up.
Overview and Gameplay
Battle Fleet 2: World War II in the Pacific's gameplay is a lot less complicated than naval warfare titles that focus on simulation, such as the intricately detailed Dangerous Waters. As mentioned previously, it is turn-based, which means that you take it in turns with the AI to proceed with your attacking or manoeuvres, which consist largely of either moving ships in your fleet in a certain way or determining the power and the angle of your attack against enemy vessels. To an extent it is a case of trial and error, requiring that you see where your last shot landed and adjust the angle and power if your previous shot didn't hit an enemy.
The bird's eye perspective should be seen by most as a nice change from many other games of this genre, and the attractive physical representation of the sea, vessels, explosions, and all the other action actually puts it ahead of Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations, at least in terms of purely aesthetic preference anyhow. You'll find a nice variety of different ships to take control of as well, with much of the satisfaction you'll get from the gameplay deriving from the different levels of health and manoeuvrability as well as the various weapons that each of these vessels possess. Ships of every size are available, from the smaller frigates to more impressive battleships and carriers.
Mechanics and Interface
For a turn-based game that occupies a multitude of platforms, Battle Fleet 2 manages to offer some impressively detailed game mechanics. For example, as well as paying attention to the angle and power of your shots, you can also factor in the height of objects like other ships and any land you may be near. This means that it can be easy to accidentally clip your own fleet depending on the height of your cannons and the position of your other ships. You can also take a positive from this in that it's much easier to hit an enemy as even if you misjudge their exact position, you may have a chance of grazing the top parts of the ship that protrude into the air.
The damage modelling system goes beyond simply taking the height of the ship into account as well: different parts of the ship can be disabled if you hit those parts specifically (weapons systems, guidance systems etc.). You even have to compensate for the location of each individual cannon/gun on the ship, since ones placed further forward will require less power than more aft-located guns. This is a level of detail you'd expect to see in the big games of the likes of Battlefield's Naval Strike Expansion.
The interface may be the most divisive aspect of the game since simulation fans will likely hate the simplicity whilst people playing the mobile versions will probably appreciate the simplicity more. Playing is all about selecting your weapon, setting the angle and power of the shot, and watching what damage you cause. Movement takes place in a similar vein, with angles being set with ease yet not running aground being surprisingly difficult, particularly with the larger vessels - remember that even though this isn't a simulation, it is a detailed enough game to simulate the turning circle of a ship relative to its size!
Is Battle Fleet 2 the all-in-one solution to naval warfare gaming? No. But you'll be surprised at how much depth there is in the game's mechanics, and also how well-designed its interface really is. Multiple gaming modes also exist in addition to the zone-based single player (this involves emerging victorious in each of the many zones of the Pacific theatre), with cross-platform multiplayer being the most impressive multiplayer you'll find in a game of this type. You really get a sense of the scale and weight of the vessels you're controlling in Battle Fleet 2, which is the game's main appeal; its lack of true depth seems to fade away when you're enjoying the gameplay it has to offer, which is also a massive improvement on Battle Fleet 1.