You might think there's little room for yet another World War 2 based shooter on the market. Midway and nFusion, a New Jersey developer that is no stranger to the genre, supposes that perhaps there is! Hour of Victory is aiming for a more "Indiana Jones" approach, that is to say a lighter more over-the-top experience, as opposed to flat-out gritty realism. This game will debut solely on the Xbox 360 and no word on pricing, though the developer has made its bread and butter on budget titles.

Hour of Victory starts off in the little-used North African theater and begins with a twist straightaway, allowing you to pick from one of three storylines. Major Ambrose Taggert is an American operative who specializes in stealth and is, perhaps, the most fun to use. His abilities permit you to find and use alternate paths to sneak up behind the enemy and take them out with his combat knife or his suppressed Sten submachine gun. An eye icon helps you keep tabs on the success of your stealthiness.

The second character playable in the demo was Lieutenant William Ross, a British SAS Commando that specializes in blowing things up and breaking things, most specifically the enemy. He enjoys a strength and health bonus and is able to push his way through some obstacles with brute force.

The third character Sergeant Calvin Blackbull, US Army Ranger, was not playable, but is said to be an especially fine sniper who is able to jump farther and climb barriers impassable to others. It's worth noting that any of the three characters can pick up weapons dropped by other soldiers, and all of them can make full use of captured turrets and machinegun nests.

Another interesting aspect of Hour of Victory is the ability to use any vehicle you can see, be it Sherman Tanks, Axis Tiger Tanks, or Kubelwagons. In the rather lengthy demo, we had a single opportunity to commandeer a tank, taking full control over the accompanying mounted machine gun as well as the main gun. While in the tank you're certainly not invincible, as enemy armor prowls the streets as well as soldiers armed with Panzerfausts.

The demo level, Evacuation, started off in the streets of a North African village, showcasing the game's close-up combat. Being fully able to duck behind cover, lie prone, or lean out to take shots at incoming soldiers didn't quite guarantee that the fighting would take place farther than arm's length. The enemy soldiers make every attempt to advance using cover and even flank you. Luckily, you can thwart the aggressor with the butt of your rifle by the simple click of a button. Indeed, all of the controls seemed to be laid out pretty logically. The pacing is pretty tight, leading you from encounter to encounter, each introduced by a commanding officer ordering you to do this and that. Luckily, a compass marked your next objective keeping you in line. Oddly, the compass also contained a radar, of sorts, that allowed you to view an overhead view of enemy positions and state of alert. This kind of thing was explained away pretty well in Far Cry, but no explanation of the technology was given in this case. Perhaps that goes back to the aforementioned "Indiana Jones" approach of the developer.

The second half of the demo allowed us to man an anti-aircraft gun. While it looked quite impressive, I never got the feeling of danger as there didn't seem to be any negative consequences for missing or taking your own sweet time. The tank driving encounter that came next was a little different. It was easy to take out individual soldiers or anti-aircraft nests, but opposing tanks and those pesky Panzerfausts were merciless. I found myself bailing out of the tank and taking matters into hand, so to speak. If you take damage, your screen begins to turn red and you must stay out of harm's way for a few seconds to regain health avoid death, thus restarting from the previous checkpoint.

You could definitely see the power of Unreal Engine 3 at work. The lighting was quite nice and there were plenty of details to be found throughout the level and the sounds were appropriately meaty too. There were a few little rough spots in places, but you sort of expect to see that in an early demo such as this.

Online multiplayer is planned for Xbox LIVE, but nFusion was not disclosing any details at the time.

All in all, the game looks like it might shape up to be quite a bit of fun, especially if it turns out to be a budget title. We especially liked the over-the-top action approach, and seeing enemy soldiers thrust wildly into the air from your tank blasts was quite entertaining.