You are limited to control the ships, subs and planes the game gives you in the single-player campaign but in multiplayer-matches you are free to jump into anything that moves and isn't currently occupied by another player. So it's yours to decide at anytime if you want to fly a plane, steer a cruiser or take the on the enemy under water with a submarine anytime you like. Since there are several kinds of ships from Torpedo Boats over Destroyers to Aircraft Carriers and planes like the F4F Wildcat or the SBD Dauntless you have different options and weapons at your disposal. On a Aircraft Carrier for example, which has only AA guns, you can build up squads of airplanes, assign targets and launch them. You can also go to the tactical map if you currently controlling a ship and assign formations, give out orders and so on. Or just jump into a vehicle and do everything yourself instead of letting the AI or the other players take care of it.
The single-player also features three different challenges, one for each type of vehicle. Each mission inside a challenge puts you in difficult situations you've to master. The first mission in the ship challenge for example gives you control over a Japanese Battleship which has been ambushed and needs to reach safety as US Destroyers advance at it's position.
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