Airstrike Eagles of World War II – PC Game Review
Airstrike Eagles of World War II. PC Game Review. Slitherine, Ltd. $29.99
Passed Inspection: Great graphics. Easy-to-use arcade game for those who are flight-simulator challenged but love World War 2 airplanes. Tons of replay value.
Failed Basic: Limited airplane selection at present. Limited airplanes maneuvers.
It is very impressive to watch as tracers fly and ground targets burn under hazy moonlight.
Slitherine, Ltd. is a UK computer game company with an eclectic output of games. Covering everything from Medieval to Napoleonics to World War 2, Slitherine has now turned its attention to the pseudo-flight simulator/arcade game market with their release Airstrike Eagles of World War 2.
This game is not a pure flight simulator but an arcade game much like the flying games available for video game consuls such as the Xbox 360. As such, the player is not concerned with things like flaps, pitch, etc. as in traditional flight simulators, but with flying a plane over the battlefield, shooting at all enemy units and trying to dive bomb and level bomb. The player watches the action from behind the airplane and uses a radar screen to home in on ground and air targets. Initially in the single-player campaign mode, the game gives the player only American airplanes such as the P47, P38 and B17. The multiplayer option promises control of German, British and Russian planes as well but this reviewer was unable to test that option. Slitherine has announced that downloadable patches will soon be available for a greater selection of airplanes from the US and other countries.
The background graphics of the game are stunning. Campaign missions take place at different times of year (with appropriate seasonal graphics) and at different times of day: dawn, daytime, evening and nighttime. It is very impressive to watch as tracers fly and ground targets burn under hazy moonlight. While the airplane graphics are nice, they are a little too angular, giving the airplanes corners where they should have curves.
Sound effects are very nice with appropriately cinematic background music to augment the scenarios.
Planes are controlled with keyboard, mouse or joystick and it is very easy to set the game up for whatever control choice the player chooses. The planes fly very easily but are very limited on maneuvers. Loops and barrel roles have not been included. Remember, this game is more arcade than flight simulator.
The campaign game option allows the player to earn experience as they survive from mission to mission. The experience is automatically traded in for additional planes to add to the player’s fleet. When the players crash or are shot down, an airplane is deducted from the pool of airplanes back at the airfield. A nice feature is the ability to fail a mission but not to have to replay it again and again until the player wins. This is a nice break from the vapid “I have to play this again” feeling one gets while playing these sorts of games on console systems. As missions are completed or failed, these results may affect future missions. The game comes with over 40 different missions including ground attack, strategic bombing, fighter escort and more.
All being said, Airstrike Eagles of World War 2 is wonderfully fun and a nice break from the more heady flight simulators currently on the market. It is a great game for younger gamers or just those who don’t want to have to look at a keyboard list of 40 commands to fly their plane.
Armchair General Rating: 90%
About the author:
A college film instructor and founder of Nouveau Cinema Group, Inc., an organization which rescues old movie theaters, Richard Martin has also worked in the legal profession, is involved in video production, film criticism, sports shooting and is an avid World War 1 and 2 gamer who can remember war games which came in plastic bags and cost $2.99 (he’s really that old)!