Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 26
  2. Negative: 1 out of 26
  1. The target lock system, time shifting controls, excellent sound effects and smooth controls were a pleasure to this gamer.
  2. While I would have liked to have seen online gameplay (and I do take off points for that), the single player campaign is very stong, and the storyline will keep you sucked into it. The controls are great, and the presentation is great.
  3. A more significant shortcoming than the absent interiors is the frankly inexcusable lack of selectable difficulty levels. [PC Gamer UK]
  4. A good game – almost achieved "great" but, sweet momma, some of those missions are hard – filled with action, challenge, the obligatory references to Star Wars, and a first-rate presentation.
  5. The mission variety and complexity, with multi-tiered goals and mixtures of dog fighting, bombing and strafing, make Secret Weapons Over Normandy a long-lived, rewarding experience.
  6. Though SWON can be a little linear and two-dimensional (in a console-kinda way), it succeeds in being fun and gives you an immersive (if romanticized) jaunt through the terrifying and fascinating world of flight during WW2.
  7. Isn't a game that does anything obviously or overtly clever or innovative. But any game that takes such a simple premise and polishes it, hones it and refines it until it's this engrossing, this absorbing, and this much fun, is quite obviously doing something very clever indeed. [Christmas 2003, p.114]
  8. Holland has done a brilliant job of focusing on gameplay over realism.
  9. 80
    I can appreciate it as a fun action game but it holds little of the weight you'd expect from a World War II dogfight game. The lack of a compelling narrative enhances this pick-up-and-play mentality and detracts from my own involvement in what's going on.
  10. From “console port” to delightfully entertaining diversion, SWON eventual won me over and vanquished my early skepticism.
  11. Its instant accessibility, great overall presentation and tremendous historical feel make this game a secret worth spreading.
  12. Though there's no multiplayer (in the PC version) and it's clearly geared more towards the console crowd, it's still very much a worthy title.
  13. It's arcade control scheme, as well as the almost total lack of realism in its flight physics, makes it more suitable to fans of the fast and loose space shooters for which SWON’s developer is best known.
  14. Crazy-arse shooting with its brain in its arse, and a mean streak.
  15. 75
    The confusing gauges have been banished and the pesky laws of aerodynamics relaxed, freeing you to focus on sending Japanese and German pilots to their graves. [Dec 2003, p.44]
  16. 75
    It emphasizes the bad side of console games: unlockable planes and maps, cartoony characters and situations, a lame checkpoint save system, and no multiplayer support (something the console versions of the game actually get). Missing are the imagination, innovation, and style of the best console games.
  17. 75
    As a WWII fighting experience, it rivals EA's Medal of Honor in atmosphere and immersion. The in-game graphics are spectacular, with detailed aircraft and some lovely explosions, and the only obvious issue is some pop-in from high altitudes.
  18. It's generally well designed and made, but if you have the choice between a console and a PC version of the game, I'd advise you to grab the console one – solely because it features multiplayer, which I've personally missed in the PC version.
  19. The lack of difficulty levels, imbalanced gameplay mechanics and lack of multiplayer support reduce this game from being much more than a rent for anyone other than the most hardcore flight fanatic.
  20. While it accomplishes its goal of providing a fun WWII-themed shooting gallery, it doesn't really shine in any one particular area, resulting in a game that's competent but not very compelling.
  21. A curious amalgam of campy storytelling and abysmally simplified flight dynamics. [Feb 2004, p.68]
  22. Other than the thrills of fast-paced flight action, and occasional turret-oriented missions, the game doesn't demonstrate any particularly rewarding features.
  23. Secret Weapons' assortment of bombing runs, dogfights, and detail missions fly by thanks to an emphasis on arcade-style ease-of-play, but one simply leads into the next.
  24. If you're looking for a stripped-down, arcade-style approach to the usually arduous and otherwise inaccessible air combat genre, a "third person air shooter" if you will, then you won't want to let SWON take off without you!
  25. Despite the arcade emphasis, flying these planes is a bitch. [Mar 2004, p.90]
  26. Another second-rate port of a mediocre console shooter. [Feb 2004, p.66]

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