User Score
8.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 17 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17

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  1. Mar 18, 2012
    9
    "Birds of Steel" is a air combat game, focused in the World War II, and that have a gameplay with its roots oriented to simulation style, and which extends the main theaters of the war period. You have several options for singleplayer, with campaigns in different theaters and factions. The game has extremely detailed graphics for a console version: the effects of weather, ocean and detailing of the scenarios (such as houses, ocean waves, trees, decks of aircraft carriers etc..) are extremely well made and tend to realism, although have a certain pop-up. The highlight in relation to rival games on the Xbox 360 is in the richness of details in the ground, especially in the cities - but the buildings and structures destruction is not very realistic, with very large particles effects. Other graphics highlights are for the effects of sun illumination on the planes and the shadows, beside the design of airplanes, very realistic (of course do not expect the individual rivets witch we can see on the top simulators in PC), with a nice view from inside the **** where you can look around (the game still has other points of view: third person, a virtual HUD and the aircraft gunner, when available, of course). The explosions and the effects of smoke are well done, although these are not as surprising as the other I mentioned (but the effects of the weapons are rather detailed, instead) and in the game we have also options to customize the paint and symbols in you aircraft (in this game, despite its realism, the swastika is censored, and uses the Imperial Germany flag). Among the missions and the briefings, we have narrative events, and period films (a lot of material in fact, well situated and historically narrated). The game features a soundtrack of classical orchestral music, including the theme song for the movie "The King's Speech": the sounds of gunfire, engines, explosions, etc. are realistic, and the game has a main narrator, that depending on the situation (like in the Tutorials) communicates by radio with you - on the eventually radio chat, while you are flying you hear other pilots chatting, but their lines are somewhat repetitive. The gameplay style, I can compare it to another simulator game, with a style mixed with small touches of Arcade: the "Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik 1946" for PC (I know the franchise has a Xbox 360 version, but the PC version is more alike to this game): the game has some difficulty settings, which have different commands and feelings for the controls and commands of the aircraft in the gameplay, being three difficulties: Simplistic, Realistic and Simulator. The combat missions are very varied, with numerous options: recon, fighter air combats, bomber missions, the attack or / and defense of ground structures, landings, etc., all you can expect from a air combat game in the WWII, that mixes action and strategy. The combats sequences has a Zoom view, and ranged weapons in accordance with the model of aircraft that you choose, from among more than 100 models, all realistic and faithful, and from all the major countries of conflict, ranging from fighters, bombers and the first jet / rocket fighters. Your career in the game is monitored, adding experience points, which by their turn, unlocks new planes, and raise your rank. The aiming at enemies is not easy as in games that many people are familiar, such as "Blazing Angels": here you must try to pilot and to target at the same time: the difficulty in doing this varies with the gameplay style you choose in the Menus, and thus allows you to play on your most suited style, either uncommitted or professional oriented. In addition the game singleplayer features, we have extensive online multiplayer modes for up to 16 players on Xbox Live and add to that a mission editor that can be used to play both offline and online missions. The game, as has been commented, is the best air combat simulator, on the WWII period, for the Xbox 360, and I, as a war aviation (and simulator games) enthusiast, agree: the highlights in the game are the gameplay and realism (both in aircraft / scenery graphics), and in the musical score, being the low points of the game the radio chatter, and the eventual pop-ups. Of course, we do not expect the same realism and variety of commands (and realism) that we have in PC simulators (the genre primary platform), but for console versions, this game is a milestone. Also this style of game do not please all the gamers in the domestic consoles (Ps3, Xbox 360, etc.) - in fact just a minority. My score to this game, within the genre and without comparison with other similar games from PC is 9.0 / 10.0. Expand
  2. Mar 17, 2012
    10
    Without a doubt the best WWII air combat ever made for a home console. As a spiritual successor to "IL2 Sturmovik: POB" you can see the strong bones of that game that "BOS" is built upon. It improves on everything that made that game work and then it adds everything else you may have said "If only the game had this" or "if only I could change that." The primary obstacle of this game is the lack of any in depth instruction manual (and it really needed one). while I can not remove any points from the game for this omission, I encourage anyone who is having trouble mapping control settings or using the mission editor to use the developer's forum as a tool to reduce frustration. Developer "Gaijin" pays full tribute to the subject matter and sets a wonderful and respectful tone through its tasteful use of music, archival film and historical narration. if you have any interest in the air combat genre with a little trial and error you will be able to find almost any point between fun arcade to unforgiving simulation to keep you coming back for more. After you play through the robust historical campaign and a vast amount of challenges and single missions...The mission editor is waiting for you. "BOS" will let you play in its sand box just about any way you could want and it will reward you for the time you put into it. Expand
  3. Mar 20, 2012
    8
    Birds of Steel is a very nice looking World War 2 flight simulator. It's got everything you might want from a WW2 flight sim, loads of planes, a decent campaign mode (covering both sides), a mission editor and even a dynamic campaign mode where you can change the course of history.
    However, it's the multiplayer that always lets these games down on the consoles. It's by no fault of the
    developers (save for a lack of promotional budget), it just the general lack of interest in gamers to play and stick with console flight sim multiplayer games (IL-2 Sturmokik was a cracking flight sim, but the MP servers were always empty).
    The addition of multiplayer Co-op missions will at least allow you and couple of flight sim fans to play online together.
    And lets face it, there is only so much time you can spend chasing CPU controlled planes around the sky. It's the human vs human dog fights that matter

    Just a quick thought:
    Hasn't this been done before?
    "Battlestations Midway/Pacific" - Perhaps a little more arcade in it's feel, but with the option to also control naval units and dish out unit orders...I'd tend to think they did a better job.
    Expand
  4. May 21, 2012
    10
    Great WWII flight simulator for the Xbox 360 and probably the best for WWII. With the previous game being IL-2 Birds of Prey, this game is a great successor. If you are used too the even greater realism of the PC IL-2 Sturmovick series then you may or may not like this, but this is the best of it's kind on the Xbox 360 and with a launch price of only $39.99 it is definitely worth the price.
  5. May 30, 2012
    9
    This is the best flight sim for the Xbox 360, yet. It boasts some 100 planes from 7 different nations, and is more akin to a Gran Turismo or Forza with it's "Hanger" of planes and decals to collect. The game focuses on multiplayer action, and it does that well. There's a decent amount of single player content, but these missions do play second fiddle to the multiplayer options. One of the best things about this game is the amount of customization available: there's 3 distinct flight modes (difficulties) ranging from simple(arcade) to full on simulator, but all of these can be tweaked to give you the experience you want. You can also customize your controls to your heart's content, adjusting things like dead zones and modifiers for your flight controls. You can even program your 3rd party flight stick. Another customizeable detail is your **** fly 3rd person chase, 1st person **** (with target tracking options), or virtual ****, where there's no obstructions (gauges,wings, prop, etc). Last but not least, the game even features a mission editor, so you can craft your own custom scenarios (fly them solo or online). Choose planes, mission types, time of day, venue, weather. You can even fly in severe thunder storms, although visibility is an issue.

    The game plays and looks beautiful. Planes break apart and spit oil when damaged; sun glare highlights tiny scratches and cracks in the **** glass; individual soldiers can be seen returning small arms fire when strafing ground targets; this game is just filled with nice touches. The planes handle differently, and give a distinct feeling of flight, that many games lack. There's a certain feeling of weight when banking, turning, and trying to land these metal beasts. The game also has some amazing flack effects when flying over ships and AAA batteries. The scenery and water look realistic, with lots of individual trees to help eyeball your altitude, although the detail of individual buildings is a bit lack luster (probably to keep frame rates high). Theatres of war include Pacific, Mediterranean, Western Europe, and Eastern Europe, with distinct landscapes. Fly over Essen and you can buzz factories and steer through smoke stacks. There's some really cool moments that can be viewed "director's style" in the replay feature. Sound is decent, although in-flight chatter is repetitive. The explosions and engine sounds make up for it though. Missions are varied, but be warned, the single player campaigns are short. There's a US and Japan campaign, but this game screams for more SP content.

    PROS: -graphics are amazing
    -multiplayer content makes extended play unlimited
    - single player missions and dynamic campaigns can be played online
    -sheer volume of planes
    -customization out the wazoo

    CONS:
    -limited single player content (the campaign needs more missions)
    -MP focus might be a turn off
    -no save feature for customized controls (needs several save slots for flight sticks, gamepad, etc)

    This is a great game that really captures the feel of WWII aerial combat.
    Collapse
  6. Jul 2, 2012
    10
    It's hard to say much more then has already been said about this wonderful game. Some of the critic reviews are downright shocking and prove once again that certain genres just cannot be reviewed properly by ones who are not 'fans'. If you are a flight sim person or a World War II buff, this game is for you. I just picked it up last week and I have not taken it out of my console since. Fantastic job Gaijin and Konami....thank you! Expand
  7. May 30, 2012
    0
    This is the best flight sim for the Xbox 360, yet. It boasts some 100 planes from 7 different nations, and is more akin to a Gran Turismo or Forza with it's "Hanger" of planes and decals to collect. The game focuses on multiplayer action, and it does that well. There's a decent amount of single player content, but these missions do play second fiddle to the multiplayer options. One of the best things about this game is the amount of customization available: there's 3 distinct flight modes (difficulties) ranging from simple(arcade) to full on simulator, but all of these can be tweaked to give you the experience you want. You can also customize your controls to your heart's content, adjusting things like dead zones and modifiers for your flight controls. You can even program your 3rd party flight stick. Another customizeable detail is your **** fly 3rd person chase, 1st person **** (with target tracking options), or virtual ****, where there's no obstructions (gauges,wings, prop, etc). Last but not least, the game even features a mission editor, so you can craft your own custom scenarios (fly them solo or online). Choose planes, mission types, time of day, venue, weather. You can even fly in severe thunder storms, although visibility is an issue.

    The game plays and looks beautiful. Planes break apart and spit oil when damaged; sun glare highlights tiny scratches and cracks in the **** glass; individual soldiers can be seen returning small arms fire when strafing ground targets; this game is just filled with nice touches. The planes handle differently, and give a distinct feeling of flight, that many games lack. There's a certain feeling of weight when banking, turning, and trying to land these metal beasts. The game also has some amazing flack effects when flying over ships and AAA batteries. The scenery and water look realistic, with lots of individual trees to help eyeball your altitude, although the detail of individual buildings is a bit lack luster (probably to keep frame rates high). Theatres of war include Pacific, Mediterranean, Western Europe, and Eastern Europe, with distinct landscapes. Fly over Essen and you can buzz factories and steer through smoke stacks. There's some really cool moments that can be viewed "director's style" in the replay feature. Sound is decent, although in-flight chatter is repetitive. The explosions and engine sounds make up for it though. Missions are varied, but be warned, the single player campaigns are short. There's a US and Japan campaign, but this game screams for more SP content.

    PROS: -graphics are amazing
    -multiplayer content makes extended play unlimited
    - single player missions and dynamic campaigns can be played online
    -sheer volume of planes
    -customization out the wazoo

    CONS:
    -limited single player content (the campaign needs more missions)
    -MP focus might be a turn off
    -no save feature for customized controls (needs several save slots for flight sticks, gamepad, etc)

    This is a great game that really captures the feel of WWII aerial combat.
    Collapse
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. May 11, 2012
    82
    A nice combat flight simulator. It's not as deep as the PC counterparts, but the flying is quite realistic nonetheless. The campaign missions need some permanent checkpoints and the versus multiplayer could be more varied, though. [May 2012]
  2. 85
    Some exceptional next-gen visuals--including complex and intricate terrain graphics, detailed cockpit renderings, and hair-singing pyrotechnics--also help propel Birds of Steel to an unprecedented new altitude for Xbox 360 dogfighters. [June 2012, p.69]
  3. Apr 24, 2012
    80
    Birds of Steel is a title that casual fans will enjoy, but it has more appeal to airplane aficionados of that particular era. The plethora of available planes and the attention to detail really showcases the development team's dedication. The presentation is excellent, despite a few flaws, and the game is a meaty experience on the single-player side despite the apparent focus on online multiplayer options. It may not be perfect, but this is one of the best airplane simulators on a console yet.