Average User Score: 8.2Mar 27, 2012I agree with MickT. I feel with some of the negative reviews out there, I had to help shed some positive light on this amazing game. I get so frustrated when I read reviews that mark the game down for being too "hard". The game is a SIMULATION, that is the whole point. A magazine giving this game a 3/10 just shows ignorance. Why even review the game if you hate the style of game. It's why I don't review Barbie Horse Grooming Simulator. Here is my (not so) quick rundown of the game:
Gameplay: (10). Absolutely amazing flight model and physics engine for a console game. It can be a beast just trying to take off and keep your plane in the air, but to me, that is what is so rewarding. Actually pulling off a carrier landing in a thunderstorm with high wind on simulation setting is about as difficult as anything in gaming, but man does it feel good to do. I could spend hours just practicing landings and stunt flying, but since this is a combat game, I will focus on that. The AI is quite good, except for the occasional collision between friendlies. It really does feel like you are fighting humans in the dogfights though. The physics engine just really makes the combat stand out. Being able to pick apart pieces of your enemies plane just feels right. Blowing a hole in their fuselage and seeing your screen go black as it coats with oil is a great touch. Watching pilots bail out as there plane breaks to pieces and explodes in a fireball just never gets old. The developers modeled everything down to the smallest detail. Take a dive too fast with your landing gear out, and you may see a wheel or two rip off. Then you are forced to try and land the plane sans a wheel. Great stuff here if you are a sim fan!
The difficulty modes give great variety for every type of player, but this game is fairly hard no matter what setting. Simplified makes it impossible to stall and the flight is pretty steady. You still have to control things like landing gear though. Realistic cranks up the difficulty and adds stalls and spins. Simulation is for the hardcore only. It adds propeller flutter, black outs, red outs, removes the HUD. and makes just shooting down one enemy feel like a grand achievement. The best part is that you can also use the "custom" difficulty level that allows you to tweak everything form plane damage, to the HUD, to the flight model. There are also a ton of modes to play with. Main campaigns, online, dynamic campaigns, solo missions, and even create your own mission modes. There are even encyclopedias for history buffs, a hangar to view all the planes in detail (and mod them), and even a replay mode that lets you replay the whole mission with different camera angles and speeds and save it! There is also great pacing with the unlocking of content within the game. Play everything on easy mode, and it will take forever to unlock the dozens of planes, but crank it up and although it is MUCH harder, you will see huge rewards for completing missions. I just can't get over the amount of content packed into this game for $40!!!
Graphics: (9) Not sure why there are any complaints here, but these are some of the best flight game graphics I have seen. The landscapes, water, sky, clouds, lighting, and everything in the environment looks stunning. The ground even looks good up close, which is more than most flight games can claim. It is great to see the details like crewmen running around working on the carriers while you are taking off and landing. The planes themselves are the stars here though, and they do not disappoint. Each one is modeled with full destructibility and moving parts. I believe there are over 100 planes, and they all look amazing. You can also change paint jobs and weapon loadouts, once you unlock them.
Sound: (10) To be honest, it couldn't be much better. The music is decent (reminds of Uncharted's score), but I usually turn it off during gameplay. The combat sounds are breathtaking though. From the booms of shells going off near your plane, to the hum of the prop, to the wheel squeaks and wind rattles while landing, to the wind buffeting and pulling at the rivets as you stall and go into a nose dive, everything here is top notch. Overall: (10) Hands down the best flight sim to ever grace a game console. Honestly, there isn't even any competition. Birds of prey was ok, but it never really lived up to the potential of its predecessors (IL-2). This game is essentially IL-2 on consoles, with the slight modifications required to make it playable. I had no idea this was even coming out until the day it released, and just blown away at how complete a $40 budget game can be. This just replaced Skyrim as the most played game in my PS3. If you have the patience to learn the controls and even a passing interest in flight sims, I would HIGHLY recommend giving this a go! Mad props to the developers (pun intended).… Expand