Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 27
  2. Negative: 2 out of 27
Buy On
  1. Mar 21, 2012
    A great game that might pass unnoticed by most gamers. It attempts to adapt to everyone, offering tons of customization options for the controls, and has an excellent gameplay and a very complete multiplayer game.
  2. Apr 22, 2012
    Birds of Steel is easily one of the best flight simulators for the PlayStation 3 that really takes the simulator genre to a whole new level on this console. It's easily one of the best looking flight sims around at the moment with the realistic planes and exceptional gameplay. With over 100 planes available in the game, a campaign mode, online player and even a mission creator, there's plenty of longevity to be found in this game.
  3. PSM3 Magazine UK
    Apr 9, 2012
    For those who master its Everest-steep learning curve, this is tense and rewarding stuff - and it's pretty beautiful looking too. [May 2012, p.103]
  4. Mar 8, 2012
    The environments are huge, the plane list is long plus it looks gorgeous and sounds great. The action is thick and visceral; aerial stoushes can go from tense, one-on-one affairs to grand, epic encounters against swarms of enemy fighters and bombers.
  5. Mar 27, 2012
    Probably the best combat flight simulator on consoles. Nice graphics, great sound and a perfect atmosphere, Birds of Prey is easy to play but hard to master. With a huge selection of missions, a powerful editor and a fun multiplayer with new events periodically, you`ll be hooked on for weeks...or more.
  6. Mar 16, 2012
    You can play Birds of Steel as a simple arcade shooter. But it rises up to all its glory as a simulation – especially if you have a decent amount of flight hardware. The physics system is convincing, the mode selection will keep you busy for months – especially online. But aside from the detailed planes the presentation is rather average and bugs within the AI system stall the fun a little.
  7. Games Master UK
    Apr 3, 2012
    Will appeal to both history buff and thrill seeker. [May 2012, p.84]
  8. Apr 10, 2012
    With smooth controls, hundreds of detailed planes to fly in and an online co-op that will keep you playing for hours and hours, Birds of Steel is definitely worth a try. Just don't fly too close to the ground; your eyes might not like what you find.
  9. Playstation Official Magazine Australia
    May 7, 2012
    Depending on how brave you are (or your peripheral set up) the handling model can be altered from reasonably forgiving to brow-mopping stressful. Knuckle down and learn the nuances and you'll lose yourself in some glorious moments, recreating key battles and moments, swopping through the air and perfecting the art of dogfighting. [May 2012, p80]
  10. Apr 13, 2012
    Really proves authentic flight combat simulators can work on consoles.
  11. Apr 6, 2012
    Pretentious, difficult and fun. Birds of Steel isn't Ace Combat and also for this reason it is a game that every lover of the genre should play.
  12. Mar 30, 2012
    At times it's a bit ugly, other times the AI is a bit daft, and even and even though I can't quite make out its calling as a flight-simulator on a console: unlikely as it may be, give Birds of Steel a chance.
  13. Mar 26, 2012
    Gaijin tried to combine too many things in Birds of Steel, and the result isn't as good as it could be. It's just another flight sim that relies heavily on historical facts, but it doesn't quite shine.
  14. May 8, 2012
    A more realistic approach to flight simulation than what is usual for console games, with tons of well-modeled aircrafts. Perfect for those who are interested in historical air combat.
  15. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    May 7, 2012
    Woeful voice acting and poorly paced repetitive missions chuck a pigeon right in Birds of Steel's propeller though. [June 2012, p.81]
  16. 70
    Birds of Steel is a very worthy and valid option for those who want to experience the air battles in the Pacific.
  17. Apr 11, 2012
    Sincere attempts have been made to make this game more universally appealing to a wider range of gamers with the simpler control options. Removing the need to focus heavily on keeping your plane in the air leads to a fun-but-simple flight combat game. Unfortunately, you can't escape the fact that the gamer who will get the most from Birds of Steel is the one who has at least one meticulously painted World War II model airplane.
  18. Apr 2, 2012
    It's tricky to see how large a market there is for a game like this but if, by some chance, you're a fan of vintage air combat from the WWII era then this is likely to have great appeal.
  19. Mar 20, 2012
    Gaijin Entertainment offers a very interesting and enjoyable take on the dogfights of World War II. With "arcade" and "simulator" controls that will appeal to almost everyone, and with a budget price tag, this is the "flight simulator" game you've been waiting for.
  20. This tries to be the History Channel when it might have been better off as the Memphis Belle, and despite some impressive physics and detail, it's that dull staging that cooks this bird.
  21. Official PlayStation Magazine Benelux
    Apr 2, 2012
    Birds of Steel might be a little dull, but developer Gaijin Entertainment does deliver on the technical side of the game. Not that we are experienced pilots, but the rumbling engines sound believable and the cockpit view is incredibly immersive. [April 2012, p.80]
  22. CD-Action
    May 10, 2012
    A real flight simulator for the consoles. It has good flight model and huge number of planes, but sadly isn't a great game as a whole. [June 2012, p.68]
  23. Apr 6, 2012
    If you get excited by the thought of an airplane, there's enough content in Birds of Steel to keep you satisfied for a while. If you're more like the rest of us and just want to have some fun in the air, you'll be disappointed. The simplified mode is too easy and gets boring after a while. The realistic and simulator modes are too hard and unless you've got some experience in the virtual airspace, you'll give up before the second mission. It's too bad there is no mode that mixes the accessibility of the first mode but with the challenge of the other modes.
  24. Apr 6, 2012
    Birds of Steel had real potential. It had the visuals, the historical missions and the online co-op and head-to-head action. The controls pretty much ruined the experience. A little bit more work on those and this game is up there with the IL-2's of the world.
  25. Play UK
    Apr 17, 2012
    It's impressive stuff, but there's not quite enough here to keep all but the most committed of aces going. [Issue#217, p.82]
  26. Apr 10, 2012
    There are lots of stuff to do in Birds of Steel. The problem is that most of it's just not that well executed.
  27. Mar 26, 2012
    Birds of Steel is an unpolished, unforgiving (not in a good way) and simply put a bad game. I have a hard time finding anything positive to say about it and it feels more like a chore to play than a pleasure, which is among the worst things I can say about a game.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 19
  2. Negative: 2 out of 19
  1. Mar 27, 2012
    I 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 getI 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).
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  2. Mar 25, 2012
    Gaijin and Konami couldn't have done any more with this game. The attention to detail and effort emphasised on creating the most comprehensiveGaijin and Konami couldn't have done any more with this game. The attention to detail and effort emphasised on creating the most comprehensive experience on the market is unmistakable. Everything from stunning plane and landscape textures to simulation physics combine to immerse even the fussiest of players. Do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of a great game! Full Review »
  3. Jul 4, 2012
    Edit:God knows why this site won't let me say c ockpit, so I'm putting a space in the middle, please ignore it -

    -----Easily the best
    Edit:God knows why this site won't let me say c ockpit, so I'm putting a space in the middle, please ignore it -

    -----Easily the best flight sim on any consoles PERIOD in terms of realism and immersion. Even with the standard PS3 controller this is awesome, the custom mapping is setup so that with any stick or controller you can set the sensitivity, this allows the PS3 sticks to work well with it and it's very responsive. On to the game, the planes are great, a very wide selection, though this is mainly a pacific game they still include a load of Russian and German planes, including a few Australian and Italian ones as well. They all feel different and will handle differently, and the realism is spot-on. Things like the P-39's altitude limits, the Me-163 being spin resistant, planes being able to land in the water, and certain planes not having trimming equipment are all in the game, and the physics work very nicely. Along with this is a strong online playerbase spanning all difficulties(realistic, simulator, simplified),a great decal system including common phrases and a sizable amount of emblems from real WW2 squads, and custom schemes from real WW2 squads(excluding Japan and Australia, there are decals but no paint schemes other than the stock ones). Online has a few gamemodes, the most interesting being one where the goal is to land on an airfield and capture it while the enemy is subsequently trying to land and shoot you, and a sort of base vs base game where a skilled bomber can make a big difference. If you don't want to play online, there is free flight where you can fly around and practice landing in different conditions and a mission editor where you can customize exactly what you want to do. This game is very realistic and has a huge curve, and even after dozens of hours and 80+ missions on simulator mode landing is still challenging, this game is 40 dollars brand new but easily better than most 60 dollar titles. My only gripe with this game is that a few planes lack c ockpits. Every fighter, even the funky German ones, have c ockpits. About 50-70% of the heavy bombers including the B-17E,G and the Catalina. Most Russian bombers do have c ockpits including the Il-2 and If I remember correctly the Il-10. The only 2 seater bomber with a c ockpit in it is the Mosquito.Also the Stuka doesn't have the siren. However, these are extremely minor unless flying that B-24 in c ockpit view is absolutely mandatory for you. Also the single player campaign is pretty good, with cutscenes and backdrops to major battles, though it isn't 100% to the end of the pacific campaign it includes Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Wake Island, and Pearl Harbor. Overall I would recommend this to anyone who wants a realistic simulator on a console, this is a PC quality sim and that doesn't come around very often on consoles Collapse
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