Once more we take to the skies with the greatest combat flight simulator on the market. Wings of Luftwaffe refreshes the parts other sim’s just cannot reach
We thought we had seen it all when we played through the main stay of this expansion pack when we took to the heavens in some of the finest flying machines ever created by the cream of the flight sim developers? How wrong we were! Wings of Luftwaffe has us soaring out of the sun in pursuit of bandits once again as we review Iceberg Interactive’s top-notch title add-on.
We like Iceberg Interactive, they are all pretty much cool guys and girls, pardon the pun. So when we learned that they were releasing an expansion to their awesome combat flight simulator Wings of Prey such was the enthusiasm that greeted the news that the postman had indeed delivered the review code, that we stood quarreling and bickering in the office like spoiled seven-year olds over who would get to do the review for the add-on. The absolute gaming bliss that we had experienced when reviewing the Wings of Prey title had brought on the familiar overtones of territorial scent marking in that we all thought that we should do it. Common sense prevailed and in the end the editor outranked everyone and said he was doing it. So without further ado, I give you all the Wings of Luftwaffe review by GamesMediaPro editor Jamie Knight.
First things first, for those gamers out there who have not yet had the pleasure that is Wings of Prey, all we can suggest is that you hurry along to your local gaming retailer as soon as possible and obtain your copy of what has to be the greatest combat simulator on the market. Following your purchase you can then get to grips with the latest expansion for the title that will increase your enjoyment of the game by a cool factor of 10. I jest not my fellow gamers and gamerettes.
The first thing that you will notice upon loading up the title is that on top of the 49 odd missions that the developers Gaijin Entertainment had endowed on the original title, there are now an extra 10 missions for you to playthrough and revel in as you don the uniform of one of Goering’s flying ‘Knights of the Sky.‘ You are also treated to a couple of fantastic new aircraft in the rather excellent Messerschmitt’s that flew with such renown during the historical campaigns. Consider also the fact that you are able to decorate your new aircraft with 40 new skins and you begin to get some idea of the attention to details that has been afforded the game by its creators Gaijin.
One thing that is blatant to the player right from the onset with Wings of Luftwaffe is the high standard of graphical content contained therein. With stunning aerial shots that leave the gamer yearning for an immediate romp to the local RAF recruitment office Wings of Luftwaffe really does have some of the most visually stimulating graphics that we have witnessed in a flight simulator. But the fun does not end there as the gameplay itself is of the highest calibre. With genuinely entertaining and fun to play missions that will se you and your AI wingmen taking on the cream of the Allied Forces on land, sea and air there is plenty to do, and even more to get killed by for those that fail, to pay attention to radio chatter and tutorials. The fact that the vast majority of flight simulators, whether they be combat based or not?, tend to favour ‘all guns blazing’ and unlimited ammo over the realism that is witnessed by fighter pilots, is all to familiar a format but not with Wings of Luftwaffe. Don’t get us wrong you can whizz through the campaigns and missions with your unlimited ammo, fuel and respawns switched to a firm ‘on.’ however, there is also the option to discard these ‘nanny features’ and attempt the game as near as damn it to the real experience of being in the middle of a dogfight with an Il-16 tearing your tail rudder to shreds. Combine this with the unbelievable graphics and what you have is the best combat flight sim of its generation. Quite simply staggering in its beauty and its real life atmosphere, Wings of Luftwaffe is the kind of title that will have you rushing out to buy a Thrustmaster joystick to get the full feel of being a true fighter ace. But whether you use keyboard and mouse, controller or stick the main gameplay which features you as a German fighter ace dominating the skies over Eastern Europe and other notorious battlegrounds hotspots of the Second World War, will have you, at times, pressing the pause button to draw breath or applaud in equal measure.
The main storyline of the expansion see’s you in the role of the quintessential Luftwaffe pilot as you tackle the ten new missions, either solo or with a wingman in the first class co-op mode. If you love your fighter simulator’s then this has to be a must-buy for you as a finer example of aerial combat we have yet to encounter. The missions are stunning in their detail and clarity, and yet at the same time will leave you with a cold shiver running down your spine as your opponent in his Russian Il-19 fighter rip’s cannon fire through your fuselage. The sound effects in the title will have you ducking for cover behind the sofa at times, such are the impressive range of howling prop engined aircraft on display, as well as the perfectly reconstructed thunderous bark of the Ju-88’s machine gun chatter.
The missions themselves offer heart-pounding action. Whether you are to be found screaming out of the sun and strafing the ground in Sicily with your forward guns, or bombing aerodromes in Belgium to battling it out with the RAF in the skies over London each mission has its own priorities and objectives and all offer extremely compulsive gameplay that we see you attempting to better yourself whenever you have a spare hour or so to launch another fighter into the air.
The new additions of the P-39N-0 and the boyhood Airfix favourite of the Junkers Ju 88 will have all true nostalgic military aircraft fan’s in seventh Heaven as you soar like on eagle high above the stunning backdrop’s of war-torn Europe.
The added bonus of the all-new ‘Damage Effects’ looks absolutely stunning as you watch enemy fighters and bombers disintegrate before your eyes before viewing the veritable ‘peppering‘ of your own ‘kite’ that leaves your aircraft resembling a cross between a sieve and a Swiss cheese.
The multiplayer is another truly stand out moment for the title. Voip assists the squadron of fighters that you and your friends will command as you rain death and destruction on all who stand in your way as you encounter all comers in a sizzling 32 player online mode. With the addition of leaderboards for those all important ‘bragging rights’ and the perfectly attuned ‘host migration system’ that allows for seamless and continuous gameplay long after a player has spat his dummy out and vacated the lobby.
When all is said and done Wings of Prey, and now the excellent expansion Wings of Luftwaffe are two titles that any true combat sim gamer can not do without. Quite simply put this is the single greatest flight simulator we have played. The controls had as smooth as Le Bebe Derriere, and the gameplay and graphical content is so hot you need protective gloves just to take the disc out of the case and insert into your drive. Sizzling!
Graphics: Gorgeous was the cry! Achingly beautiful and vast in its panoramic outlook from the cockpit of your highly detailed and stunningly rendered fighter you will, at times, find yourself have to pull yourself back to the game as you get lost in the beauty of your surroundings. 9
Gameplay: Silky smooth in its handling and control, Wings of Luftwaffe has all the makings of a true all time great and is, without a shadow of a doubt, a future classic of the combat flight simulator genre. There are many out there who claim to be the best in the business, but only one can wear the belt. A true heavyweight champ. 10
RePlay Value: Considering that the title is an expansion of the highly acclaimed Wings of Prey, and that it is only the first of further additional content, we can safely say that you will be playing this long into the wee hours. Your Fatherland needs you, do you hear the call to arms? Fight, my children! 9
Presentation: As far as flight simulators go Wings of Prey, and now the stunning Wings of Luftwaffe, are the best in genre. There is nothing else out there in the class that comes close to these titles. From the superb graphics, to the remarkable sound effects everything is first class and is topped only by the best gameplay in a combat simulator that we have ever encountered. A truly epic piece of gaming genius from Gaijin and another winner for Iceberg Interactive. Top Marks for a top title. 10