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on August 26, 2011
Rise of Flight definitely isn't an arcade flyer; it's a serious flight simulator set during WW1, flying rickety old WW1 planes. A good quality joystick is an absolute must, so if you don't have one then you'll definitely need one. This game - like almost all games - has good points and bad points, so I'll set out this review as a list of pro's and con's, so you can pick and choose what's important to you and what's not.

PRO'S:
* If you have the computing power then the graphics are beautiful; the planes and the landscape. It even has rain and snow that you may have to fly in.
* The developers are continuously working on improving and expanding the game with patches.
* You can adjust the game extensively to help the learning flyer, such as not running out of fuel or ammunition, enable autopilot, etc. It has plenty of graphics adjustments, as well.
* It has a good variety of planes available, with more being created.
* The game has an active multiplayer community, so you should have no problem finding people to fly with and against.
* The game's community have created an extensive variety of skins for the planes.
* The community in the forum is generally very helpful to new flyers and will answer your questions, if you ask nicely.
* The developers made a serious effort to give the planes realistic flight mechanics. Each plane will behave differently, according to how the records say the planes behaved. Consequently, some planes will be easy to fly, while others will be a bit of a nightmare.

CON'S
* This game has an Everest-like learning curve! It is an extremely difficult game to learn, since the developers made a serious effort to make each plane as detailed and realistic as possible.
* Official documentation is extremely sparse, to the point of non-existence. You won't learn how to fly the planes (or even what all the adjustments in-game mean) from the developers. Thankfully, the game's community has attempted to fill the gaps, to some success. But the extremely limited official documentation is bad.
* The Iron Cross Edition does come with additional planes that you can fly, but any other planes that you wish to fly will have to be purchased first. This can work out as quite expensive since there are a few of them, and you really do need them to get the best out of the game. There's also "field mods" that you can purchase for most of the planes, which are graphical improvements, such as extra dials and different gun sights, etc. You'll end up spending much more to unlock the planes than you spent on buying the game in the first place.
* If you don't have a powerful computer then you won't be able to turn the graphical settings up high. If you have a fairly weak computer then I'd seriously question whether you should buy this game.
* You really do need to be very dedicated to this game to get the most out of it. As I read somewhere, it's best to play short games and often rather than long games and infrequently. Meaning, if you plan on only flying it now and then, you'll never get any good at it. You need to play this game a lot at first to really learn it, especially if you plan on playing against people in multiplayer.

Whether this game is for you or not will depend on what kind of game you're after. If you're after a casual flying game that you want to jump into occasionally then this isn't for you. If you want to play a serious flight simulator set during WW1 then this might be for you. But the fairly considerable cost of purchasing additional planes - and the need to purchase new planes when they become available - and the extreme difficulty will certainly turn off some.
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on July 5, 2010
This is not a full review, just my impression of this simulator. I don't have the ICE edition, but the previous one. ICE is actually a repackage of the previous version, with more planes available by default (when planes appear, you buy them - if you want to fly them, otherwise they are in the game, but only for AI). So if you don't have the previous version, this one is the better deal. This model (pay/buy what planes you want) helps with making the new patches free.

It has the best flight models, graphics, plane models and a very detailed mission editor. A lot of work was put into it. You do need a good computer (try an i7 or a Phenom x6, this one is pretty cheap for the performance you get) and you have to be prepared to spend time configuring it - because it is a simulator, not a game. Nevertheless, it has a lot of options to help the new user (including guided shooting). It does run on 64 bit all right, unlike what a previous poster implied (i have it running on a win7 x64 with phenom II x6 at 3500GHz). While not 'theoretically' required, you really need at least a good joystick (pitch, roll) with twist option to also control the rudder, or in addition - pedals (much better). Multiplayer offers 'cooperative mode' missions (everybody starts at the same time, dead is dead), dogfight mode (everyone enters when he/she can, you can respawn when dead) and also a 'conquer the flag' mode. The mission editor is very powerful, with lot of triggers and 'logic' stuff. The sim also offers a quick mission builder for single player, a (dynamic) campaign mode and a 'career mode' (scripted campaigns). So you can fill the skies with planes, or fly under bridges, or get medals and promotions flying campaigns or multiplayer.

It is very addictive, if you are a serious simmer and/or aviation fan. Some people only play this sim.

Check the Rise of Flight sections of these sites for best info: [...]
Salute!
Gabi/Laser
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on July 1, 2010
Rise of Flight Iron Cross Edition is a re-release of the original Rise of Flight that now includes 8 flyable planes instead of 4, and 2 new multiplayer modes, with the aircraft spanning from the start of the war till it's end. The development team is expanding the single player career mode and constantly developing new aircraft which will include more scouts (fighters), and the addition of bombers/recon aircraft.

Rise of Flight has a steep learning curve and is unforgiving initially, but with a few hours of practice you can start mixing it up with others and a real sense of achievement comes out of flying this simulation.

Everyone has had issues with the game at some point, however I run the game on Win7 64bit with no problems whatsoever. The latest patch enabled higher memory use for those running 64bit systems. It is a game that is constantly being developed and improved, can't ask for much more than that when you compare it to the stagnant development in most games today.

Additional purchases for aircraft are required as in other flight sims, and this is necessary to fund the development of future aircraft to fly. At only a few dollars each the cost/flight time ratio certainly balances itself out over time. As always though, the option is there and you don't have to buy any aircraft you do not want.

Overall it is a much more complete game than when it was first released and the development team has a great rapport with the community and is open to input and suggestions which is a rarity these days. One example is recently they allowed custom made player skins in as part of the core game so you can fly your own individual skin without mods being on. The team are very helpful on the forums and the community is always there to lend a helping hand also.

If you are craving not just a World War One flight simulator but a true flying experience, it is hard to go past Rise of Flight.
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on July 13, 2010
If you like WWI flying then you must own this game/sim! It does take a pretty good rig to run the game. A quad core rig will do the trick or a duo core with 32 bit os. If you have that though the game will run fine and she is a beaut. The game just keeps getting better too. The company that markets this game is staffed by flight sim enthusiasts, In fact you will run into some of the programmers if you go online! They love the sim and are dedicated to making it better. Since I first wrote this review whole new facets of the game have been added and the older parts of the game are continually updated and reworked. In shourt, if you like flight sims at all and combat flight sims in particular, you owe it to yourself to at least try this game!
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on November 22, 2011
I love flying, and part of that has always involved running sims on my computer. There are things I would never try, or will never have the opportunity to try even if I wanted to, which I can do on a computer. For example, I'll never reasonably be able to expect to fly a real WWI-era fighter... yet here, I can do this in what seems to be a tremendous degree of fidelity.

First things first... this is a BEAST of a program... meaning, if you set all the settings to their highest quality, you'd better have a room full of nitrogen-cooled supercomputers. Realistically, you'll want your settings to stay near the "default" settings, and will want to tweak things up slightly. As computer hardware improves, you'll be able to keep dialing things up, and in another two years you'll be able to run at full speed with all settings maxed, no problem... or rather, you would, if they didn't continue to improve and upgrade the program, which (very thankfully) they continuously do.

Second... this is a FLIGHT SIMULATOR. I've gotten very frustrated reading some of the reviews, complaining that this is "too hard" and "too complex" and that they wanted something that you could play in an arcade by dropping a few quarters in. THIS IS NOT AN ARCADE GAME. Let's be clear about that. If you want an arcade game, with simple flight and control models, this is not the program you want.

There's nothing wrong with arcade games, but as I said once before... this is not one of those. It's like ordering a Ruth's Criss Steak dinner and then complaining that it's not like a Wrigley Field hotdog. I can enjoy both... but they're not remotely intended to be the same thing, and in any FAIR comparison, the steak (or the sim) is going to win out over the hotdog (or the arcade game).

If you buy this game, be prepared to spend some time learning it before flying. Then do a bunch of non-combat training flights. Every time you load up a new aircraft, expect a learning curve as well... because no two aircraft are alike (nor SHOULD THEY BE).

To get the most out of this, you'll want to invest a bit in some items which you really need, though it's entirely possible to run and enjoy the program without them. First, you need a quality joystick. In my own case, I fly with a HOTAS Cougar, with Simped F-16 rudder pedals and with a TrackIR 4. Oh, yes, and I also have voice command software (used solely for things you'd really do verbally, like talking to your tail gunner or so forth). Voice command software is trivial to get and set up these days, and virtually any decent joystick with rudder and throttle functions will work adequately in this sim... you don't need anything pricey like the HOTAS Cougar or newer HOTAS Warthog, for example.

This sim really is designed for full virtual cockpit operations, and to get the most out of it, you should seriously consider buying a TrackIR (there's a newer revision, the TrackIR 5, which has higher resolution than the one I have, but I'm satisfied with my version for now). Unlike with modern fighters, where the pilot mainly operates the aircraft by observing the panel in front of him (or her?), in this case, you're really operating primarily by sight, and "turning your head" is how you locate hostiles! Do a "youtube" search for "Rise of flight Trackir" and you'll be amazed at how much of a difference it makes.

The basic sim is sold in several editions. They now have a two-aircraft "unlimited free demo" which is great to start learning the program, and a lot of fun in itself. This edition has a lot more aircraft, and each and every one of them is a challenge to learn to fly properly. If you get bored, lots more add-ons available, and they're reasonably priced (compared to, say, typical aircraft addons for MS Flight Simulator, for example).

You do need to have regular (though not "perpetual") internet access to the publisher to make the program work. If they ever go out of business, or just cancel this product, I hope they'll release a final patch to remove the online activation (as Microsoft did with their MSMoney application). Just realize that you need to activate, and while you can play offline without a connection once activated, you can't play online without the vendor's server being active right now.

Graphically and audibly, this game is spectacular. I have never seen a flight sim with better craft models, and the sound is exemplary. While I've never taken the stick of a real WWI-era fighter, and likely never will, the aerodynamics seem very realistic (meaning "very hard") to deal with. Just remember... you're basically flying a KITE... fabric stretched over a lightweight wooden frame. Even a small gust of wind will make a big difference in a craft like this.

This is not my "all time favorite" sim... because I've been flying sims for a long time and still prefer "Longbow 2" for combined technical challenge and shear "fun factor." This program is much, much prettier, and also much, much harder. I've really only mastered one plane so far, and even with that, I've been known to auger into the ground on occasion. Its TOUGH. If you only want to "relax and blow off steam," this may not be for you.

But if you enjoy real flight sims, and want to experience the sense of accomplishment which comes from mastering a challenge... this is the best you're going to find, certainly among historical aircraft sims in any case.

Highly recommended, if you're a serious flight-sim fan. If you're just looking to play an arcade game... you'll likely hate it, though.
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on October 10, 2010
I bought this sim when it originally came out, not the ICE edition but the original, and I didn't fly it very much. But I came back to it 2 months ago, and through the sales they were having I bought all the planes.

Now with 2 new planes out the Sopwith Pup and the Sopwith Triplane they actually gifted me the Pup and sold me the Triplane for $3.99 to say thankyou for the support buying the planes in the past.

This is the sort of company that now owns the sim, and I've noticed they listen to us the community and they are dedicated to developing it further. The career mode they are building could rival the red baron 3d, and soon we will have the massive multi-engined multi-seat bombers to play with!

As for the flight models they are the most detailed I have come across and it beats anything else out there in the consumer market. We have advanced flight models of 20 planes to play with, and it actually feels real with the sound of the wind and everything else that happens when you fly especially if you make a wrong move!!

The main thing I want to say is that you should only consider reviews from September 2010 onwards, as that's when serious improvements started. This is going to be the best sim in the market I think and it already is my favourite.

To summarise in point form:

POSITIVES:
* Most real "feeling" of any flight sim
* Challenging multiplayer, there are some great aces out there that will keep you very busy
* Immersion, with realistic multiplayer servers giving you the feeling of "being there"
* Community - regular events and the forum is very active and helpful
* Unique planes - every single plane I have flown has genuine major differences in flight model in all aspects
* Performance - I regularly get 60 frames per second on 2560x1600 resolution, with all graphics at high except HDR Bloom post effects
* No Cheats - because all the planes/content are controlled, I've never seen a cheat.
* Cheap planes - now they have reduced plane prices and have bundles to make it cheaper.

NEGATIVES:
* To get the most out of it, a good joystick and rudder pedals are needed. And even better if you have trackir. BUT - this is the same for any flight sim.
* It IS a SIMULATOR. If you don't turn on the easy options, don't expect to be able to handle every plane without crashing immediately. It's meant to be realistic and that is the fun challenge of it. This is only a negative if you are looking for an instant gratification "sim" that lets you shoot down everything in sight very easily without getting killed yourself.
* Career/Campaign mode is currently fairly simple, but in December they will release the new generation of dynamic campaign.
* Single player AI are easy to beat once you become an ace pilot
* Multiplayer and Career mode need an internet connection to check your account. Single player missions do not.

Overall I would give it a 7/10 for current, and when the things I've seen in the pipeline at simhq come out end of the year I think it will be a 9.5/10.
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on October 31, 2010
After having put on many layers of clothes, slung the scarf around my neck and finally put on my knee-long coat of fine leather with a nicely warming inlet of fur I hardly can move. But as every morning I manage to climb into "the office", the cockpit of the latest fighter design our chaps came up with. Looking left and right, checking the struts and the wires I admire the effort the engineers put into optimizing the aerodynamic efficiency of this formidable plane. But I have little time as my flight is ready for take off.
I briefly check the instruments and push the mixture lever back. Magnetos switched on and - ignition. After a few attempts the engine springs into action and I instantly feel the air streaming into my face while the whole airplane starts to shake. Soon we will be tossed up into the air facing a determined enemy trying to shoot us down as we try to make him fall. I begin to feel this already too familiar excitement rising. Will I come back? Determined I push the throttle forward and my plane accelerates.

This (with the exception of the climbing into the cockpit :) ) describes really well the immersive feel of this flight simulation "Rise of Flight". It puts you straight into the cockpit of those fragile looking fabric-covered planes with which you will have to do the most incredible stunts not dared only two years earlier, before the Great War started, in order to survive the hostile skies over Flanders. The cockpits are equiped only with some basic instruments giving a thought-provoking impression on how much courage these flying men had when climbing into these planes that were indeed still pioneering flight while fighting other men in their flying machines.

Rise of Flight has the most stunning damage modell where each part of the plane has its own physical behaviour. I would say it is highly unlikely to have a plane showing exactly the same damages on two separate occasions. The flight model is equally excellent while the engine must be constantly checked in order to keep it working - like the men had to do back then.

And all this also looks really good graphically. The cockpits are historically correct and fully modelled so that using 6dof TrackIR does not reveal any "holes" in the 3D model. Dynamic light effects on the 3d model of the plane and the cockpit look awesome and really gives the impression to move in a 3d environment. Just flying inbetween the fantasticly modelled clouds is pure joy. Also the ground representation is well done.

In single player the game allows to quickly put up a scenario in which one can have instant action while keeping a bit of control about some setup parameters (altitude, weather conditions, numbers and types of enemies and friendlies), or to fly a campaign or through a complete pilot career.

But the game also offers multiplayer experience where one can fly together with other players in coop missions or the very popular team death matches against others.

The fun factor of this game is definitely 5 stars and I recommend this sim to anybody willing to learn to fly these planes and see if they can be the next Baron von Richthofen.

The overall rating of 4 is that on some rare occasions the game crashes (I would like to give 4.5 stars if it was possible). I should mention though that some people claim that this can be avoided by reducing slightly the settings. I haven't tried this yet as this problem occurs rarely for me. But I also have a decently good system (quad core).

Finally it is - apart from the occasional crashes - a game that has very few bugs and these are only minor issues. But above all the developer team and publisher really listen to the community and they constantly improve the game almost on a monthly basis.
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on December 18, 2010
I've been a fan of flight simulators since the days of the Timex-Sinclair 1000 (1982) and have about 500 hours of private pilot seat time. Rise of Flight: The First Great Air War ranks among the most interesting of them all, regardless of the war. The WWI flight model is extremely accurate; the various aircraft all exhibit their unique strengths, weaknesses, and idiosyncrasies, including for instance, lower G-induced strut failures for early war versions of certain planes versus their late-campaign models. The program load was seamless - all I had to do was map my throttle control on my Sidewinder joystick - everything else was there for me. I didn't even have to change any net settings to go online for multiplayer action. If you are looking for the best WWI sim and like the idea of dogfighting in crowded hives of Albatrosses and Fokkers and other cool aircraft, then this is the sim for you. Note: my machine is an i7 Quad Core 960 3.2GHz w/ 12GB of RAM and an Asus GeForce GTX480, but you don't need that to run this package.
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on August 30, 2010
If you're into WWI flight & combat sims, then this is definitely for you! I've had a blast with this since I got it (and the Thrustmaster joystick). There's definitely a learning curve if you want to fly the planes as realistically as possible, but it's worth the time and effort.

I run RoF:ICE on an AMD Quad core with 4g RAM and Windows 7-64 bit. It's smooth with no hiccups. Note that if you're running Win7, you need to follow the special install instructions they provide in the package. I followed them and have not had a problem.

This is definitely a game I'll be playing in the years to come.
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on March 30, 2011
To make it short, i am not a newbie with flight sims, indeed i think i must have played all and then some. I will boil this down to WW1 sims.

The last great commercial WW1 game or simulator was Sierra's (or better Dynamix') "RedBaron2 3d", which is more than 15 years old, but still "flown" by some. Patches and complete rewrites of the original game have made this a phantastic sim, but it is showing its age.

There is another almost non commercial up-to-date simulator called "Over Flanders Fields" with its current iteration "phase3", and it is very good. Historically correct, phantastic graphics, and you need a decent PC and some gear like a joystick and even better TrackIR for that. It is a simulator in development, and the next "phase" #4 will be available, but no one knows when. It really set a new standard.

And then there is "Rise of Flight", the latest sim that tries to simulate flying those old crates, on a PC. There are so much reviews all over the net so i will not bore you with the usual details. You need a very good/modern PC and graphic card for this, but this has always been the trick with advanced flight simulators. You also need a decent force feedback joystick, and a nice add-on would be TrackIR, and rudder pedals. You do NOT need the latter two.

The first impression was an overwhelming graphical experience. My problem was that i am not a real pilot, so i trusted my experience in flight sims and expected to be able to fly even the trickiest planes of the time, without a hazzle. After all it's just another sim anyway. Boy was i wrong.

I purchased the initial package, when there were only two planes included (all those others were in development, at the time; and it still is being developed from more planes to all kinds of graphical and flight model improvements), and chose that "Nieuport 17", a jolly little plane, a delight to fly and fairly easy or so i thought. I gave up pretty soon. As one of the pilots of the time wrote " ... in France i crashed and crashed and crashed. I did not do one landing right, and broke my nose everytime. I just did not get the knack of it and crashed the bejesus out of those Nieuports". I do now understand him.

So i took this Albatros plane. Start engine, open radiator (a bit), and started. "Started", well. This bird is much easier to fly than the Nieuport, but those RoF developers did not only simulate the plane, but also temperature, atmospheric conditions (down to small elements you are flying through, wind, rough terrain (no concrete runways but grass and mud) and the torque effects of the engine, propellor wash, stalls, accelerated stalls, spins, flat spins, ground loops and much more. I know no other sim where all this is modelled (forget FS X, or Flight), but then there is also engine management to keep this overheating cylinder head from cracking, adjust throttle, mixture, revolutions and whatnot, don't dive too fadt to not lose your wings and keep this plane straight when trying to reach take-off speed. No need to say i needed a bit practice, especially when landing.

Some 20 planes later also flying online i have come to understand what flying is about, and it is so much fun to almost feel physically how the plane reacts, and foresee what it will do. Each plane has a different attitude, with advantages and fails, and it is not easy at all. You get used to it bit you really need practice.
And i will never find out how to land this Nieuport.

There are some details they still work on: A single player campaign will be released this year, without extra charge. You have to pay for every plane you want to fly though (they are all in the game flown by the artificial intelligence, but if you want to fly it yourself ..), and you also need an internet connection. The latter is my biggest gripe, and i have started crusades in all internet forums against this. Alas, it did not work, i bought all planes and wait feverishly for the next updates, and planes.

If anyone can make use of what i wrote there .. it is just plain fun, and you learn flying. If never this Nieuport ...

All the best,
OW
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