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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2004
World War 1 is back and shunning the actual historical impact of the bi-planes of old, it is your duty as Benjamin, (you're always Benjamin regardless of your pilot name) British Ace supreme, to rid the world of the evil Triple Alliance. WoW (false moniker mind you) takes the misery of trench warfare to the skies where you shoot down generic plane after generic plane after generic plane in a series of unconnected missions spread throughout thirteen unconnected levels which each greatly resemble each other.

The game boasts a number of planes for both the Germans and the British, each with listed Speed, Maneuverability, Firepower, and Endurance levels. Unfortunately, the planes are so similar that these numbers are largely meaningless. Instead, the only thing to look at is whether the plane you're flying falls within the fighter, scout, or bomber classifications. Those really translate to fast, slower, and slower still when it comes to comparisons. As you play through campaign levels, which are all British, you can unlock these planes, but due to their great similarity, there is no real sense of accomplishment even after finishing the entire game and unlocking the supposedly uber fighters.

Within each campaign mission you have no control over which plane you get to fly. You're given one in the beginning, and unless you decide to take on one of the many bonus missions strewn throughout the level, odds are it will be the only plane you get to fly. Unless, of course, you go through one of the many rail-shooter sub-missions where you get put in back seat of the mysteriously appearing bomber and you have to keep German fighters off your tail while dropping bombs on enemy installations.

The flight controls for the game have been dumbed down, even for an arcade flight sim. They would be very well suited for mouse control, but unfortunately that is not possible. You can turn off the arcade controls, effectively separating your rudder from your ailerons. Still, it's impossible to stall and your ability to bounce off obstacles is laughable. If you combine this mindless control with the mindless turkey-shoot set-up of the levels, you find yourself with a game that becomes tedious after the first few levels.

That's not to say that everything is just blah. If the game can redeem itself, it's on the graphics end of the spectrum. It has a nearly limitless horizon and the weather effects are amazingly well done. Starting with the second half of the campaign, you find yourself in well crafted levels with gulleys and ravines that just beg to be flown through. These are a great departure from the standard flat levels found before and after this little slice of heaven.

The sound effects aren't bad - though the engine power-up makes your fighter sound like a shop-class Honda with straight pipes. The voice-acting is amazingly well done, the entire pre-mission briefing is read out-loud and there are a number of in-flight voices as well. Anything from mission briefings, personal comments, and the taunts of an approaching Ace will pop up from time-to-time to disrupt the incessant engine drone. Unfortunately, there's not enough variety and you'll hear everything there is to hear within the first mission.

This game is a steal though, it started on the bargain list and can only go cheaper. If you're looking for something that doesn't require much effort or skill then this would be a nice buy. It's great for a couple hours of stick time, but don't expect any great replay value. Try the demo, if you can play that through a couple times, then you won't be seeing anything new if you buy the game.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2005
I found this WW I flying game very fun to play. The graphics are outstanding and I would strongly suggest your computer meet the minimums for graphics, memory and processor speed. Just going through "flying school" presented a real challenge. Much detail was programmed into this flight game and it presents a very realistic presentation. I would recommend it for anyone who enjoys well detailed and challenging air war games.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2013
This is TRULY grand!
I've been waiting for 5 years, for Microsoft to get their butts in gear & stroke this original xbox game for the XBOX360...and I was just about to buy a used console to be able to play it. BUT, I took this chance on this PC version. Got a fright when, after installing this on my Windows 7 rig, I did get an error message telling me that it wouldn't be compatible...BUT that it would tweak itself a tad. Viola!, it instantly began-to-work...even recognizing the joy-stick and calibrating it!
The game is hugely entertaining and vivid, in an arcade way...although you CAN adjust the experience to a more realistic handling environment. I'll have to "grow a few", first, before I do so. And THAT will not be easy as I am a gal.
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on February 18, 2013
This review is for the single player option only. A joystick was used. I can't imagine playing it with keyboard and mouse.

You can play a quick action game where you can set various options: location, time of day, weather, number of combatants, etc. You get to pick your plane (several different color schemes available). The model of your plane is limited at first since most are "locked". You have to progress through the campaign game to unlock more models.

The campaign game is a set of about a dozen missions. Each one has about a dozen objectives. You must complete them in a set order so the game can be called linear even though you are flying around in the sky. Some of the objectives are timed, fail and you have to start over. The save system was horrible. It basically saves the game after each completed objective IF you continue playing. Exit the game and return later - you have to start over at the start of the mission. Confused? Say you quit after completing objective 6 of mission 4. When you restart the game you start at objective 1 of mission 4. When you play make sure you have enough time to get through the whole mission.

You have an option to choose between "arcade" and "classic" but there was not much difference between the two. Classic is harder as the plane does not handle so precisely. Turns are wider, etc. Both are basically arcade though. You have unlimited fuel and machine gun ammo. You carry up to 50 bombs AND 50 rockets!
(I don't remember reading about air-to-air and air-to-ground rockets in WWI) You also apparently have radios as you receive updated instructions as you proceed through the missions. Many times you will jump out of your plane and land in a different plane, complete an objective, then jump out again (in mid air mind you) and land back in your original plane which was apparently flying along by itself. There are also floating colored orbs in the sky. Fly through them and you get power-ups like a faster engine, more bombs, machine guns, etc. Sometimes they are colored flags attached to planes, vehicles, or buildings. In that case you have to destroy it to get the power up.

Overall, it is a fun game for what it is. The planes look nice as does the terrain. It is in no way a simulation though.

Note to designers: What I would have liked for a campaign game - pick your nationality (British, French, American, or German) Name your character. Go to flight school. Be assigned to a squadron and given a plane. You would generally start off with an unarmed reconnaissance model. From what I remember (of what I have read) the missions were not so specific as in the game. The front lines were very static for much of the time. Pilots would usually just fly over the enemy lines and note any activity. They would engage enemy planes as encountered and maybe harass ground forces. They certainly didn't shoot down dozens of planes on every flight. Fuel and ammo should be limited. See how many missions you could survive. Encounters would be randomly generated so it would not be linear. Live long enough, get promoted, have access to the newest planes. The game could proceed along a historical timeline. I guess some people would find that boring but to me it would have been a much better game.
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on August 27, 2015
Anyone who leaves a bad review for this game just cant appreciate how well this game was made! Its 10-12 years old and still looks fantastic and the game play is excellent, the only problem with this game is its getting very hard to find and when you do its not cheap!!!
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