Air Conflicts: Secret Wars Review
I took flight in some World War action with Air Conflicts: Secret Wars on the Xbox 360. Air Conflicts: Secret Wars is an arcade action flight game in which you will be taking to the skies in 49 missions.
The story revolves around your main character, DeeDee, who’s father fought back in World War 1. She is currently accompanied by her fathers friend Tommy, who knew her father during World War 1. The interesting thing about this is that all of your missions take place during World War 2, but once you complete a chapter in the campaign you will have a flash back of Tommy talking about World War 1. What happens at that point is that you will pilot a mission from the World War 1 era as well. The story is told in a graphic novel format which is alright, but not the most interesting. The story itself is so-so, but nothing that really grabs your attention.
The gameplay is certainly of the arcade style flight game, but it’s still fun to play. Just don’t expect to be able to pull off certain maneuvers very easily in this title. Multiple times when I’ve tried to do quick turnarounds or climb in altitude to make it easier on me I’ve found that it doesn’t work so easily and once in awhile I find myself being stalled out and then sent straight downward into a crash. Nothing realistic about that at all as it keeps you from gaining too much altitude. Basically it gives you just enough to turn left and right and go up and down, but you certainly don’t have a good feel for controlling the entire skies. Also, I will confirm for those who are like me. ? Yes, these attempts are with a powerful enough plane to be able to fly the way I expect it to. I’ve actually found that it’s easier to do a quick turn by stalling just long enough and keeping your nose up while turning to make sharper turns. That was especially helpful for bombing runs.
Once again though, this is a arcade style flight game, so you should expect just that compared to simulation. The game does feature simulation style controls though which still work well. However, the control of the plane seems a little too responsive without any pull and I ended up not having the best feel for the plane at all. The only times you will notice it not working that well is when you have to turn around which is often as you’ll be making many bombing runs and probably doing a lot of head to head with other fighter planes. The straight forward action is good though and still very enjoyable. The other issue I have is that the speed doesn’t seem to have a good medium. It either feels fast or your going to stall so you might as well keep going full speed ahead. I understand wanting to have an arcade style flight game, but you have to still give me more detail. I can’t even get a good feeling from plane to plane when I know one plane is much more powerful than the other. I suppose the slower planes do still feel slightly slower, but it’s just not enough.
As for the missions and the enemy AI, I find the missions to be about average. You will have your dogfights, bombing runs, stealth runs and more. Each mission is usually pretty quick and not lasting more than 5-10 minutes. The air and ground enemies have superb shots as they are almost always hitting you when you are in range no matter how crazy you fly and try to dodge enemy fire. Thankfully you always seem to have a super strong plane and your damage doesn’t go up too quickly. Otherwise, you’d be shot down almost instantly all of the time. It’s a strange feeling when you are trying to make bombing runs on ground forces and you are constantly getting hit while making the run, yet you only come away with a scratch. Once again though as I love flight games, I still did have moments of enjoyment with this title. There are a few missions that where enjoyable as well. Though another issue is that in one mission you are set up for a big time battle or what you would expect it to be. However, you fire off your bullets and it’s done before it even started. I would of expected a lot more from that fight, especially as this is an arcade flight game. But, it was pretty realistic in that moment of the game.
Some of the features in Air Conflicts: Secret Wars are not only it’s large amount of missions where you get to pilot various different aircraft, but you also get to earn upgrades for your aircraft as well. Of course one is for handling and I quickly maxed that one out. Didn’t help that much either. But, you also have 4 other options to choose from as well that help you as you fly in the sky. There is also some multiplayer dogfighting for you to take flight in as well in different modes for you to play online.
Visually the game does look fairly decent and the game does have a nice soundtrack. Your surroundings look pretty good as you fly and you’ll have different times of day to partake in flight so the color of the skies will vary from time to time. It’s still not the prettiest I’ve seen though.
Overall, Air Conflicts: Secret Wars is a pretty disappointing game and a lot of that revolves around it’s handling of the aircraft and the gameplay. Being an aviation fan, I still had a good time with it though and could see myself going after all the achievements. The game is still manageable and you’ll learn how you will have to play it, but I still think you’ll be annoyed by it’s gameplay. Like I said earlier though, straight up without needing to loop back around, the game handles well. But, the moment you need to circle back to make the extra bombing run is where you will see the lack of maneuverability. If you are a fan of air combat titles and you are ok with what I had to say, then I say go right ahead and check this title out. I still got some fun out of this game and I am sure you would too.