Publisher: Ubisoft Developer: Ubisoft Released: 31st March 2006 Players: 1 – 4 www: blazing-angels.com Rating: 12+
In Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII, players can test their air-combat skills as they experience the most famous battles of World War II. As a squadron leader, you can fly up to 38 WWII aircraft (all individually modelled off actual classic aircraft including P-51 Mustang or the British Spitfire) in both single-player and multiplayer missions. Developed by Ubisoft, Blazing Angels features innovative squadron-based combat, in which the artificial intelligence of your wingmen includes their own specialised skill that can be used to the pilot’s advantage from bombing accuracy to superior acrobatic skills. During the course of the 18-mission campaign, you will evolve along with your wingmen into an ace fighting force – with you instructing them to cover you, attack certain targets or to create formations for dramatic dogfights. The game (as you can see) has spectacular graphics, especially with the next-gen platform and you will find yourself fighting for your lives over accurate battle sites such as England, Germany, France, Morocco, Pearl Harbour, Midway and Tokyo. The visuals are so indepth that you can see sun glare on their cockpits, light shafts streaking through clouds and detailed shadows on the environment. Cities, buildings and facilities have also been enhanced to take full advantage of advanced lighting effects and shading to create an intense, realistic atmosphere for cities and military bases. The only downside to this is that you want to fly into the ground just to see them. The details carryonto your planes too and bullet-holes and smoke dynamically stream from cannons and engines - also all bomb detonation marks and downed planes are visible on the terrain and on top of buildings through-out the mission.
Like many WWII games, there is a patriotic and heroic storyline that follows the evolution of your squadron complete with realistic and historic cinematic movies, taking you from fight to fight. Each mission has unique objectives to keep you on your toes, but the general feel of the game is more arcade than true flight simulator allowing for intense action rather than worrying about stalling or flap control. However Ubisoft do have a 360 title in the works that will quench this thirst – “Over G Fighters” is a true modern-day flight simulator that is due out later this year. Multiplayer wise, the gameplay is equally as fun letting up to 16 players engage online over Xbox Live in head-to-head dogfights or cooperative team play between squadrons in 10 additional missions. The XBox 360 hasn’t seen a game of this type before – but Blazing Angels certainly paves the way for how good they can be.