Combat Wings: Battle of Britain drops amateur fighter pilots into the cockpit of planes like the Hawker Hurricane and the Supermarine Spitfire as they join the Royal Air Force in an epic struggle against the mighty German Luftwaffe. Through four main missions pilots must protect Britain's valuable infrastructure, beat back an attack on London, retake the La Manche channel, and finally retaliate against German targets all the way to Berlin. Airborne aces can fly ten different planes, including unlocked craft such as the Hawker Tornado and the Westland Whirlwind, and crack shot pilots will be rewarded with bonus missions, promotions, decorations, and the ability to watch Berlin smolder from the tail turret of a Halifax bomber.
Combat Wings: Battle of Britain Review is a flight simulation game, intermixed with abilities of a shooter style. It is set in the World War II era. Published by City Interactive it is a sequel to Combat Wings. In this version , Battle of Britain, you are the newest pilot to the squadron tasked to defend England from the onslaught of the German Luftwaffe. I personally had a lot of fun with this game. You start off learning the basics of the interface with flight, firing, and dropping munitions. But do not get too cozy because you are quickly tasked with a lot of short missions.
They made some drastic improvements with respect to the head up display and gauges from its predecessor Combat Wings. Instead of the view from the cockpit, you view the plane from 3rd person. Your altimeter, speed, gun status, and aircraft integrity gauges are located at the bottom, well out of the way of what you need to do to succeed.
The interface is really easy to get use to, even if you have never played this style of game before. You use the mouse to track the flight and the usual keyboard interface of movement, W,S etc. The missions are a lot of fun and had me hooked for a few hours. You start out in a Hawker Hurricane and soon upgrade to a Spitfire. There are other innovative crafts of the era you get to fly as well. After the 5th mission there is a sort of monotony that sets in, and they do slightly get more difficult as the game progresses.
Also you are tracked on a killboard and promoted in rank as well as achieve medals such as the Distinguished Flying Cross. Another fun point of the game is once you have trained on different craft you have the option of flying them on missions. If you do not upgrade and continue to fly trainee planes your mates will tease you about it too. You can customize your plane with different decal setting as well. I have a thing for pin-ups so I would choose the largest one I could.
Game sound and music is reminiscent of any battle or heroic style of game. Sounds do vary between the different aircraft you choose, so to give you the feel that you are operating a different aircraft. Also in battle you sometimes get cross-talk on the radios from your enemy which given the technology at the time is a very real probability of hearing them. Although, the phrases repeated often to where it became annoying and I just wanted to shoot at them more. They heckle you and call you "Tommy", as your team calls them "Jerry".
Combat Wings: Battle of Britain does offer a multiplayer mode where it can be setup on a LAN or across the net. You can set it for "deathmatch" or "team deathmatch", the constraints being a time limit or frags, and number of players. Twenty frags or twenty minutes and ten players were the maximum setting for a server. A bonus here is you can actually play the Germans or the British, the Germans offering a Messerschmitt to contest the abilities of the Spitfire or Hawker Hurricane.
As long as it is cheap and if you want to get someone an easy fun game who just does not have the computing power or know how, then this game is perfect. As for replay value, I see it as questionable based on the nostalgia of the player. If you are a history buff as myself then yes I would replay this once beaten.
People who downloaded Combat Wings: Battle of Britain have also downloaded:
Combat Flight Simulator 3: Battle for Europe, Heroes of the Pacific, B-17 Gunner: Air War Over Germany, Comanche 4, Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 2: WWII Pacific Theater, Rowan's Battle of Britain, F/A-18 Operation Desert Storm, Battle of Britain (from TalonSoft)
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