Wings of War Xbox Review

May 31, 2010 by Chris Wigham  
Filed under Retro Content, Retro Reviews, Xbox

If god had wanted us to fly he probably would have given us stupid looking wings, but being the curious breed we are, people soon found a way to soar into the skies. This union between man and machine (making flight possible) obviously found its way into the war-filled skies of The Great War. Wings of War takes us above the clouds of Europe, all for an asking price that not a single soul could argue with.

Despite being a budget title, Wings of War doesn’t look too bad at all. There’s an impressive scale to everything and ground targets can be seen from a respectable height. Planes also break up nicely after being pounded with machinegun fire and drop out of the sky like a stone to water. It’s all satisfying stuff. The accompanying sound and music is fantastic, the constant “good old English” chatter from your pilot keeps this cloud warfare alive, it’s just a shame that the initially rousing music becomes a little repetitive.

The game itself is simple enough to become acquainted with, although if you’d rather be fully up to scratch with your dog fighting techniques, then there’s an impressive training mode, which can be passed by if you prefer to get straight into the thick of the action. We found the default control scheme to feel wonderfully natural; the triggers are used for increasing and decreasing the throttle whilst the machineguns and secondary weapons (rockets and bombs) can be employed with the A and B buttons respectively. If you so wish, the view can also be altered corresponding to your current situation, the birds eye view is a necessity for taking photographs during the reconnaissance missions and is often an asset during heavy bombing runs. The Y button allows you to get a more practical view of your distant targets with your binoculars, allowing for more precise hits.

The campaign missions are many in number and almost varied enough to dispel boredom setting in. The great thing about the game is that it throws tasks at you like there’s no tomorrow, in one instance you are picking planes off like clay pigeon shooting and the next you are bombing trains, returning to the ground to help defend a position with a grounded turret or waiting for your photographing window of opportunity to open whilst in the midst of a reconnaissance mission. Bonus missions can also be found and these regularly earn you extra points or helpful upgrades to aid you in your task at hand. When flying over enemy bases you can also request one-on-one duels against enemy planes, which earns you extra points if you are successful at shooting them down. The game is always rushing you into the next segment, assuring that there is never a dull moment, it’s just a shame that things start overly repeating a little.

Besides the campaign, there is a Deathmatch mode available, although bizarrely human competition isn’t possible, meaning no multi-player options on a single Xbox, via System Link or Xbox Live, which is a rather sore point. At least the campaign managed to continually hold our interest for the entire duration.

As a budget title we wouldn’t hesitate to call Wings of War a classic, as it’s well worth the inexpensive asking price. Budget titles are notorious for being shoddy and everything else bad, but this one here strays onto a better path. It’s a fast-paced title that never lets you pause for breath, and for such a cheap price we have never found the hostile skies so inviting.

7/10

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