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Hands On: Air Conflicts: Secret Wars

Birds of prey.

You might not have heard much about Air Conflicts: Secret Wars. It has certainly flown in under the radar but from the early code we’ve been playing, it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on if you’re a fan of air combat and fancy something a little bit different.

The game is set in the early 1940s and starts out by introducing a young ace pilot, DeeDee, whose father fought and died in the genesis of air combat – World War I. The Nazis are closing in on North Africa and the smuggling operation run by DeeDee and an old friend of her father’s (who raised her) is coming under increasing pressure.

It seems like DeeDee is reluctantly drawn into the Allied war effort. As every good roguish smuggler should be, she’s initially keen to just try to keep herself off the map and continue making money while others worry about the war. Every war operation needs acquisitions though and who better for that than an ace pilot with the ability to get her hands on just about any black market goods you could want?

The gameplay feels similar to other air combat games and the planes, at least early on, are simple enough things to control. It’s visually appealing during gameplay too, with everything comfortably zipping along at a steady frame rate (on 360 preview code). The inclusion of two control options should keep things accessible for those who aren’t familiar with flight controls whilst allowing those with more experience in the air to be a little more taxed.

The vintage aircraft on display all appear to be rendered accurately. It’s certainly a joy to have the chance to throw these classics around the sky and if you grew up watching classic war films you’ll probably be reliving the dialogue of those as you pitch in and squeeze off a few rockets at the Luftwaffe.

Cut scenes are still a little rough around the edges, delivered as cartoon style conversations (with audio) between characters and in-game audio communications as you pilot your craft. The voice work will need some attention before the game launches and the use of a Comic Sans style typeface in mission notes is far below the standards of presentation elsewhere. There’s time to polish these issues up a little but they are still somewhat juxtaposed to the more finely polished game play visuals.

Where this game attempts to deviate from the usual air combat game is in the make up of its missions. More than simply an air to air or air-to-ground combat game, Secret Wars attempts to introduce stealth and exploration aspects. Sometimes it’s more advisable (and just as enjoyable) to sneak around trouble rather than attempt to hit it head on. It’s an interesting twist and one which has definite potential if it can be exploited in the right way.

It’s early days just now, the game isn’t scheduled for release until June, but early signs are promising. Air combat fans should certainly keep their eyes to the sky for Air Conflicts: Secret Wars’ arrival.

Air Conflicts: Secret Wars is due for release on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 in June.

8 Comments
  1. TURRICAN-808
    Member
    Since: Jan 2011

    It might be an alternative to IL2: Sturmovic and Ace Combat: Assault Horizon.

    Comment posted on 22/04/2011 at 09:27.
  2. InternationalGamer
    Member
    Since: Dec 2010

    Yay! We can fly Me-262′s, well atleast thats what I saw in the trailer.
    But not sure if I should wait for Ace Combat or buy this since I do prefer modern jet fighters over old propellor powered aircraft.

    Comment posted on 22/04/2011 at 09:34.
    • minerwilly
      Member
      Since: Feb 2009

      Me-262′s are also on my to buy list . They just seem so ahead of their time , its amazing how war brings out the amazing (or terrifying) inventions like Atomic Bomb ,Radar, Doodlebugs , Jet Planes, VW Beetles etc technology that we then later used to get us to the moon .

      Comment posted on 22/04/2011 at 10:19.
      • ratkiller75
        Member
        Since: Nov 2010

        Agreed. The technological advances in war are great in terms of scale but it just shows how much we develop is for war which is basically killing each other for fun. Me262s I don’t like, Jets have such a large turning circle. The Me163 however :). World’s first (and last) rocket plane. 7 mins of flight. I hope that’s here too.

        Comment posted on 22/04/2011 at 10:21.
    • Sympozium
      Member
      Since: Aug 2009

      Hello friend,

      I agree I kind of prefer Modern jet combat but the IL-2 series is quite good especially the pc versions which are on Steam. I’d love to play those if its the right specs though haha..

      Comment posted on 22/04/2011 at 10:57.
  3. ratkiller75
    Member
    Since: Nov 2010

    I hope that this will provide a game similar to IL-2 which I played where the controls were simple enough but the difficulty settings were not a step but a leap. Like the sound of it so far but still wary.

    Comment posted on 22/04/2011 at 10:19.
  4. gazzagb
    Master of speling mitakse
    Since: Feb 2009

    I’m looking forward to Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, although there’s barely any news about it. Maybe this will interest me enough to wait for AC:AH.

    Comment posted on 22/04/2011 at 10:24.
  5. Foxhound_Solid
    Is a smart cookie.
    Since: Dec 2009

    Sounds cool

    Comment posted on 24/04/2011 at 10:30.

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