Join a secret squad of pilots dedicated to thwarting
the most heinous plans of the Third Reich. Fly over twenty authentic aircraft
across thirty daring missions in this new WWII action-flyer. Lawrence Holland,
the legendary creator of Star Wars: X-Wing, Star Wars: Tie Fighter and Secret
Weapons of the Luftwaffe returns with an exhilarating new game of action and intrigue.
Can you be trusted with the most dangerous secrets of the war? Fly more than twenty
realistic aircraft across a variety of combat theaters over World War II Europe
and other territories as you make your way through the ranks of an elite fighter
squadron. Engage in over thirty action-packed missions featuring air-to-air and
air-to-ground battle scenarios.
The technology race in World War II from all sides
to improve their vehicles, armament and weaponry was at a frenzied pace for over
a half decade and finally ended with more destruction than the world had ever
seen. The political structure and the leaders as well as their aspirations are
intriguing and fascinating. The sheer geography that it encompassed as well as
the strategies required for the numerous landscapes are just mind-numbing. The
time for tanks, artillery, and ground troops of that strength has long since passed
but that short period remains an excellent pool from which creative minds can
drink from to create relevant software. Enter Secret Weapons Over Normandy,
which sets you up as part of a secret group of pilots that ran dangerous missions
in an effort to change the war.
titles over the years have tried to remain faithful to their roots, some to a
fault. The more elaborate board games out there can take weeks or even months
to fully learn. Titles such as Panzer and Allied General have made
the successful transition to the PlayStation console and remained true their roots.
Secret Weapons Over Normandy, however, tries to integrate history with a fluid
arcade flight sim and is well on its way to successfully accomplishing this curious
melt of fields. Think of the popular game Colony Wars set in Europe and
Japan in the 1940's and you'll get an idea of what to expect here.
The combat controls
are intuitive, easy to learn and very effective. The PS 2 dual analog sticks are
absolutely made for titles like this - one controls the speed of the aircraft
flawlessly and the other controls your direction. Firing controls for both machine
gun fire and bombing runs are on the right shoulder buttons (R1 and R2). Landing
gear is raised and lowered with your directional pad as are certain commands to
your wing men. The speed of the turns is much faster than you might expect with
the primitive aircraft (especially at the beginning of World War II) that were
available - but this title conveys much more of an arcade feel than any flight
based WW II game that I've played.
missions of your elite force of fighter pilots are varied and intriguing. Sinking
enemy transports and subs or shooting down a German JU-88 which is later repaired
and flown back to the battlefield disguised as a member of the enemy are a few
examples of the missions that you'll fly. Your orders will take place during the
day and at night. Night missions make the targets incredibly difficult to see
- specifically on bombing and dive bombing runs, to the point that you can get
frustrated with the inability to line up your target. Still, I found myself pressing
the select/start button again and again without being deterred despite the difficulty.
bombing missions are particularly challenging, even during the day, as they require
you to get really close to your target, release your payload, and veer away as
quickly as possible. Not easy to do and when your target is moving the difficulty
is further magnified. Shooting down JU-87's, BF109's, and many more through dogfights
is much more fun than realistic, but we're here to have fun right? You also engage
German "elite" pilots that are much more challenging than the usual
machine gun fodder and they'll taunt you over your radio to boot. Good stuff.
really isn't much to complain about in this game, even in this unfinished preview
build. The WWII purists might say that if a realistic mission relied on you a
single pilot downing 15 planes each time out then the entire lot in Europe would
be speaking German about now. This isn't about realism, it's about entertainment
with a little bit of history mixed in, and it works. If games like Star Lancer,
Colony Wars, and to a lesser degree, Wing Commander are in your
library then this is a game you won't want to miss. Heck, you won't want to miss
it anyway. LucasArts looks to have another hit on their hands following their
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, and that's always a good thing.