Feeds
60%
Air Conflicts: Secret Wars

Air Conflicts: Secret Wars

Wing men

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Review In recent years aerial combat games have been in free fall. The genre stalled after the seminal Il-2 Sturmovick and has struggled to pull out of a seemingly irrecoverable nosedive. But, contrary to their dubious quality, the continuing popularity of the Ace Combat and Hawx series proves interest remains sky high for the genre.

Air Conflicts: Secret Wars

Red sky at flight

With no sign of Hawx 3 on the horizon, and with Ace Combat: Assault Horizon not expected until October, the skies are clear for Air Conflicts: Secret Wars to gain temporary air supremacy. Essentially an update of Slovakian developer 3DIVISION's five-year old PC title Air Conflicts, Secret Wars is a WWII arcade-style dogfighter in which you play as Dorothy 'DeeDee' Derbec, a pilot for hire embroiled in the European Theatre of the global conflict.

Told through comic-book cutscenes and in-flight radio chatter, the game's Saturday matinée narrative places you in a wide range of WWII's lesser-known Partisan engagements, such as aiding the Maquis' sabotage campaign and supporting the Polish Armia Krajowa in Operation Belt. Spread across 49 campaign missions, you'll undertake practically every objective imaginable, from protecting supply trains and escorting bomber convoys, to carrying out stealth reconnaissance and shooting down paratroopers jumping out of enemy transports.

Air Conflicts: Secret Wars

Smoke on the war tour

But while Secret Wars' varied missions prove both competent and generous, the variety of planes on offer exposes the game's greatest weakness. Apart from a couple of noticeably slower bombers, the sixteen iconic fighter planes are virtually indistinguishable. Other than weapon loadouts, you simply won't notice whether you're flying a Spitfire or the jet propelled, delta wing Horton-Ho 229, so similar are their flight speeds and handling. The game also fails to convey any real sensation of speed, and your speedometer is constantly betrayed by the achingly slow passing of trees and buildings underneath.

It's not the only disappointing discrepancy in flight dynamics. There's no rudder to control yaw, limiting angles of rotation to pitch and roll. And there's a constant, overbearing abuse of stall dynamics. Based on speed rather than, correctly, the critical angle of attack, even minor deceleration in level flight invariably ends in a stall. Nowhere is this more apparent than at the permanent invisible ceiling of around 1,400 metres in altitude, which contrives to hem you into the prescribed combat zone by stalling your plane regardless of speed and pitch.

Air Conflicts: Secret Wars

Chasing tail

Fortunately, stalls are as forgiving as they are excessive, and, even at extremely low altitude, they're easy to pull out of with additional thrust. But the closer you get to the ground, the more another weakness looms into view.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Next page: Up the engine

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
iPAD-FONDLING fanboi sparks SECURITY ALERT at Sydney airport
Breaches screening rules cos Apple SCREEN ROOLZ, ok?
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
The British Museum plonks digital bricks on world of Minecraft
Institution confirms it's cool with joining the blocky universe
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.