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SummaryRelive the danger and excitement of the pioneer military aviators duelling high above the battlefields of France during the Great War
The GoodFollowing the great Wing Commander tradition, Wings of Glory guided the player along a complex and twisting mission tree, combining a strong story line and heavy character interaction to make this one of the most original and enthralling flight sims I've ever played.
Using their impressive 'realspace' graphics engine, the detail of the planes was simply astounding and the background and terrain rich and varied in appearance. Clever incorporation of zeppelins, heavy bombers, and ground based targets ensure that missions never became stale, and the manner in which elements of the narrative were interwoven with mission objectives brilliantly sucked the player into the story.
Perhaps above all, the gameplay and superb flight mechanics required real skill from the player in order to master control of their rickety plane. In no other flight sim I have played was the need for such mastery of dog fighting skills so essential for completing the missions intact. You literally had to wrestle with the controls of your plane in one on one combat, ducking, weaving and rolling to evade and lock onto the tail of an enemy. Whilst the highly unresponsive and laborious nature of the plane controls may seem like a detraction, they forced you to learn how to regulate engine power and combine banking and tail flap turning in order to get the most from your plane.
Enemy AI too was another strong point of the game, with wily veteran and ace pilots constantly trying to shake you and approach you from the sun trapping you in a blind spot. Whilst you could not always see your enemy, you were assured of never losing track of where they were thanks to the targeting and tracking system cleverly included by the developers. Essentially you were able to select a plane as a target, and the pilots POV would shift in the cockpit in order to track the plane as it flew out of your frontal line of sight allowing you to make the directional changes necessary to bring the enemy bogey back into sights of your forward mounted machine guns.
The BadOne thing that I found frustrating was the limited selection of underpowered aircraft you were forced to use early on in the game. The Sopwith Pup for example was so underpowered it made trying to duel with more spry and powerful aircraft very difficult and gaining altitude took absolute eternity.
Another under utilised and poorly implemented feature of the game was the wing gun on some of the planes which was essentially impossible to use against anything other than zeppelins. A smoother and quicker transition from your front cockpit view to that of the wing gun would have helped mightily in this regard.