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SummarySolid, yet linear...
The GoodThis game is probably my favourite World War II aircraft-based game. You have a lot of freedom, you may fly around 20 different aircraft; American aircraft, German aircraft and the RAF. The graphics (especially texture/ground graphics) are very advanced for 1998, and look great when you're up high, and yes, even when you're low you can see people (and shoot them of course!).
The ability to give orders to the other members of your squadron is also pretty effective. This game features real documentaries, and you can enjoy an 'instant action' flight, or make your own one up. Also, you can choose a campaign mode... Which brings me along to my gripes...
The Bad... The campaign mode is more of a 'career' mode and is very linear. Unlike other games, you cannot control what actually happens in the war as a whole. You also have to fly fairly far each mission, which gets fairly boring.
The AI isn't great in version 1.0 of this game, but the 1.1 patch makes it TOO good, and none of my old tactics worked anymore, because they depended on the poor AI! Glad to see they fixed the problem, though.
My last rant: This game refuses to run on my new PC. It apparently needs Windows 98 or below - Nasty - It refuses to run on an NT-based operating system. I don't have a Win9x based machine anymore, which makes this game unplayable for me.
The Bottom LineIt is a solid World War 2 shooter. Maybe a tad dated, but looks about 2 years ahead of its time. The linear game play is avoidable as you can create your own missions.
I strongly recommend European Air War. You'll be hooked for hours, trust me. :)