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Wings of Glory

aka: WoG
Moby ID: 2152

Description official descriptions

The year is 1916, the dawn of the first World War. New pilots are being trained in use of the airplane, a still relatively new flying invention that may yet have some military value. Certainly the German army is using them, and therefore it's up to the British to respond. Stationed in a small airfield in the town of Thetford, England, a small group of pilots have been transfered from the allied countries to form a squadron and fight against German forces

Wings of Glory is one of the relatively few World War 1 flight simulators. It is played in 1st person, with 3rd person camera options and uses Origin's RealSpace Engine. In the main campaign, players start as a fresh rookie pilot, newly transfered to England. Players can have conversations with other pilots,check the kill board for the entire squadron or commence the next mission. Missions begin with a briefing explaining the objectives and then players are put in the front seat of their aircraft. They must take off, reach the appropriate waypoints, perform the objective and return home to land. All planes have a machine gun, of varying capacities , which fires in front of the plane. Some planes are also able to carry bombs. There is no radar or other detection method on the planes, so players must be alert to oncoming enemies.

In addition to the usual campaign mode it also featured a "Gauntlet mode" where the player faces a never-ending wave of successive waves of enemy aircraft. The goal of Gauntlet mode is simply to last as long as possible. The game also features a mission designer to create custom scenarios.

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59 People (50 developers, 9 thanks) · View all

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Critics

Average score: 78% (based on 15 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 13 ratings with 4 reviews)

Relive the danger and excitement of the pioneer military aviators duelling high above the battlefields of France during the Great War

The Good
Following 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 Bad
One 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.

The Bottom Line
A very original World War 1 flight sim that combined a strong storyline with the kind of aerial gameplay that required plenty of practice and mastery previously unseen in other Origin flight sims.

DOS · by Dylan Chan (3) · 2002

Great WWI Story-Driven Flight Sim

The Good
Wings of Glory is a WWI flight sim with heavy emphasis on cinematic cutscenes. The story that unfolds helps make the flight sim aspect of the game much more enjoyable, as you become invested in the characters and want to help your side succeed.

The graphics are beautiful for 1995, and there's enough emphasis put in the flight model (slow, sluggish turns, creaking when the plane is under stress, etc) to make it believable.

Musically, the game captures the feel of the era, and the General MIDI implementation is splendid! Even the FM implementation is pretty good. The digital sounds are also quite excellent, from the engine sounds, to the guns and aforementioned chassis creaks when making sharp turns that put stress on the plane. The game has full speech during the cutscenes. Sometimes the music can overpower the speech, despite best efforts at tweaking the mixer levels. I found myself turning the music off via CTRL-M during the cutscenes, then turning it back on for the rest of the game. For the most part, the voice acting is acceptable, but there are one or two characters that sound like they were recruited off the street at the last minute.

The Bad
One of the aspects I found lacking in Wings of Glory was the storyline seemed much more rail-driven than other Origin titles of the same style. For example, only one NPC of note ever dies, and it is written into the story that way. The other NPCs ALL survive to the very end, no matter how badly any battle goes. This gives the impression that you are not influencing history at all.

The game also is very demanding on PCs of the era. It needed a Pentium to play smoothly on. Thankfully, today this is less of an issue with DOSBox or careful selection of retro PC parts.

The Bottom Line
Wings of Glory is a very entertaining action-oriented WWI flight sim with heavy emphasis on storyline. It's like participating in an enjoyable film. You get to know the characters, the music gets stuck in your head, and you look forward to flying the next mission.

If you liked Wing Commander or Strike Commander, and have any interested in the WWI era, you will enjoy this game too.

DOS · by himemsys (56) · 2017

Veneer Wing Commander

The Good
- A rich storyline with colourful personalities. An absolute advantage over 99.9% of flight sims.

  • Balance between fun and realism, really important in simulation/war games. Though, it's shifting from time to time.

  • Pure feeling of dogfighting.

  • Both aircraft and ground forces are high-detailed, so there's a point on flying at low heights and shooting everything Raiden-style.

    The Bad
    - Controls are really bad, playing with keyboard or mouse would become way too difficult when game progresses.

  • No real save system(what is a really vital thing, after the first point) only tapes, you gonna fall asleep, when fast forwarding them.

    The Bottom Line
    In the first half of the 90s, the already established Origin decided to develop new genre fields. With variable success they moved on from Ultima series locales of fairly trampled down lands of Britanny to various others like Jules Verne's epoch Mars, the heart of Amazon jungles populated with prehistoric reptiles, and also in the depths of the earth in the Underworld duology. For another series, Wing Commander, it required much less time (four parts compared to six for Ultima) before they came up with flight simulators not in the sci-fi field. Firstly, Strike Commander got released, where in the not so distant future, the player sat at the wheel of a mercenary F-16 with the same distinctive storytelling system between missions and an abundantly written plot. After this, Pacific Strike came into the world, telling us about the confrontation at you-know-where during World War II(which was already a hackneyed story at the time). However, this review will talk about aviation pioneers, born long before the battles of Midway and Guadalcanal.

The first World War is quite deprived of videogame developers' attention. Which is quite unfortunate - the global conflict pushed the scientific and technological progress far ahead: metal-track monsters appeared on the battlefields, soldiers changed their elegant full dress to a low-key uniform, and giant dreadnoughts and submarines set out on the sea. But we are more interested in a third front, opened by the Wright brothers at the very beginning of the century.

Origin acted quite originally, by putting us in the body of an American volunteer, who joined Entente forces in May 1916 (the U.S. hadn't declared war with Germany yet). After months of long and hard training courses in England, he is transferred to a real front line unit near Dunkirk, Belgium, where the first aircraft warning will sound for us.

Air battles of WWI couldn't be compared with subsequent aerial conflicts. The speed of the first planes often was no more than 150 km/h, recommended aiming range was no more than 50(!) meters, and of course there was no radar or radios. And at that time Sopwiths and Albatroses were very difficult to control, compared even with airplanes of the second world war. By the way, this aspect of dogfighting was recreated by developers better than anything else. If, at first, it is possible to get used to the overly sluggish or too jerky reaction of the Sopwith Pup in futile attempts from this side of the monitor, then when there's a number of enemy fighters on screen with their equipment and professionalism, it puts a demand for the speed of our actions to start increasing and you start to think about your own imperfections and the need to purchase a joystick with rudder pedals.

But it would be worth it. You almost physically feel hitting the wings of a German pilot with your machine-gun or the blowing up a zeppelin with a bomb (yes, you can do so!), which after will burn in a Hollywood-type way and fall to the ground. You may buzz over your non-flying enemies by riddling trucks with bullets and bombing fortifications. However, one should beware of revenge from first AA gunners who rarely, but on occasion, can hit your puny plane. There's an aircraft damage system: by shooting through the wings (and ailerons as well) you will make your rival much less manoeuvrable (wings can be completely splintered by the way), and by making a few holes in the fuel tank you can deplete his fuel (it will take some time though). And of course, aerial snipers can just kill the pilot without damaging the aircraft - the Red Baron was shot this way.

A real drama takes place between flights on the ground. Witty ace pilot Charles Dearing continuously embarks on shady enterprises such as attempting (Spoiler! Spoiler!) a bombing raid on his own. Always bracing up his courage with liquor, mechanic Harry Thompson complains when you get badly hit in combat, and everybody by turns is fighting for the heart and less romantic parts of the young Lissette's body (the only girl in the squadron's territory). Part of the developments between missions are non-linear and depend on your performance in the sky. For shooting down many Germans, a player could be recommended for an award. But for the destruction of government property on your own land, you'll be sentenced to be shot. So train your carpet-bombing on the enemy territory.

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Chris Roberts created one of the most successful series of simulators (a quite relative opinion though) and its offspring turned out to be not too worse. Wings of Glory is a vivid example of this in a very interesting setting. The game is made on the original Wing Commander ferment with a bias more to simulation and the realistic side; plus highly-detailed world including richly textured tanks and locomotives. You only to need to beat the controls.

DOS · by Virgil (8563) · 2008

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Trivia

Late Code Changes

The Wings of Glory development team decided late in development to convert the entire game code from 16-bit to 32-bit protected mode in order to increase framerates, which they determined were much too low to be able to ship the product. It took the team 6 months to do the code conversion, but doing it did improve the game's framerate noticeably. So much so, that they were then able to add fully textured terrain to the in-game land surfaces.

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Game added by Pix.

Additional contributors: Mirir, himemsys.

Game added August 13, 2000. Last modified January 22, 2024.