ūüź≥ New! Moby v2023.06.02 update

Fighter Squadron: The Screamin' Demons over Europe

Critic Reviews 71% add missing review

GameGenie ( ) (100%)

Fighter Squadron, while it looks relatively normal, has to be one of the most realistic flight simulators ever created. A serious amount of time and effort must have been into this game, and it truly shows, not only in the gameplay, but the extra little details that make flying a plane in the game pretty close to flying a plane in real life. Anyone who is WWII fanatic will love this, and even anyone who is not may have a lot of fun too. I whole heartily recommend this game to everyone, and I can only hope that game designers in the future take care to learn from how wonderfully Activision and Parsoft Interactive developed this game.

1999 · Windows · read review

Power Unlimited (9 out of 10) (90%)

Vreselijk mooi, leuk, spannend, afwisselend, uitgebreid en geen handleiding ter dikte van een telefoonboek. Voor de liefhebbers is het helemaal lekkerbekken door de tien originele vliegtuigen die te besturen zijn, maar de lage instapdrempel maakt het voor de aktiefanaten die hogerop willen ook zeer aantrekkelijk. Zo zouden alle flightsims moeten zijn. Hulde.

Jan 1999 · Windows

Svenska PC Gamer (85 out of 100) (85%)

Fighter Squadron passar mig utmärkt, då jag varken vill eller har tid att sätta mig in i en realistisk simulator. Dessutom blir känslan av att flyga mycket härligare med äldre flygplan. Vad jag inte kan begripa är varför spelet fått undertiteln: Screamin' Demons over Europe, när spelet även behandlar strider över Afrika.

Mar 1999 · Windows

Score (8 out of 10) (80%)

Mix mezi fyzik√°lnńõ korektn√≠m letov√Ĺch simul√°torem a zjednoduŇ°enou akc√≠ z druh√© svńõtov√© v√°lky se skvńõlou grafikou a velmi vysokou hratelnost√≠.

Mar 1999 · Windows

PC Player (Denmark) (8 out of 10) (80%)

Desv√¶rre er nyt√¶nkningen i Fighter Squadron tynget af en middelm√•dig teknisk standard, og spillet er som f√łlge deraf ikke s√¶rlig interessant.

1999 · Windows

Hacker (79 out of 100) (79%)

҆to reńái? Je li Fighter Squadron bolji od veńá vińĎenih naslova? U neńćem jest, u neńćem nije... Ukratko, na zapadu niŇ°ta nova! Igra ima svojih ńćari, ali nedostatak kampanja pretvara je u kratkotrajnu zabavu. ҆teta, zbog toga ńáe mnogi ostati uskrańáeni za jedno stvarno dobro iskustvo. Fighter Squadron vrijedi iskuŇ°ati, ali s druge strane, zaŇ°to davati novac za neŇ°to Ň°to je u svojoj biti neigrivo? Zapravo, nije mi jasno Ň°to je pjesnik htio reńái? Napravili su stvarno kvalitetnu podlogu, grafika je izvrsna, akcija dinamińćna, fizikalni modeli realni... Sve je na svom mjestu, potencijal je strahovit, ali je totalno neiskoriŇ°ten. Ako Parsoft izda kakav mission disk kojim bi se ispravilo ovaj nedostatak, tek bi vrijedilo razmiŇ°ljati o nabavci ove igre, ali do tog trenutka...

May 1999 · Windows

GameSpot (7.7 out of 10) (77%)

If you're looking for ultimate realism and accurate historical missions, Fighter Squadron probably isn't the sim for you. But if the dogfight is the thing - especially against human players - it's worth a close look. Despite the lack of a full campaign, the physics models and top-notch AI make this one of the best dogfighting experiences yet. If Parsoft can add a working toggle to enable stalls and spins, this may just be the sim of choice for pilots looking for free online play.

Mar 31st, 1999 · Windows · read review

PC Joker (74 out of 100) (74%)

Die realistische Soundkulisse macht dem Untertitel alle Ehre, die flotte Polygongrafik spart nicht mit Details und Effekten. Da gibt es Black- und Redouts, Tr√ľmmer und Rauchfahnen. Selbst den grimmigen Blick des Piloten fangen die schwenk- und zoombaren Innen- und Au√üenkameras ein, lediglich Lensflares fehlen. Wichtiger ist die Flugphysik: Bei MG-Beschu√ü versagen punktgenau Instrumente oder Hydraulik, harte Aufsetzer beleidigen das Fahrwerk, und gewagte Man√∂ver gef√§hrden die ganze Maschine. Der Umfang der Einsatzgebiete ist zwar ein bi√üchen entt√§uschend, doch an Abwechslung fehlt es nicht. Man kann n√§mlich auch die Flugzeuge seiner Fl√ľgelm√§nner pilotieren oder im Bomber die Funktion eines Sch√ľtzen √ľbernehmen. Fazit: Nicht unbedingt d√§monisch gut, aber doch eine ausgereifte Simulation.

Feb 1999 · Windows

IGN (7.2 out of 10) (72%)

Screamin' Demons isn't everyone's cup of tea, and it's a patch or two away from fixing what it claims to offer now. But until the day arrives when we can play the ultimate and complete WW2 simulation, SDOE is worth the harddrive space, despite its limitations.

Apr 6th, 1999 · Windows · read review

Computer Gaming World (CGW) ( ) (70%)

Overall, SDOE doesn’t stand out in enough areas to have truly broad appeal. Despite this, its quick action, Fun dogfighting, and excellent Internet play still offer a compelling combination for sim fans who prefer to cut to the chase.

Jul 1999 · Windows

Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault) ( ) (70%)

This isn‚Äôt the best W.W.II flight sim on the market nor is it the worst. While I am rating it lower than the three I‚Äôve compared it to, I‚Äôm sure many of you will still find Fighter Squadron to be to your liking. Had they released Fighter Squadron in this state back in July 1998 ‚ÄĒ its original ship date ‚ÄĒ it would have received a much higher score. At this point, it‚Äôs lack of campaign and numerous other mediocre features give me little reason to rate it any higher.

Apr 16th, 1999 · Windows · read review

Gameplay (Benelux) (68 out of 100) (68%)

Fighter Squadron is geen aanrader en daar kan de primeur van vliegende bommenwerpers maar weinig aan veranderen. Er zijn teveel goeie titels van dit genre op de markt om lang bij dit spel stil te staan. Volgende keer beter!

Feb 27th, 1999 · Windows

PC Player (Germany) (66 out of 100) (66%)

Als erstes: Dieses Spiel ist f√ľr Einsteiger ungeeignet! Nicht nur, da√ü das sehr akkurate und h√ľbsche aerodynamische Modell sich nicht vereinfachen l√§√üt - es gibt weder eine Zeitbeschleunigung noch einen anderen Weg, die Flugzeit zu verk√ľrzen. Damit w√§ren wir beim Hauptkritikpunkt: Bei jedem Einsatz m√ľssen Sie die komplette Distanz fliegen, weswegen Sie locker pro Strecke eine Stunde und mehr unterwegs sind. Au√üerdem geschieht in der Umgebung um Sie herum so gut wie nichts. Puristen werden daf√ľr mit einem detaillierten Schadenssystem belohnt, das auch Folgedefekte erm√∂glicht. Au√üerdem haben Sie seit Air Warrior 3 endlich wieder die Gelegenheit, einen Bomber zu fliegen. Wem also die Konkurrenz zu simpel war, fliegt hier richtig.

Feb 1999 · Windows

Computer and Video Games (CVG) ( ) (60%)

Flight sim fans will like the authenticity of the WW2 situations but more casual gamers won't find enough action to keep them happy.

May 1999 · Windows

PC Games (Germany) (55 out of 100) (55%)

Nach zwei Jahren Entwicklungszeit mu√ü man nicht unbedingt mit einem fehlerfreien Produkt rechnen - aber ein komplettes Spiel h√§tte man durchaus erwarten d√ľrfen. Nachdem Fighter Squadron der Flugzeugbausatz fehlt, ist an dem Spiel nichts Au√üergew√∂hnliches mehr. Brave Missionen hinter einer schlichten Oberfl√§che, ein herk√∂mmliches Flugmodell und vor allem eine lausige K√ľnstliche Intelligenz sind in den Zeiten von Falcon 4 und European Air War einfach zu wenig. Auch wer sich schon vor langer Zeit seine letzte Flugsimulation gekauft hat, wird in Fighter Squadron keinerlei spielerische Neuerungen entdecken k√∂nnen.

Mar 1999 · Windows

GameStar (Germany) (53 out of 100) (53%)

Fighter Squadron ist ein Paradebeispiel daf√ľr, wie wichtig ein Spieldesigner ist. Fehlt der, kommen leicht 08/15-Eins√§tze √† la ¬ĽZerst√∂re alle Gegner¬ę heraus. Da der Activision-Flieger auch grafisch keine B√§ume ausrei√üt, werden allenfalls Puristen Gefallen an der akkuraten Flugphysik und dem hyperrealistischen Schadensmodell finden. Ich bleibe lieber bei European Air War.

Feb 1999 · Windows

PC Action (Germany) (51 out of 100) (51%)

Das war ja wohl nichts! Dr√∂ge Flugsimulationen ohne Flair gibt es wirklich schon genug. Fighter Squadron kann weder mit brillanter Technik noch mit innovativen Ideen aufwarten. Alles schon mal dagewesen! Da bieten die Konkurrenten European Air War und MS Combat Flight Simulator mehr f√ľr die Mark. Mit einer Tr√§ne im Auge erinnere ich mich an Sims aus 386er-Zeiten. Bei Titeln wie ‚ÄěSecret Weapons of the Luftwaffe‚Äú kam Flair und wochenlanger Spielspa√ü auf.

Feb 1999 · Windows

Bravo Screenfun (4 out of 6) (40%)

Eine historische Flugsimulation ohne Karriere-Modus ist genauso spannend wie ein Actionfilm ohne Explosionen. ‚ÄěFighter Squadron‚Äú sieht ganz gut aus, bietet einen extrem hohen Grad an Realismus in Sachen Flug- und Schadensmodell - und trotzdem nutzt‚Äės letztlich nichts: Dem Spiel mangelt es an Spannung und Atmosph√§re, die Eins√§tze sind genauso langatmig wie langweilig. Einziger gro√üer Pluspunkt: Endlich kannst Du auch die dicken Bomber fliegen.

Mar 1999 · Windows

Player Reviews

Oh, so close to perfection!

The Good
I'll start by saying I'm a flight sim junkie, and have been since the Apple II days. I prefer a quality simulation - one with good physics - over anything. So this is pretty much the game for me, as I suspected when I first heard Parsoft was working on it.

You see, Parsoft has a long history of making games who's physics go beyond what anyone else was doing at the time. Their first effort was Hellcats Over the Pacific way back in '91, and it was way ahead in terms gameplay, sound, graphics, everything. I don't mean a little ahead either, I mean WAY AHEAD. They followed that up with the equally groundbreaking A-10 Attack, which added the best physics of any sim I'd played, and the best mission-map/mission-planning engine I'd seen (the later is still the best even now, five years later).

So when they started talking about the new WWII sim they were working on, I knew it was going to be something I needed to have ASAP. But I couldn't, because the game kept slipping, and slipping, and slipping. And slipping. And then the Mac version was killed, leaving only the Windows one. And then it slipped some more.

By the time it was finally released in 1999 it was already two years overdue, and was now trailing Jane's WWIIF and European Air War into an overcrowded market. So today this is one of the least known sims, a problem that certainly wasn't helped by Activision's non-existent marketing.

Too bad too, because in many ways it's exactly what I suspected it would be. It's the most realistic simulation of flight you can get. Yeah, I know all about Rowan's stuff, all about MS's series, I've played them all. Not one comes close to simulating the real feeling of flight like Fighter Squadron -- not even close.

The planes simply work like they should. They feel real. They bob and weave in the air as they get blown around. They ground-loop if you take off downwind. They stall and spin and generally behave badly if you push them. That's what planes are like, and yes, I do say that as a real pilot.

In addition the game includes a damage model that allows for very realistic effects. Wings can get shot off a part at a time, leaving you with a plane that "kinda" flies. Wheels break off if you land too hard, leaving you skidding down the runway. Everything's there.

Another nice touch is that every position in multi-crew planes can be manned. So if you're flying a bomber you can jump into the gunner positions and blast away. That can be a lot of fun, especially in the poorly armed planes like the Ju 88. Sadly the engine does not allow for multiple people to man a single plane in net games.

Graphics are only so-so. The game has the best looking clouds I've seen, and the flak bursts (using the same basic system) look nice too. But many other parts of the system aren't really up to the high level that Janes set. Terrain can be annoying in particular, it often has blurry roads from a low-res tile leading into the end of a sharp high-res town. Textures on the planes themselves are only OK as well, not bad certainly, but just not best-of-breed.

Now add to this that all of the above details are controlled through an open file system called OpenPlane. You can study the files that ship with the game and edit them to create your own planes - or anything else, trucks, tanks, AA guns, etc. This is where the game simply lept ahead of everything else, it was designed from the get go for the end users to change it. Sure you CAN change EAW, but it's certainly not easy to do.

OpenPlane was the saving grace of this game. Since it's release over two years ago, the game community has added a tremendous variety of add-ons. New terrain, mission packs, all sorts of new planes and vehicles, and many fixes to the ones that came included.

In fact the game community has taken that one step further recently, releasing their own patches to the code itself. Not only have numerous bugs been fixed, but it also added OpenGL support, doppler sound effects, and allows for 1024x1024 textures - at which point it looks as good as Janes, if not better.

The Bad
Sadly this game was dumbed down for release. The planes that actually shipped on the CD had super-easy flight models that refused to stall, apparently because of user feedback. It was also clearly rushed. Much of the power of the OpenPlane system was left unexplored, so things like engine damage or the pilot getting shot were simply left out of the models.

There are also any number of little problems in the physics engine. For instance:

  • coming to a rest on the water makes you blow up, which is pretty annoying
  • bombs were far too powerful as a result of incorrect code calculating their blast effects
  • engines don't have any performance curves, there's no way to simulate supercharging
  • jets are just little tiny invisible props
  • there's no way to simulate compression effects

Parsoft was famous for their attention to detail so it's hard to believe they simply "forgot" about them. They seem to be side effects of the rush to ship. Some of them have since been addressed by OpenPlane users doing some absolutely amazing tricks, but it would be nice to have these right in the engine (I should point out again that even without them, it's still by far the best physics engine out there).

There is one very serious issue however: the terrain. Maps consist of a 40x40 mile tile. That's right, no rolling terrain here! In fact it's possible to fall off the side of the world before even climbing to altitude, which drives me absolutely nuts. The system doesn't allow for loading tiles on the fly (except for the textures on them of course) so they simply picked a size that was big enough to fly in and small enough not to hog memory and CPU. This is a total cop-out in my opinion, one that results in utterly bogus maps where everything is really close to each other. This is the one thing I really can't stand at all.

The game included 30 missions which is OK, and you can play every one from any plane or position (missions all include US, British and German planes, so you can choose to fight as anyone). Also the missions are just plain fun, you fire them up and start fighting! But no concept of a history, and certainly no branching or anything. This isn't a really bad thing, because I've played tons of flight sims where the "dynamic campaign" was too annoying to use (MiG Alley for instance), but I can't help but dream of a modern sim with Red Baron's campaign engine.

The Bottom Line
If you're into flight sims, this is possibly the best one ever. If the terrain issue ever gets fixed it will be basically untouchable.

by Maury Markowitz (266) on Sep 20th, 2001 · Windows

More than a flight sim...

The Good
The capabilities to add new weapons planes, vehicles, boats, ships, terrains and infinite elements in the gameplay! The Open Plane issue let all players free to become a 'modder' - building your own planes and skins!

The Bad
The lack of support from the developers - oh well, it's a constant in any game isn't? But, once more the Open Plane engine have the solution for this problem ;)

The Bottom Line
Welcome to a parallel world - if you like flight combat that is your home now :) The best Flight Model I've seen in years - after 3 years this game still alive and kicking!

by Killer-Ants (2) on Dec 19th, 2002 · Windows

Plus 4 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Jeanne, vedder, Tomas Pettersson, oct, Apogee IV, Plok, Cantillon, Patrick Bregger, Cavalary, Tim Janssen, Wizo.