Air Warrior III
Long-time online pilots should all be aware of the history of Kesmai's Air Warrior series. Ever since the 1980s, they have been playing Air Warrior on online services such as GEnie, Delphi, America Online and now the Internet. Air Warrior has evolved from an online-only "front end" to a boxed version containing online and single-player missions and campaigns. Enter the latest installment: Air Warrior III . Air Warrior III contains an extremely authentic flight model, many planes to fly, and probably more missions than any other flight simulation money can buy. Air Warrior III is primarily a WWII aircraft simulation. That means no fire and forget missiles, no sophisticated radar systems, and no afterburners. Just plain and simple: head-to-head air combat at its best.
Those familiar with Air Warrior 2 can expect the same game with a few more capabilities. 3D acceleration tops the list, adding more textures to the plane's surface, fogging and lens flares. The full screen view now shows all the necessary instruments on the dashboard and text radio messages on a heads-up display. The wingman and enemy AI have been vastly improved, and if you thought the 360 missions available in Air Warrior 2 were enough, Kesmai decided to up the ante and add about 100 more missions for a total of over 450 possible missions and 6 new campaigns!!
Air Warrior III puts you in the cockpit of 49 different aircraft covering WWI, WWII, and the Korean War eras. In reality, Air Warrior III is designed as a WWII game and only offers a few single missions each of flying biplanes in WWI and jets in the Korean War. There are no campaigns to fly in the WWI and Korean eras. There are 12 campaigns to choose from, covering the Pacific and European theaters. You can fly a huge assortment of fighters or bombers for either the good guys or bad guys. If all the campaigns, missions, and planes you have to choose from are just not enough, Air Warrior III provides a mission editor that allows you to create your own missions, allowing you an infinite number of missions to fly. If you are new to Air Warrior, you will notice the funky default view window to the outside world. The earlier versions of Air Warrior used the border area of the window for text messages and gauges. Air Warrior III now has all the gauges and text messages viewable while in the full-screen mode, so there is really no reason to use the smaller view windows anymore. One complaint I have with the game was the lack of nighttime, dawn, or dusk missions. I didn't have the time to check out all 450+ missions, but the ones I did always lacked this feature.
The biggest gripe I have with Air Warrior III is the poor terrain graphics. Despite the 3D-accelerated graphics, there is nothing spectacular about them. The terrain is basically a perfectly flat, green textured area containing one tree in the exact middle of every square acre. Another problem is the fact that enemy planes appear as little dots at a distance. One would normally expect that when viewing a distant aircraft, but the problem exists because those dots are close enough to fire their guns at you! The graphics are not much better than the terrain featured in Dynamix’s Aces series or LucasArts Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe from the early 90s. That was state-of-the-art graphics in those days, but nowadays my expectations are much higher. The nicer visual items worth mentioning is the cockpit interiors. Kesmai obtained photos of the aircraft interiors from a number of different aircraft museums to recreate the exact same views the actual pilots had. The plane exteriors look good; however, the control surfaces do not move and there is no animation when the landing gear is raised or lowered.
From the ping of an enemy bullet piercing your airframe to the coughing startup sound of the piston engines, Air Warrior III's audio sounds very authentic. In the menu screens you can hear planes flying overhead, mechanics working on the aircraft, typewriters, and doors opening and shutting inside mission briefing offices. Unfortunately, there are no actual voices in the game. Messages from your flight group are in the form of text on your heads-up display. While the detail of the sound is great when you’re on the ground and in the air, the lack of voices from other pilots greatly distracts from the game's realism.
Air Warrior III is probably the only game that has evolved from a multiplayer-only game to a single-player offline game. Kesmai has not forgotten its roots in the online gaming arena. Through an Internet connection, up to 250 players can compete in a huge variety of online missions. For example, multiple online players can fly on a single B-17 with a single player as the pilot, and a player for each gun position. With 5 or 6 B-17's flying in formation and a few fighter escorts going against human enemy pilots, Air Warrior III is about as real as online play can be. Players can also control ground vehicles in the online world. You can drive a truck or operate a tank for various missions while enemy fighter bombers try to riddle you with bullets.
Windows 95, Pentium 133 (Pentium 200 recommended), 60 MB hard drive space (150 MB recommended), 24 MB RAM, DirectX 5 compatible, PCI Video card, 2X CD-ROM drive, mouse, network or modem card for multiplayer modes. Other supported devices include: DirectX 5 compatible sound card, Thrustmaster, CH, Gravis, and Microsoft SideWinder Joystick. Most 3D accelerator cards which support Direct 3D are supported.
Air Warrior III is a combination of some very realistic features mixed with a handful of some very unrealistic features. If you can stomach the excessively plain graphics and lack of audio voices and you are interested in experiencing the most realistic WWII online experience out there, Air Warrior III is your answer.
Download Air Warrior III
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP