Combat Simulator 3: Battle for Europe
Combat Simulator 3: Battle for Europe is Microsoft's latest addition to a continually shrinking game genre. With few developers designing flight simulators to the level of detail in this game, you'll actually learn quite a bit about flying and aerodynamics before the game is completed. In addition, it also takes a significant amount of patience and practice to become skilled enough to survive most missions which is more than most people will endure. It does however, offer an experience similar to what the pilots of World War II lived through and offers a number of different possibilities to keep the game interesting.
To allow different perspectives of World War II to be seen, pilots from three different countries can be selected: American, British, or German. Depending on the pilot's country, the mission is changed accordingly, as a German pilot would be attacking Great Britain and vice versa. Over 35 aircraft, including bombers and the first jet fighters will also be available with each aircraft containing the limitations and advantages specific to it's design.
One area that could have been better is the graphics. Although the aircraft and ground units are thoroughly detailed, the ground textures in particular are poor. From the air, the ground appears splotchy and blurred, as recognizing anything from higher altitudes is impossible. Even at lower altitudes, trees and ground units are clear, but the ground still appears blurred, distracting from the realistic approach of the game.
Combat Simulator 3: Battle for Europe offers a solid performance, grabbing a sense of realism unseen in most games. Although some areas could have been better, fans of this type of flight simulator will not want to miss this one. Those short on patience or expecting the planes to fly themselves, however, may want to pass this one up.