Their Finest Hour-The Battle Of Britain
|a game by||Lucasfilm Games|
|Editor Rating:||9/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 1 vote|
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Back when George Lucas was planning the dogfight scenes for Star Wars, he collected and studied nearly a million feet of film from the gunsight cameras of various World War II air forces. Lucasfilm's game designers have made good use of that material, because the aerial combat scenes in Their Finest Hour: The Battle of Britain achieve such an uncanny illusion of reality that you can almost smell the cordite and engine fumes.
You can fly any of the eight types of aircraft that participated in the Battle of Britain, from the sleek British Spitfire to the ungainly German Dornier-17 "Flying Pencil." And when flying a bomber, you can instantly switch from the pilot's seat to the bombardier's sights or any of the gunners' positions.
A wealth of technical detail and historical accuracy has been blended into an exhilarating and smooth game system, giving Their Finest Hour an almost heroic resonance. With any good joystick, for instance, the Spitfire maneuvers like a greyhound unleashed, while a fully loaded Stuka dive bomber wallows like an airborne hippo. The terrain is convincingly modeled. Tracers, flakbursts, and battle damage are realistic And a built-in randomization factor keeps things unpredictable.
You can fly either individual sorties or whole campaigns in which the outcome of a single ba ttle affects subsequent engagements. With the combat camera feature, you can record and replay your battles, either to study ways of improving your tactics or simply to gloat over a satisfying victory. This feature was first introduced in last year's Battlehawks 1942, but Their Finest Hour offers some delectable new points of view, including a bomb's-eye view and a viewpoint from the ground target under attack.
Not the least of this game's attractions is a lavishly illustrated and clearly written manual that could easily serve as a historical reference book on the actual Battle of Britain.
Could Their Finest Hour be Lucasfilm's finest hour? Not if they top it with a World War I simulation that includes Fokkers, Spads, Gotha bombers, and Zeppelins!