We've all heard stories from aces of the era and dreamed of flying one of those warbirds. Many of us have also wanted to be in a heated dogfight high in the skies. Now you can, and with extreme realism. Jane’s Combat Simulations continues its tradition of "building sims by the book." Jane’s simulations are always highest on my list when I consider purchasing a flight simulation.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
Jane's makes games nicely customizable so you can make the flight model very fake or very real. To anyone with any flight experience, I advise using the most realistic flight model. It is much easier to do real maneuvers that you can’t do as well with the "easy" flight model. It is really fun to set all the settings to the highest realism, because you will really get to see what it was like in the golden years of aviation.
Jane’s did a great job of recreating the atmosphere of the era in the menu or, as the game refers to it, the museum. There is always some swing music in the background and all the options are set up like a museum. There is information on aces and the planes included in the game, as well as background information on the battle that the game is based on. You can spend a few hours just looking through all this stuff.
Now for the fun. Battle is very real, and the damage model of the planes is remarkable. For those of us with knowledge of aircraft and control surfaces, you are able to tell what it damages and how much. You might find yourself starting to yell stuff like "my left aileron is ripped apart!" This is one of the few games that really got my heart beating a mile a minute; it was just so intense when there were four or more planes trying to shoot each other out of the sky.
In the cockpit you are able to move your virtual "seat" back and forth and side to side for a customized view of the inside of the plane. This is quite an entrepreneurial feature that I had never even thought of.
Internet play is pretty smooth, with the exception of the occasional plane moving momentarily at the speed of light, or so it seems. Fighting a friend or just flying around with someone can be very fun. The game makes room for both deathmatch and teamplay games.
The visuals are some of the best I have ever seen. When hit, the planes have visible damage and pieces fall off very nicely. You can’t put into words the joy of seeing your opponent’s wing fly off with flames coming from his engine. You are able to use the mouse to look around your cockpit and see all the dials working, as well as any point of the plane. When you get shot through the cockpit, you may just have the misfortune to see your blood splattered on the side of the canopy.
Excellent. Realistic radio chatter and very cool gun sounds; I loved hearing the bullets pierce the armor of my enemies. You can get very deep into the environment with this game if you have a subwoofer. Nothing really brings out those engine sounds and cannon thumps without it.
Room For Improvement
Unlike most Jane’s games, there was no pilot record where you make your own character and get medals for good missions. I would also like to see a Pacific version or add-on of the game with the F4U Corsair, P-40 Tomahawk, and A6M Zero. How about it, Jane’s?
P-200, 3D accelerator, 32 MB RAM, 6X CD-ROM.
Reviewed on: P2-350, 128 MB RAM, 40X CD-ROM, STB Velocity 128 (RIVA 128 based). Note: I was told by EA tech support that the game wouldn’t work at all with my video card, but it did. Go figure.
I don’t know how MS Combat Flight Simulator stacks up, but this is the best WWII simulation I’ve ever seen since Sierra’s Aces series. If you are a lover of the no-radar, no-smart-bombs, close-engagement-dogfighting action, you may want to seriously think about buying this game. WWII Fighters has really kept me busy for a few weeks. Just to show you how intense this game is, I’ve included some of my own screenshots from the game, rather than the company-made ones. Happy flyin’!
Download WWII Fighters
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP