1914, The Great War - WWI - began in Europe. By 1917, the
Allied powers of France, England, Italy and others were on
the ropes against the German juggernaut. Some altruistic young
Americans disagreed with the war. They volunteered to fight
alongside their counterparts in France; some in the infantry,
some in the Ambulance Corps. A handful of others had a different
idea: they decided to learn how to fly. The first of them
- a squadron of only 38 - became known as the Lafayette Escadrille.
This is their story...
is a World War I flight combat game, is inspired by the courageous
tale of the young American men who would become known as the
legendary Lafayette Escadrille. They were ordinary boys who
volunteered for the First World War looking for adventure,
and in the process, they became heroes.
to abandon his family's ranch, Blaine Rawlings finds his future
in a newsreel chronicling the adventures of young aviators
in France. At a small train station in rural Nebraska, William
Jensen promises to make his family proud. In New York, spoiled
Briggs Lowry embarks on a transatlantic passage. Meanwhile,
in France, black expatriate boxer, Eugene Skinner, vows to
repay his debt to his adopted racially tolerant country. Together,
these American boys arrive at an aerodrome in France, eager
to learn how to fly. What they didn't realise was that they
were about to embark on a great, romantic adventure.
are two main areas of play in Flyboys. You can either
play the single player missions, or head out into the online
gaming community and try your luck against people from all
over the world.
are quite a few aircraft to chose from, all of which have
been designed to handle as realistically as possible. As there
wasn't much to these planes in the real world, this means
that you don't have to worry about flaps etc - just get the
crate into the air and use your joystick to fly around.
online play is much better than the single player off-line
game. In fact there were quite a few problems with the off-line
play. Firstly it doesn't really matter how you do in the missions,
the story doesn't really change. And, as enjoyable as they
are, missions generally start and end in the air - even when
there are still enemy fighters to destroy, or if you are so
damaged that you have no real control of your aircraft. It
would have made much more sense to have had to make your way
to a designated landing spot - it's a bit worrying when you
complete a level to notice that you still have enemy craft
bearing down on you... how did you escape? The
missions are quite varied and the level of difficulty gradually
ramps up, which is welcomed.
only thing really letting the online play down is the number
of players currently subscribed. When we tried it there were
relatively few in our immediate vicinity. This may well get
better over time, but at present there are too few people
flying in such a large environment. While there are AI craft
flying around, they don't really add as much realism as battling
against real opponents.
sum up, this is a great WWI combat simulator, that is well
worth the £20 asking price. Hopefully the number of
online players will increase in the near future - once they
do, this will be one great game.
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