3 weeks ago
Blazing Angels is a flight combat video game developed by Ubisoft Bucharest and published by Ubisoft in 2006.
GRAPHICS & MUSIC
Initial impression is overwhelming. You can see that the game was primarily developed for Xbox 360; the details and effects are at full display, the next generation graphics jumps right out of the screen. In the sky, as if it was painted with oil colors, dozen airplanes fly around, shoot adversaries release debris and smoke. Even the ground looks nice with destroyed houses and ships. With thousands of houses lined up in London, full fleets at Midway, chaotic air raid on Pearl Harbor, glare of the sun... Wonderful. However, it is true that the image don’t hold up when you take a closer look, since the vehicles on the ground are the same as if you’d cute them out of cardboard, bombs don’t make holes in the ground, aircraft are not detailed enough, etc. Even music is, though orchestrally magnificent, uninspired and repetitive, while the screaming of enemies over the radio quickly becomes irritating. It gets tiring when you have to listen to an enemy pilot saying the same thing with weak accents.
The same could be said for the campaign. In it you lead a group of four elite pilots: you and three wingmen. There is no story or cutscenes, and no engagement on the side of the Germans or Japanese. You play through eighteen missions, which take you from London in 1940 to Pearl Harbor and the Pacific Ocean (Midway), later to North Africa, Paris and Berlin. But who cares about logic and narrative – important thing is that we shoot Axis enemy forces! And that's exactly what we're doing, because Blazing Angels is pure-blooded arcade. You just have to point your plane, which never head of Newton’s law, towards the enemy and press buttons for machine gun or secondary weapons (bombs, rockets, torpedoes).
A few hits will take down even the toughest. Doesn’t matter if it’s a plane, bomber, plane carrier, tank or hangar. Joined with spectacular image, this should suffice. But, unfortunately, the developers have poor experience in game planning, because objectives during missions were planned by a bunch of drunks. The more you progress, the more you get tired of same enemy waves and meaningless goals. There are long and boring dogfights, where you routinely fly around enemies with no artificial intelligence. There are missions where you, for example, have to destroy fighters before they take off. You push the throttle but you’re not fast enough. Boy, you sure are incompetent. But it doesn’t matter because the objectives change. Now you have to destroy anti-aircraft guns. Press turbo again and fly to the other end of the map. Well, forget it. Now the bombers are in danger! This gets harder because you usually get a plane that doesn’t fit your mission.
One of the main culprits for this chaos is limited action. There’s no radar, lock-on works only on closest target or objective and the four orders to your wingmen are almost useless because you can only give them general order (attack, defend…), their special abilities are too strong, you can heal yourself whenever you want (you only get lower rank after mission ends).
There’s even multiplayer with standard options. Split screen, dogfight (similar to deathmatch), seek & destroy (winner is the one who destroys the most marked targets) and aces high (all against one ace). You can even play in teams.