Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII
Another World War II game? Yes; but fear not. Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII isn’t the traditional, scripted World War II first-person shooter we’ve come to expect every couple months. Instead, Ubisoft Romania decided to craft a flight combat game with World War II as the backdrop for the dogfighting. We’ve already seen two World War II flight combat sims (on the Xbox), but both missed the mark. How doesBlazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII stack up as the first flying game for the Xbox 360?
The most popular flying game on the Xbox was Crimson Skies. It had a good single-player game and an extremely addicting online game. So, I think it’s safe to say that Crimson Skies will be the benchmark for Blazing Angels for many people.
Blazing Angels follows a squad of fighter pilots through the most famous battles of World War II. The Angels bounce around from the European theater to the Pacific theater throughout the game. Gamers will have the chance to help the French save Paris, shoot down some Zeros in Pearl Harbor and bomb German factories with the B-52 at the end of the game. While Blazing Angels doesn’t really do anything new, the developers did an excellent job shaking up the gameplay. Some missions will require gamers to take out aircraft carriers, while others force gamers to protect a squad of bombers as they fly towards their target. The locations are varied, ranging from cities to islands and even farms.
As the title suggests, you are part of an elite squad of fly boys in World War II. You can issue orders to your three wingmen via the d-pad. Each wingman has his own unique abilities that will help you throughout the campaign. Tom is the shield; he is constantly protecting you throughout each mission. His special ability is taunting the enemy. He will taunt them in hopes that they will follow him and let you get out of a tight situation. Frank is the hunter of the squadron. His special ability is the ace attack, which makes him unstoppable as he nails four to five enemies. Joe is the mechanic of the group. By pushing the d-pad to the left, he will repair your plane. A combination will come up on the screen that you’ll have to complete to repair the plane. It’s generally a simple combination of buttons, like X, Y, B, X.
Ubisoft had an excellent idea with the squad idea and the squad controls, but I never really felt like they were a big part of the game. Your wingmen are generally forgettable, and the only one I used on a regular basis was Joe for his repairing ability. Sure, the other two guys are there, but I never felt the need to use them. I would’ve liked to feel some sort of connection with each guy, like in Brothers in Arms, but that never happened. It was an excellent idea; it just wasn’t executed as well as it could have been.
The eighteen missions in Blazing Angels take gamers from the early parts of the war, all the way to the end of the war in Berlin in 1945. You’ll protect London as the Germans attempt to break England’s back. Gamers will also fly over North Africa on a reconnaissance mission for the Allies, as they attempt to get a better idea of where the Germans are.