|Damage Inc: Pacific Squadron WWII|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Games|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 28 August 2012|
Page 2 of 5
Damage Inc: Pacific Squadron WWII
Damage Inc: Pacific Squadron WWII offers three distinct play modes for gamers: head-to-head dog fights, partnered missions, and single player story mode. Of the three modes, single player effectively trains the player on flight controls and maneuvers while immersing pilots in a historically-driven story. The game's story is the results of lengthy interviews with WWII historians from the USS Midway, and was made to replicate the details of actual battles and missions. Combined with period-correct fighters, torpedo planes, and dive bombers that have been accurately recreated, Damage Inc: Pacific Squadron WWII does an excellent job of taking the gamer back in time to a different era.
The control system is advanced enough that flight simulation enthusiasts will find it easy to adapt, but even those players familiar with first-person shooters should have an easy time understanding the aiming mechanism used in Damage Inc: Pacific Squadron WWII. From within the third-person tail view, pilots are assisted with a round target reticule that's controlled by the aircraft's pitch orientation. Additionally, those planes equipped with bomb/torpedo weapons receive a supplementary landing zone reticule that defines ground targets.
There are multiple vantage points available, from a zoomed-in first-person cockpit view all the way out to third-person tail view. The pilot can also free-view 360° around the entire aircraft to survey the entire battlefield. Colored 3D markers differentiate team equipment, with traditional red markers hovering over enemy craft and blue for friendly forces. Damage Inc: Pacific Squadron WWII integrates a real-time radar mini-map with directional navigation poles, similar to the heads-up display found on FPS-style video games.
Some aircraft are purpose-designed for specific missions and have special secondary weapons. Primary guns come standard on each aircraft, while others may equip rockets, bombs, dive bombs, or torpedoes. These armaments also vary in size and capacity between planes and nations, such as it did during the actual Second World War. Each aircraft is then graded with a rating for guns, armor, agility, and speed; but because each pilot has their own unique flight style it will take time to find the aircraft that best compliments your tactics.
For hardcore fans of flight simulation games, Damage Inc: Pacific Squadron WWII includes a realistically detailed first-person cockpit that recreates the restricted view that real pilots had to overcome in WWII. The Saitek Pacific AV8R FlightStick (included with the Collector's Edition package) offers pilots is the ability to pilot the aircraft in one direction with the main stick, while looking in a different direction using the POV mini-stick to track surrounding friend and foe.
The first-person cockpit view raises the difficulty level, but for those air Ace's who can master it this 'zoomed-in' vantage point offers improved weapons aiming benefits. One vantage point doesn't fit all situations, however. In dogfight mode, I found it useful to begin my view from the cockpit until enemy were spotted, and then back out to third-person view as I began maneuvers. Bombing from the cockpit view is especially challenging, lending perspective to the difficulty real pilots overcame in battle.