|Damage Inc: Pacific Squadron WWII|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Games|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 28 August 2012|
Page 5 of 5
Pacific Squadron Final Thoughts
There are plenty of flight-based video games already on the market, but very few of them set themselves apart with unique game play features like Damage Inc: Pacific Squadron WWII does. Mad Catz is best known for their peripheral hardware products, yet in my opinion they've done an excellent job of breathing some fresh air into a crowded genre. Time-released aircraft upgrades keep in step with technological advances as they occurred during that period, which makes for a more realistic simulation of the War era. As with any motion-based video game, there's always a trade-off between high quality textures and the frame rate level game console can produce. The very best graphics will be available on the PC version where gamers can play with enthusiast-grade high-end hardware, but Pacific Squadron still uses the best graphics quality possible for PlayStation3 and XBOX360 consoles.
It's true that there are 68 variations of 32 unique aircraft available, and considering that aerial combat was still relatively new during World War II it's impressive to see nearly all of the real-life options available. This is where downloadable content (DLC) comes into play, and gives owners of the 'Collector's Edition' package a huge bonus by including a bundled code for a fully-upgraded F4U Corsair. Of course, any true air Ace will make even the stock planes fly circles around wallet warriors.
While there's plenty of single-player story to enjoy, it's the online multiplayer actions that will create a lasting impression for flight-action fans. Damage Inc: Pacific Squadron WWII has the ability to match eight players against one another in Dogfight mode, or build teams of 4 vs 4 in Team Dogfight, Survivor, or Scratch One Flattop modes. Players can master control over their aircraft with a common gamepad, but the Saitek Pacific AV8R FlightStick clearly adds a level of ease and comfort that translates into a more competitive performance. Considering that the FlightStick is compatible with plenty of other flight-genre games, it's worth adding to the collection.
Saitek AV8R FlightStick Conclusion
The Saitek Pacific AV8R FlightStick has been styled to resemble the controls of a WWII combat aircraft, and includes a custom decal sheet to dress AV8R with additional period-specific effects. The AV8R is a popular series by Saitek, and this 'Pacific' version offers all of the same functionality. Each platform has its own list of compatible games, and AV8R adds an advantage to them all.
Curious how far consumers could stretch their investment, I asked Mad Catz if these platform-specific versions of AV8R would function on other platforms. They informed me that only the XBOX360 version has some (but not all) functionality on PC, and neither console version has compatibility with the other. Well, something is better than nothing I suppose.
At the time of launch, Damage Inc: Pacific Squadron WWII is available at Amazon for $39.99 in Standard Edition on PS3 or XBOX360, and $89.99 Collector's Edition for PS3 or XBOX360. I'm looking forward to the PC version, but there's been no estimate on when to expect availability.
Since we received the Collector's Edition kit for review, our opinion rates the entire package and experience as a whole. The DLC content and Saitek Pacific AV8R FlightStick easily makes Damage Inc: Pacific Squadron WWII into complete kit, enough so that I wouldn't want to play with a simple gamepad because it would reduce the competitive edge. As the game's title suggests, this is a WWII-themed product, and as such I think Mad Catz had done a superb job of faithfully recreating the era. For their all their extra efforts, Pacific Squadron WWII earns our Golden Tachometer Award.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.
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