of the better WWII sims you'll play. Jump into the
cockpit. by Darwin
15, 2006 - Simulations
are a dying breed. These games just cost too much
to produce and have limited demographics. It's much
more lucrative for companies to create games with
talking penguins searching for enchanted ice crystals.
the intelligent player that really wants to experience
a sense of unrivaled realism, Battle of Britain II:
Wings of Victory is the closest that you're going
to get to reliving the 1940 WWII battle for air supremacy
over Britain. This isn't so much a sequel as it is
a remake of the original. With some new missions,
modes and other features it also wanders into expansion
is a great game but it's not without some technical
issues. There are patches that need to be installed
and unless you have a killer PC you are going to be
turning off lots of graphical effects to achieve a
as either side. Fly with the RAF and show Hitler who
commands British air space. Or take part in the Luftwaffe
blitz and try to bomb strategic British targets. There
are lots of historical campaigns from raids to bombing
missions and dogfights. You can choose to take on
as much responsibility as you want such as taking
on the role of commander or you can just fly your
plane and take orders from your superiors.
of the planes in the original game are here. The list
includes the Hawker Hurricane, Supermarine Spitfire,
Messerschmitt Bf109, Stuka, Me-109, Dornier Do17and
the Heinkel He111. They look amazing and come with
accurate cockpit models with all functioning switches
and gauges. All of the various characteristics of
each plane are simulated to great effect - both the
bad and the good. The British planes employ a carburetor
system that is affected by gravity. Too many G forces
and the plane will go into a stall. Quick maneuvers
will also cause them to choke and sputter. The German
Me-109 is a very powerful weapon but because of its
narrow undercarriage its landing capabilities are
extremely sensitive. It's easy to get in the air and
it handles extremely well but you're not always assured
of a perfect landing.
of crashes, the game itself is very prone to crashes
in addition to huge drops in framerate and some teleporting
of enemy craft which was evidenced in the first game.
There are some patches available online but so far
there is no one magic patch. To keep things running
smoothly you will have to turn off different effects
such as the weather. You will also want to take the
resolution down and above all make sure that your
PC exceeds the minimum requirements.
players will prefer different planes but for my money
there's nothing like an old Spitty. These planes have
great handling characteristic and are extremely fast.
They aren't very resilient due to the lightweight
construction, and because they carry huge Merlin motors
they have to store a lot of fuel which enemies can
turn into a huge fireball with a few well-placed shots.
can get a lot of practice in the Instant Action mode
where they can choose various training sessions or
just dive into various historical battles.
campaigns give us a lot more input into the game of
war than just flying a plane. Not that that's any
small feat but when you find yourself in a squadron
it's hard to imagine that you are making much of a
difference. If you decide to take on the role of Commander
Downing on the British side, you will be faced with
the task of defending your country from the air strikes
of the Luftwaffe which requires various strategies.
The further away inland that you can intercept them
the better. This might mean leaving your planes close
to the channel but it also makes them more vulnerable.
At the same time you will want to defend your airstrips,
radar facilities and factories where planes are manufactured.
These are key targets for the Luftwaffe as putting
factories out of commission will ensure that the British
have fewer planes available to them in the immediate
future. Taking out the radar stations will result
in less reaction time as the British airforce is now
reliant on ground spotters.
are lots of strategic options available on the interface.
You can commands fighters to escort bombers or have
them fly ahead to intercept enemy fighters. Targets
can be suggested, including primary and secondary
ones. Altitude, speed, direction and time of day are
also variables that must be considered as well as
weather conditions. Clouds make for great cover and
nighttime raids can generate a lot of damage when
the British radar defenses are down.
are always fun and it's during these skirmishes that
you feel liberated from the pack. You become an individual
and are able to show off your flying skills as though
your life depends on it - and it does. Keep in mind
that because of the historical accuracy of the air
battles you are going to encounter a lot of planes
and not just one-on-one battles. The Germans were
known for keeping a tight formation even when under
severe attack. They would literally darken the sky
with their massive mobile mechanical flying machines.
not just relegated to the role of the pilot. You can
take the gunner position and really let your frustrations
fly as you destroy wave after wave of enemy planes.
dirt, grime, grease, chips and bullet holes, the plane
models look very realistic. They break apart in the
air leaving streams of particles and metallic chunks
to return to Earth on their own volition. Aerial perspectives
are great but the closer you get to the ground the
uglier it might look if you've adjusted the resolution.
engine sounds are equally authentic. You can hear
them purr, race or sputter depending on your piloting
skills. When flying in formation you'll hear a symphony
of engine sounds surround you in relative harmony.
Weapon sounds are good but not much different from
the five-year-old version. I wouldn't be surprised
if these were the exact same weapon sounds just processed
of Britain 2 does a good job of making you feel part
of one of the most decisive campaigns the free world
has ever known. But it still allows you to display
your cocky side when you mix it up solo style. If
you're not into patching you might want to check with
some forums to see if most of the patches are available
before purchasing this game.