Air Conflicts: Secret Wars is a bit of a hybrid aerial combat game that isn’t quite sure whether to be an arcade-style shooter or a full-on flight sim.
That said, the game isn’t without its entertaining moments, and at less than twenty pounds it’s more like the kind of game you’ll dip in and out of when you fancy shooting at a Messerschmitt or Stuka.
The plot thins
Air Conflicts: Secret Wars is fashioned around a rather creaky plot concerning a maverick young female pilot called Dorothy Derbec, who is drawn reluctantly to the Allied cause during WWII, while trying to find her WWI flying ace father – which is introduced by an old-fashioned animation still.
The plot, however, is merely a pretext to send our heroine off on a series of 49 missions in seven locations stretching from Tobruk in Libya to the fall of Berlin.
The game offers multiple control options, using mouse, keyboard, Xbox 360 controller and joystick, as well as the two aforementioned game modes of arcade and simulation – neither of which should prove too taxing (despite having four difficulty settings).
As well as the main campaign, you can get your teeth into endless dogfights or (if you can find enough players) enjoy multiplayer with the usual Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and Capture The Flag as well as the more interesting Destroy and Protect, a race to see the first team destroy ten enemy targets.
Needs more of a challenge
The main problem with this game – despite passable graphics, destructible maps and reasonable explosions – is that it quickly becomes repetitive. Ground targets must be taken out, locations must be reached stealthily, articles collected, planes shot down and planes landed. There’s a basic array of weapons, a basic attempt at ‘bullet time’ slo-mo, some basic rewards and basic plane damage during missions – unfortunately the Dogfight game mode is the worst offender here, where you almost beg to be shot down.
- Quick to master.
- Too repetitive.
If Air Conflicts: Secret Wars was available for a tenner, then its largely undemanding mix of arcade and simulation aerial combat would be fine for casual gaming - as it is, it simply lacks enough depth to be sufficiently challenging.