• I’m afraid Blazing Angels is going to get the review it deserves. I’ll get to the point. The concept is simple, the gameplay is repetitive, the voice acting is stereotypical, the graphics are adequate. The game is boring.

    Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t want it to be rubbish and for the first 30 minutes, Blazing Angels looked like it could be an entertaining little game, which is a warning to all those who buy games on the strength of downloaded demos alone.

    Here is the premise: you are a young American WW2 pilot and it is your lot to complete various missions in different theatres of war around the world, from the Battle of Britain to the skies of North Africa to the Pacific.

    Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII

    All exciting stuff, and when the game succeeds, such as parts of the Battle of Britain mission, it is fun. So long as you can ignore the fact that there were only about 10 American pilots in the Battle of Britain, then flying over central London and protecting Parliament works well and the different theatres of war offer welcome changes of scenery down below as you dogfight with the Germans and Japanese.

    Graphically, the game is reasonable. The plane models are well realised and move satisfyingly through the sky but the ground objects are variable, with some of the ships and bridges very poor while London looks very impressive from the sky.

    The main issues lie with the gameplay. Generally you will spend the time too high in the sky to worry about crashing and your best chance to locate the enemy is to hold down the left trigger, which swings the camera around so you can see where they are. Therefore, you will spend 80% of your time holding down the left trigger and trying to point the plane at the plane you are trying to shoot down or bridge you are trying to blow up, which inevitably becomes very tiresome. Chasing a cursor around a screen is not next-gen fun people.

    The sound is also a problem, with the voice acting frankly embarrassing and verging on the racist. Your American teammate pilots are annoying, the Brits stereotypically stilted, the Germans stupid and the Japanese offensive.

    So what about the missions? Well, they’re repetitive and rapidly dull, usually involving taking down squadrons of enemy fighters and blowing up a convoy. Recon missions are sprinkled in but do nothing to lighten the mood because the process of taking photographs is irritating to control.

    Where is the originality? If you are going to make a flying game for a next gen machine, at least make it so that there is a sense of speed. Show some originality of thought and step away from the exhausted WW2 scenario and have us flying through canyons and cities, with planes from all eras. Introduce a time-travelling element so that the planes improve as you progress. There’s a game there without even thinking about it.

    So there you have it. I could go on about the gameplay, the controls and sound, but there seems little point. I don’t like the game and I don’t think you will either, which frankly is my job here. So, let’s stop wasting any more time and get back to something a lot more enjoyable such as GRAW. Or sticking pins in your eyes.

    Score: 4/10

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