After the hugely disappointing Ace Combat: Assault Horizon which I gave a 2.5/5, here’s another flight sim, but this time WWII. I love World War II themes, so I was kind of excited. You know I like WWII when my favourite Call of Duty is World at War.
The demo has some tutorials and a handful of missions to shoot through. Nothing groundbreaking. Some dogfights and escort missions.
- A decent looking game. Not going to win any awards
- A steady 30 fps almost all the time
- Didn’t notice any screen tearing
- Less detail and grittiness than Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, but more polished and smooth looking
- A pretty colourful game. The skies can be orange and dusky and the land below seems too bright and green
- The machine gun fire looks just like old WWII footage as you see flashing fire and faint comet trails
- Vintage looking footage during cut-scenes. SKIPPABLE CUT-SCENES
- Some pretty bad narration and pilot chatter. No way the accents are real. Likely lowly paid actors faking it
- I like the shake and rattling sounds of the planes
- Some old school tunes play in the background. Barely noticed it
- Three camera views – cockpit, third person and first person (aiming reticule only)
- Games plays smooth, but like every other flight/racing game the third person view for me is always the toughest to control. Maybe it’s just me but I prefer first person view (no cockpit)
- Typical flying mechanics, speed up and down, fire, turn, strafe, barrel rolls. You can also look behind you and deploy landing gears when landing
- I used the Simplified Controls and still found it takes getting used to. Much more complicated than Ace Combat’s novice controls. Bird of Steel’s simple controls requires you to use RS to turn and speed up and down. Aim and fire are LT/RT, while in Ace Combat those are used for speed and firing is face buttons. Totally different control schemes. I prefer Ace Combat’s controls
- There is an Advanced Control setting, but didn’t bother trying it
- I didn’t bother trying it (likely locked), but the game seems to have a custom campaign and level editor. Cool
- After missions finish you have the choice to land or just skip it and complete the missions
- If you shoot your machine guns too much, there is a long cool down period. I think 1:00 minute
- You have regenerating health. If you get shot up your screen blackens like it’s flak. As you heal, the black spots disappear
- The game has online MP. Didn’t try it
- Pressing A targets enemies. Keep pressing A to cycle to the next one
- Maps seem very big…. or the planes just move at a snails pace
- Unlike Ace Combat, you don’t have to shoot every enemy to clear a stage, since your wingmen are useless. Your wingmen in Birds of Steel seem more uselful. Some missions can be completed without having to kill all enemies
The Old Guy in Me Says
Not a bad game at all. If you are itching for a action flight game for 360, you have no choice but to try this anyway. Flight games are few and far between. Birds of Steel played better and smoother than I thought it would. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I got used to the controls. The game doesn’t feel like a AAA game worth $60, but more like a solid second tier game worth $30-40. If you like WWII flight sims, chances are good you will like this game.
Edit: I just checked EB’s website and the game’s regular price is $39.99! So if you like these types of games, I don’t think you will feel burned buying it for full price.