Saturday, November 29, 2003
Secret Weapons over Normandy is an interesting anomaly. It gets some things right and others terribly wrong. If you take the opposite of Ace Combat 4 and add a World War II theme, you have SWON.
The good of this game relies heavily on the pinpoint destruction of the planes with parts of the plane and particles of explosions flying everywhere upon gunfire impact. There are helper markers to guide your leading fire as to more accurately represent real dogfighting.
One glaring problem with the atmosphere is the plane physics. For lack of a better description, there are none. It's more like you are controlling a manual camera, not an aeronautic console. This coupled with mission objectives that become so drawn out on a sprawling map area that you are left so much of the time bored flying from point to point with no real action on the way. The dogfighting can be fun in an arcade, mind-numbing sort of way but these instances can be too few and far between sometimes which makes no sense with the angle they took for this adventure. Then the troublesome AI never really reacts to your presence making missions overly easy.
That being said the presentation is top notch with nice mission debriefings and unlockables that make it obvious the makers of Tie Fighter created this game. If you are a sucker for the WWII era you might find a lot to enjoy, especially if you don't have an Xbox for Crimson Skies.
First Play: B
Last Play: C
Overall: 78% C+