Ahh, World War II has been the subject of numerous games over the years, and City Interactive bring us their take on air combat with Dogfight 1942. What started out as a full retail game has been released to the masses as an XBLA game for players to get seat time in the golden age of dogfighting. But, with the shift to a digital only platform, is Dogfight 1942 worth the entry price?
As soon as firing up Dogfight 1942, players will be thrust into air combat and taught the controls in a tutorial level. While the game defaults to an arcade control method, veterans at the flight simulation genre will have the option to change the controls to a more familiar setting, giving greater control on ones chariot of doom in the sky. Planes all handle a bit on the sluggish side though, so even with the simulation controls, I was still having a hard time getting the planes to do exactly as I wanted them to do – which led to quite a few crash and burns. With the use of the “Ace Mode” button though; which puts you in an almost auto pilot mode with you fine tuning your aim, I had no problem downing enemy after enemy. The only real problem is after awhile, it made the game too easy, and took away from the experience.
For those expecting a campaign with some meat, you may want to look elsewhere, as the main mode can be finished in just a couple of hours. The game has the standard story of being the Allied forces trying to defeat the Axis aerial assault in numerous battles from the time period that has been done over and over. Also, for a game titled Dogfight 1942, there is no online multiplayer support. The only multiplayer in it is a split screen two player mode, which is a little underwhelming. In an effort to stretch things out, missions can be replayed with unlocked planes to improve your ranking, but it’s still the same mission you’ve already beaten.
From a graphical viewpoint, the planes are all modeled very well, and look decent, the environmental graphics on the other hand vary. While flying high above the battles, everything is beautiful, but fly at a lower altitude, and things can get muddy real quick. One of the better looking things are the water effects, which looked – frankly – amazing for an XBLA game.
The easiest way to put it is: if you are a fan of WWII flight games, try the trial version first, and if you are not a hardcore fan, there are other offerings that will satisfy your craving for WWII aerial carnage better.
Audio/Visual - 3/5: While nothing really pops out at you, the water effects look pretty sharp.
Gameplay – 3/5: For the most part, the plane handle fairly well, but the hardcore will feel underwhelmed.
Value – 1/5: With just a 3 hour or so campaign, 1200 MSP seems like way too high to justify the entry price
Innovation – 2/5: There really is nothing new here, besides an “Ace” button, which makes the game so easy it isn’t really a challenge anymore.
Final Score: 2/5