Ubisoft Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII

A bird's eye view of WWII

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Ubisoft Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII
  • Ubisoft Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII
  • Ubisoft Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII
  • Ubisoft Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII
  • Expert Rating

    3.00 / 5

Pros

  • Intense and compelling action

Cons

  • Unimpressive graphics

Bottom Line

It's good enough to keep your attention for a while but you'd probably be better off renting it for the weekend or waiting for it to drop into the bargain bin.

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Making another World War II game is not only like beating the proverbial dead horse, it's like shooting it with a gun, setting fire to it, then putting the ashes into Mike Tyson's personal punching bag.

The genre has been done to death, but Blazing Angel's saving grace is that it takes us out of the familiar trenches and gives us a bird's eye view of the conflict, keeping it from being yet another WWII game.

As a port of the Xbox 360 title of the same name, Blazing Angels puts you in the pilot's seat of several WWII-era fighters and bombers as you take part in historic conflicts such as the bombing of Pearl Harbor. For the most part, the action is intense and compelling, but don't expect historically accurate recreations. Take the game for what it is: pseudo-simulation with a heavy action focus.

But that's perfectly fine — this is a video game, not a history book. The arcade gameplay actually works to the game's benefit because if you're too busy downing bogeys and torpedoing ships, it's easier to look past the game's many varied faults.

The game controls take a lot of getting use to and can lead to some initial frustration but once you get the hang of it, you'll be patrolling the not-so friendly skies with ease. The default configuration is fine, but one word of warning: stay far, far away from the Sixaxis functionality or your plane will wobble more than a 747 with Andre the Giant and an elephant sitting on the same side. Also, the mission objectives were sometimes obscure and had me flying aimlessly in a vain attempt to figure out what I was supposed to be doing.

The graphics are passable but unimpressive for a PS3 title, and I noticed that the frame rate nose dives every time you fly through smoke. This is especially problematic when your plane is on fire and you're trailing a stream of frame rate killing smog. Ironically enough, the game actually sets your plane on fire during one mission.

Much like almost every other PS3 game that's been released so far, Blazing Angels is a mediocre title that won't exactly leave you bragging to your friends about your shiny new toy.

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

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