World War I aviation simmers have been wanting for an up-to-date sim covering the Air War over The Western Front for years. Until Over Flanders Fields arrived, the offering was a pick from late nineties titles such as Red Baron 3D, Flying Corps Gold, or the WWI mod for Fighter Squadron SDOE. Targetware’s Richthofen’s Skies and TK’s First Eagles are newer arrivals. Rise of Flight is scheduled in the future and that will become a welcome addition to my too small WWI flight sim collection.
I think OFF Phase 3 is a great step forward in evolution compared to its predecessors; Phases 1 and 2. It is easier to install, runs better and is far more reliable. With its emphasis on creating an immersive experience that lets you feel like you live in the world while events unfold, actually taking part in the war, it honors the legacy of revered RB3D and is a “A sim going back in time, to the classic virtues of computer games”.
OFF is a very polished product, but if you look long and hard enough you can find things to criticize; some French Escadrilles missing airplanes, the host software being originally released a few years ago, and the multiplayer being a bit of an unknown quantity. These points should however not detract from all the great things that OFF contains in form of brilliant immersion and a guarantee of long-lasting flying duties and adventures, especially in the fantastic Dynamic Campaign — if you can learn how to survive.
I give Over Flanders Fields Phase 3: Between Heaven and Hell the thumbs up, and recommend that you join up!
Reviewer’s System Specs
- Windows XP Pro SP3
- AMD Athlon 64 FX-57 2.8 GHz
- Mobo: Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe
- 2GB RAM (Kingston and Danelec)
- Western Digital External 300 Gb hard disk
- ATI Radeon X1800, Catalyst 8.11
- SoundBlaster Live External Soundcard
- Logitech G25
- Logitech Wingman Strike Force 3D
- Logitech 5.04 drivers
- NaturalPoint TrackIR™3 with Vector Expansion
- Broadband 4096/512
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