Wings of Prey suffers from a split personality. It wants so badly to be a simulator, to really make you very happy, but just cannot seem to break away from its console roots that keeping it from being something to spend a couple of hours with, and becoming something special you can take home to meet Mom and Dad. It’s the digital equivalent of that crazy ex-girlfriend we’ve all had at one point in our lives. Beautiful and visually pleasing, if slightly off-kilter.
But unlike that attractive and slightly insane date, this one just isn’t as satisfying. If it had an option to make loadouts realistic and didn’t pit you up against the whole of the enemy’s military, it’d be… well, it’d be a better-looking version of IL-2: Sturmovik 1946. If it didn’t have slightly schizophrenic flight models and stalling characteristics or really wonky weapons behavior, it would be that true heir to the Jane’s WWII Fighters throne that I have been looking for since 2000.
But as it stands, it’s a console port and one that really just doesn’t make the translation well in any realm except for the visual. Anyone looking for something to tide them over until the North American release of IL-2: Sturmovik – Cliffs of Dover should continue to look, or just wait. Because if you do purchase this one and attempt to invest any time in it, like that slightly disturbed girl from the bar you tried dating, you will eventually just leave her.
- Absolutely gorgeous
- Runs as smoothly as oiled glass on a very modest machine
- Allows for some simulation-like options like engine management and control surface trimming
- Nice poster in the Collector’s Edition
Could be Better:
- Realistic flight models defy most Newtonian physics
- Realistic damage model isn’t
- Most sound effects are dreadful in a manner that defies description
- Two layers of DRM if you buy the Steam version?
- Patching to this degree on a just released title?
This comment added July 21th, 2011: There has been some lively discussion about SimHQ releasing the 188.8.131.52 DVD review when the “final” of 184.108.40.206 was released the day after the review was published. You can read comments and a discussion of further details here.
Reviewer’s System Specs
- Gateway DX4710-05 computer
- Intel Q6600 Kentsfield quad-core processor
- 6GB PC2-6400 DDR2 RAM
- 1 GB MSI NVIDIA 460GTX Cyclone graphics card
- Microsoft Windows Vista 64-bit (SP2)
- Western Digital 640GB SATA II HDD
- Saitek X45 HOTAS
- CH Products Pro Rudder Pedals
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