Blazing Angels 2: Secret Missions of WWII Hands-On

Ubisoft Romania invites us to take the controls of its upcoming WWII-inspired aerial combat game.

Earlier this month, at its Ubidays event in San Francisco, Ubisoft showed off a playable version of Blazing Angels 2: Secret Missions of WWII for the first time. Representatives from Ubisoft's Romanian studio were on hand to demo a few of the game's 18 missions. We also had an opportunity to get some combat time during a battle over Cairo. That mission played out very differently from those in last year's Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII because some of the controls--notably those for your wingmen--have been improved. Also, historical accuracy and realism will be taking a back seat to fiction and gameplay this time around.

In Blazing Angels 2, you'll be flying as the leader of an elite undercover squadron called Operation Wildcard. Working for the American government, your mission is to foil the Third Reich's plans to develop a weapon of mass destruction. That mission will take you to locations all over the world, including Moscow, Rome, China, the Baltic Sea, the Swiss Alps, and the Himalayas. Our demo kicked off in the skies over Egypt, where German forces were attempting to parachute tanks into the city of Cairo. The first objective was to make sure that no more than 15 tanks made it down safely while fending off attacks from enemy fighter pilots. The city below was larger and more detailed than any of the locations from last year's game. For example, market stalls and washing lines were clearly visible among the hundreds (perhaps thousands) of quite varied buildings. Besides the much-improved visuals, the feature that really stood out during this portion of the demo was the arcade-style scoring system that awards you prestige points every time you or one of your wingmen takes down an enemy. You can also earn points by performing stunts, such as flying fast and low to the ground or going under a low bridge, which is basically the kind of stuff that you'd probably be doing anyway--just for kicks.

Click to enlarge!

Fast-forwarding to the end of the Cairo mission, we were treated to our first look at one of Blazing Angels 2's new boss battles. On this occasion, the boss was a gigantic zeppelin that dwarfed the nearby Great Pyramid. The zeppelin was certainly far bigger than anything that would've existed during World War II. Its appearance at the end of the mission was also very much in keeping with what we were being told about the game's level design: missions start out in a relatively conventional manner but get more fantastical and over-the-top as you progress. Without wishing to give too much away, the battle with the zeppelin boss was a lengthy affair where we were required to destroy its many gun turrets and several waves of planes before we could even think about downing it.

Between levels, you'll have an opportunity to spend your prestige points on a number of different upgrade options, including squad training, larger fuel or ammo capacities, improved gun sights or weapon range, tougher armor, and the like. Where applicable, these upgrades will be applied to every plane in your hangar when you purchase them, so you won't need to worry about having a plane that you've spent a lot of points on becoming obsolete later in the game. Blazing Angels 2 will feature more than 50 aircraft in total, including plenty that saw on active duty in real life and a number that never made it past the drawing board, prototype stages of development, or simply weren't ready before the hostilities came to an end. Ubisoft Romania has also taken some liberties with the weaponry in the game, so don't be surprised if you find self- and TV-guided missiles in your arsenal. Perhaps the most noteworthy modification being added to the planes is close-range defensive weaponry, which will include an engine-clogging smoke screen, a rear-firing shotgun, and even a Tesla coil device that can mess with multiple enemies simultaneously if they get too close. All of the defensive weapons will feature in the story-driven campaign, but they're clearly designed with multiplayer battles, which in the original game could often deteriorate into dogfights where each "dog" was chasing the other's tail, in mind as well.

Multiplayer options in Blazing Angels 2 will include free-for-all deathmatch, capture the flag, assault, epic battle, and cooperative modes of play. Unfortunately, we weren't shown any multiplayer action on this occasion, but the next portion of our demo certainly didn't disappoint. Set above a great-looking Baltic Sea littered with battleships, the level looked and played very differently from the mission over Cairo. The Baltic Sea level took place at night, so all of the ships were attempting to locate our squadron with powerful searchlights. The beams of light were moving constantly, and failure to steer clear of them while trying to complete other objectives invariably resulted in taking damage from antiaircraft guns. The last level we were shown went even further to demonstrate how varied the missions are going to be because its first objective required us to drop a spy onto a train as it sped through the picturesque Champagne region of France. We didn't get to see how the rest of that level played out, but the scenery was even more impressive than in the previous two levels. We're looking forward to finding out how different it will be when the blue sky is filled with enemy planes and black smoke.

Blazing Angels 2: Secret Missions of World War II is currently scheduled for release in August. We'll bring you more information as soon as it becomes available.

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Discussion

28 comments
Mujambo
Mujambo

Looks pretty good, maybe I'll pick it up

hassam7
hassam7

alot of improvements man!

Akhmatov
Akhmatov

I got the game yesterday. I installed it on my VISTA rig. It looks good, but I cannot get either the Sidewinder 2 or the XBox 360 controller to work. I have the Saitek X52; I have not tried that one yet. We shall see. Perhaps I can get the controller to work on my XP machine, but I will have to turn off some graphics switches.

madmoose7
madmoose7

I'v always liked flight games and blazing angels was pretty good,so i hope this one does well also. I hope they added on to the customizable features for the planes.also they need to fix the some of the planes stats for example the mustang was much better in real life then they make it look in the game,and the follow cam makes the battles based on whose plane could turn the sharpest.Which was really boring and unrealistic

Whermacht02
Whermacht02

I loved the first one, and Im certainly looking forward to this game. I just hope that its not too over the top with those fancy, historically-inaccurate weapons...

Dadriverman
Dadriverman

This game is for the 360 it even has it on the game cover picture. So why is this in the ps3 section?

dutch777
dutch777

Just completed the first one and now looking forward to getting my hands on number two, sounds like some good improvments have been made.

jesus_knight
jesus_knight

yeam me too sonjason i wanna playa demo of this game

DouglasBuffone
DouglasBuffone

I played the original Blazing Angels and I liked it enough to seriously check this game out

comthitnuong
comthitnuong

I think I will pass on this Blazing Angels. I don't like it when I am part of some super secret elite group. It seems so old to me. But I guess the focus won't be on that, it will be on the action. Maybe I will give it a try.

rockafella06
rockafella06

i recently bought last years game for my xbox 360 and its a great game but lacking on a few details, especially on the building in the london missions. this game sounds like its fixed thats small problem, and made the gameplay better. i cant wait for it now, i've almost completed the 1st one.

fodo_gsr
fodo_gsr

I loved the first game...but the PC version was buggy. Only a few pc controllers actually functioned properly with the control setup utility. The huge comic-sans font that would trail off the display so you couldn't even read it all (sometimes). They did integrate a cockpit view with a patch (there are 2 patches for the PC), but they never fixed the control issues. So in those respects, the console version was better. But the PC version definitely had better graphics than the consoles. The voice acting was too over the top, but it didn't get to me too much. But if you can look past or work through those problems, BA was a really fun game to play, and with great graphics IMO. You could take on an ace, and if you could defeat them, you get an 'ace skin' to paint on your plane. And, you could take on the bonus campaigns, and get upgrades to your machine guns, bombs, and rockets. There were also plane upgrades specific upgrades, which influence speed, handling, armor, etc. And you could take your upgraded planes online and into battle. Really fun multiplayer on XBOX Live but never enough, if any, people to play against on PC. Which is a shame, really...and probably due to bad reviews and bugs. But that's Ubisoft. Hopefully they make a good PC version (READ: NOT A PORT), and don't get too sci-fi with it. Don't get me wrong; I bought the PC version after I sold my XBOX, and I liked it more (because my Logitech Wireless Rumblepad actually works correctly), but there is never anybody online.

childe_roland
childe_roland

Well it's definetly no IL-2 but for what it is this looks to be a pretty solid arcade style flight sim, looking much better than the first...

beckoflight
beckoflight

I'm a romanian ... i loved the first alltough it wasen't a real simulator ... but still the action was very fun & challenging ... so i thin this 1one will be better :D!!!

army-of_one
army-of_one

Is there a cockpit view? if not, i already hate this game. i cant stand arcady flight sims, i only enjoy the realistic ones.

PS3Compass
PS3Compass

This sounds a lot better than the first Blazing Angles.

millsfokk
millsfokk

Re-work the silly voices, the Comics Sans font, and the gun flare that filled the screen if you held down your machine guns.

Ash2X
Ash2X

I think the first one was by far the best WWII-Plane-Shooter,and I bet this one will top it.

sanandreas44
sanandreas44

cant wait till it comes out i dont care about the first one how it was bad im gonna get em both

-L-U-I-S-
-L-U-I-S-

Looks interesting and far better than the first. Will this game come to PS3?

peeweeshift
peeweeshift

the first one was pretty good but underrated. hopefully they can regain their name

TintedChimes
TintedChimes

I didn't like the first one, hopefully they'll improve on this.