It is old yes, but this is still the only real b-17 simulator out there and its GREAT!

User Rating: 8.5 | B-17 Flying Fortress: The Mighty 8th! PC

B-17 Flying Fortress has and still is the best B-17 simulator out there...released in Late 2000 this game sold quickly and became a huge success right off the bat and is still somewhat popular. If you look around you can still find this game, although you may have to resort to Ebay or video stores that sell old games.

The Game Itself:

This game was the real first airwar simulator on this level, i mean huge open maps, hundreds of targets, thousands of enemies, and above all a real simulator of the horrors of what the real men went through during the European Bombing Campaigns over Eastern Europe. At first glance of this game you may just pass this one up but try it out for a few hours and you will be sucked in to play more and more. The main focus of this game is you play a role of a B-17 crewmember, being the pilot, co-pilot, top turret gunner, ball gunner, radio operator, navigator, bombadier/nose gunner, both left and right waist gunners, or the tail gunner. WOW...thats right you can play as all 10 roles on the B-17, each one detailed in for example the navigator has a map display and you correct course headings when your bomber gets lost (more on that later) keep track of how far you need to go and ect. Gameplay: The gameplay is very good even still to this day compared to other games, you just dont see this type of gameplay now days. Your goal in this game is to get to your target, bomb it, and go home...sounds easy enough eh? well your dead wrong, the moment that first peice of flak cloud explodes you know the enemy knows your there and they send up all the fighters they can throw at you. From that point on the fight just gets more and more intense by the minute, as your gunners start dieing and ammo is running out, your plane is being shot to swiss cheese and yet they still keep comming at you without stopping until you cross that english channel to go home. But dont worry your not the only b-17 out there, you are in a formation of a total of 12 b-17s, so this helps tremedously on defending the formation. Each gunner is AI controlled unless you take over, the AI is well made in this game, they will act alone and for the better...most games AI these days are just complete dummies, doing stuff that has no value in doing. These AI gunners will shoot at the enemy planes from all the bombers in the formation, and they are historicaly accurate on how many times they hit a enemy fighter and the enemy fighters themselves are not stupid, if they get shot up during a attack they will stop and find the nearest airfield and land. Speaking of enemy fighters you can also jump into a Luftwaffe Fighter and attack your own formation of B-17s and try to shoot them down...this kinda gives out the frustration in ya if your bombing run fails and you want to get back at the lead bomber :P. But if you do this be careful of escort fighters cause, yep there can be P-47s, P-51s, and P-38s, escorting the formation so watch out for those guys. Oh and you can also jump into a escort fighter and escort the formation and protect them from Fw-190s, Bf-109s, and Me-262s. The enemy fighters fly through the formations at high speed only giving 2-5 seconds worth of bursts to the formations and at times they pull up too late or going to fast and they run into bombers in the formation, sometimes too much given the fact there are only 12 bombers. Now lets move onto the bombers, each gunner position and the bomber itself is very detailed, from the plane shining in the sun to the ammo in the ammo box running down as you fire your gun. The tail gunner and the ball gunner will get the most action since most of the AI attack from behind and below but every once in a while you will have one come at you from the Front and above, so the nose gunner and top turret gunner will be used from time to time...the waist gunners will get some action as well but these are the hardest positions to gun because your shooting perpendicular from the bomber so you have to adjust your aiming a bit cause the bomber is moving at around 150MPH and also the waist gunners have the shortest amount of time to shoot cause the fighters dont stay in their view too long. The damage modeling is the best i have seen for a AirWar game, where ever you shoot the damage will show, like you shoot up and down the bomber you will see each individual hole where each bullet hit and this is very cool (if your the Luftwaffe) if you shoot the right places you can hit the Crew Members and possiably kill them. If this happens then the gun can be manned by another crew member, for me i usually get the navigator, radio operator, and the co-pilot to take over these guns, and i have at least one free to give first-aid to wounded gunners. If your plane starts going down you can have them bail out before the plane crashes. After all this IF you make it to your target, you can be the bombadier and after a few times at practicing the bomb sight you can set the Bombsight and bomb for the entire formation. Theres nothing better to see than 12 bombers releaseing up to 15 bombs each falling all at once, then watching the factory or airfield or port being blown away by over a hundred bombs, after the run you can see the smoke start to rise in the air and you can see the aftermath of your bombing run. To make this short going home is the same way getting to that target only in gets easier as you go...not harder.


Even to this day the graphics are pretty decent, not the best, not the worst either its OK compared to todays games...the planes up close are pretty good, the crew members are a little cartoonish but otherwise pretty ok, clouds and terrain can be better, all 2-D even the clouds. You can see each of the gauges on the fighters and bombers, and they all work. All in all the graphics given are ok compared to today. The explosions from the bombs look fantastic and planes crashing into the ground are very good as well, you can see all the dirt kick up as the plane slides across the land or the planes crahses into a big fire ball if it hits the ground too hard.


The sound is awesome, you can hear everything that goes on in the game...if you have a surround sound system you wont be dissapointed. Hearing explosions off in the distance, hearing the bombs hitting the factories below, bullets hitting the planes, machine guns going off all around you, its just undescribable. Hearing the wounded crewmembers screaming in pain over the radio is something that will surprise you.

The End Note:

I think i hit all the major points about this game in this review, this game is definatly worth checking out if you love simulations or into the airwar over europe. You wont be dissapointed in this game, it delivers what it promises and more. my final score is 8.3.

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