Crew Sim

User Rating: 8.1 | B-17 Flying Fortress: The Mighty 8th! PC
Oddly enough, I'm writing the review to this game after I purchased the recently Released Silent Hunter III. In a strange way these two titles share some similarities. Since this is a review for the former and I'm not any where near ready to review the latter, I'll make these simple. B17FF is not a flight simulator. You don't take on the roll of the pilot per say and simply fly the aircraft into the bomb run and let the crew do the rest. No. This game is actually a complex crew simulator. You're priority is to manage the crew, by taking on the various positions personally when the need requires. This is made deadly clear when you start a mission. The radio operator has to issue a 'go' command by assigning a time to the mission start. Of course, most of the flight can simply be controlled by the AI, which is as accurate as the characters skill level. Skill level can be increased by taking manual control of that character and 'helping' them figure out their duty. For example, the most common crew issue, the navigator gets lost. You jump to his position, find the actual location of the plane on the map, and move the plane there. Simple. There are different modes, single mission, training, and campaign. Alas, no multi-player. Oh well. The graphics are decent if not down right good for the time. Although, the ground patterns are pretty dull in the MS flight sim sort of way. Where they use a bitmap for the ground and then only have buildings where there are targets. There are some not so good points: like having to use the joystick to control guns. That is a pain in rear, would have preferred the mouse, or at least the option to change it to the mouse. Sometimes the crew gets stuck. One guy will be in the gangway heading to put out a fire, while another is trying to stop someone else’s bleeding, with no way to call them off, soon the plane explodes into flames...all hands lost. Flying the fighters is not very rewarding. It is a nice touch, but that's it. In fact one of the best ways to cheat is simply to take manual control of the enemy fighters and shoot wingmen down then simply crash. It seems sort of counter productive to allow access to the enemy in the middle of a campaign. The flak is great. It can be as thick as soup. At the end of a mission, if you survive, you can go into the office and see the outcome, review awards, re-assign crew, check medical records, etc. (remind you of another game?) It may not be a great game and at times it might be very boring and frustrating, but if you're into the simulation aspect of controlling the crew, it is a good game. Recommend that you Rent it First.