Not your average flight sim...

User Rating: 8.5 | Crimson Skies PC
When people think about computer plane games they think, flight sim, when people think flight sim they think, extreme learning curve, difficult levels, lots of invested time. When trying to find an easier game to approach, one tends to find console style, limited control, flight based games. These games are usually very linear and easily memorized. What Crimson Skies manages to do is bridge the gap between the traditional flight sim and limited console style flight games. There are some requirements to play the game to its fullest potential, first, you must have a high quality three axis joystick (meaning left and right, up and down, and twist side to side). After that you have to get used to the flight, left and right bank your plane (tilt wings), up and down tips the nose up or down, and the twist (z-axis) controls lateral(rotational) turning by controlling the tail flap. Using these three axis you have an amazing amount of control over what your plane does.

From the first level the game tests your ability to keep control over your plane, with tight tunnels and obstacles to fly through and around. Combined with fierce dog fighting and a highly customizable plane/weapon configure, and you are left with a challenging game with depth, that won’t take you twelve hours to learn the button layout.

While the graphics are outdated by today’s standard they were good for their time, and still provide an entertaining and detailed world to fly around in. While in game voice acting can really get bad, the pre/post mission voice acting is done well, and the story while only serving to create new situations for you deal with, is also entertaining in a comic book kind of way. Missions are robust, but dog fighting gets redundant by the end (constant flying around following an arrow on your HUD). On top are multiplayer game modes, death match, capture the flag and stunt flying, which allow you to compete with friends on internet and though LAN. The plane element brings a new twist to the multiplayer redundancy as new skills need to be applied to succeed, and place design becomes critical, as opponents get better.

Overall the game delivers a fun, albeit frustrating single player experience, and a unique multiplayer mode, who’s uniqueness serves as a good distraction from the first person frag fests.