Boxing day is ready made for gaming with not much going on and I ploughed through the rest of Wings of Glory more or less in one go. It quite definitely did get easier as the game went on and the missions start to get very familiar after a while. There are various mission types but each mission of the same type is almost identical to the last so I’ll skim through them before summing up at the end.
Todays missions start out with a bomber escort mission.
I manage to escort my bomber to the target but it misses and I have to go in and gun down this building myself.
When I get back there is a surprising twist as I’m informed by the CO that Lisette has been executed for being a spy.
I get to see her final confession where she admits to being blackmailed by the Germans into stealing plans before eventually giving herself in rather than betray any further.
I never saw this one coming and was assuming she would be the love interest for the rest of the game but there is no coming back from this. An unexpected twist is good but she was basically the focus of the only plot outside of the general war which is now a dead end.
After a routine patrol mission I get to take out submarine pens..
Next its another blow up a Zeppelin mission. I don’t get rockets in this plane so I have to use my wing gun to approach it from underneath.
Next is defending observation balloons of our own. The germans are no better at shooting them than our guys so this is no problem.
Instead of going after the Zeppelins themselves I get to attempt to take out their factories. Its not hard to spot buildings big enough to build zeppelins in.
I get the Medal of Honor for getting 60 kills after this mission.
Next is blowing up a train. The individual carriages blow up as you shoot them but its effectively just a moving building. Since the game lines me up after autopilot with the track its literally just a case of flying in a straight line with the fire button down.
This mission earns me a promotion and along with it a new plane to fly – a Sopwith Camel.
This has dual machine guns at the front. Its not a bad plane and I stick with it for all the next few missions but I’m not so sure its better than the old one. I liked the wing gun once I got used to it and it seemed to do about as much damage as the dual guns on this.
The mission itself is another one blowing up balloons.
I have to escort another observation plane. These protection missions are getting easier as my wingmen get better planes no matter what I do.
About this time my character in the game is getting severely depressed about all the killing and being ordered to murder.
I’m ordered to take out a convoy of trucks. These die in a single hit and don’t fight back.
I’m told about an ace that is in the area. In true Wing Commander style he then shows up in the next mission but is taken down by my wingmen while I’m concentrating on other planes.
Charles has talked me out of my depression by this point by pointing out how I need to set an example to the other pilots.
I’m given free reign to go and take out another aerodrome. Again, I don’t have to worry about runways in this game. I just take out the hangars.
The CO has bad news for me. Charles was ambushed by an ace (Ulrich) + 3 wingmen. He took out the wingmen but was shot down and killed by Ulrich.
The funeral is interrupted by a message dropped out of his plane by Ulrich.
I go out on a revenge mission (without mentioning it to the CO) to try to get Ulrich. He’s in the fancy red plane here but no matter how much I shoot it he doesn’t die. I hate this sort of contrivance where reality is suspended to keep to plot intact. I kill off the wingmen and head back to base. This is a tough fight. I have 4 of them + Ulrich and no wingmen.
Rather than blaming me, the CO tells me that he has found out where Ulrich is based and that an American squadron is in the area. I request a transfer and am shipped out to join my countrymen at a new airfield.
The new airfield is a much more temporary affair being made up from tents rather than brick buildings.
Theres a completely new set of locations to walk round but it all works in the same way as before. There is also a new group of pilots to get to know.
The CO wants me to use his first name which is a bit of a change. The situation here is a bit different as everyone else is new to the war and I’m the veteran.
A new airfield brings a new airplane along with it.
The SPAD is the fastest plane in the game. It’s got a seriously limited cockpit view but since I’m going to turn the cockpit off it doesn’t make a difference.
My first mission over here is another one blowing up balloons.
Next its another train. Again I’m lined up after autopiloting in.
I have to blow up an enemy bridge. This is another easy mission – a single unguarded ground target.
It still earns me another medal.
I have another bomber to escort – it misses the target again so I fly in and gun down a building to complete the mission.
My copilots are a disparate group of characters. This guy has been stringing along a whole bunch of women and is attempting to narrow down the selection for which he will marry – he’s down to 5.
Yet another blow up balloons mission….
A bomber intercept mission this time – I’ve had surprisingly few of these. The bombers are huge targets but quite tough and the turret guns are a pain without my wing gun. I have to try to approach from above or below which is not all that easy and getting in more than a few hits at a time is more or less impossible.
One of the better strategies is waiting for a wingman to be taking its attention and then nipping in on its tail. This only works if I get the kill otherwise I’m turretted to death.
Another truck convoy….
And another convoy straight after – this is nearly the same mission twice in a row.
The next mission is a defend the base mission. This is routine but afterwards we have captured a more or less intact German plane + its ace Gerhardt.
Gerhardt is surprisingly pleasant and doesn’t think much of Ulrich. He’s just another guy doing the same job I am.
I have to bomb some more ground targets which gets me another medal.
Another bomber intercept…
During the last few missions the bases mechanic has been fixing up the Fokker. We now get to use it in a daring plan to blow up a munitions factory well inside enemy territory. By using the Fokker I get to fly well inside enemy territory without being attacked.
The mission is no trouble. The Fokker is very manoeuverable and dogfighting in it is a piece of cake. I just have to blow up the big red building + four planes.
This nets me my final medal – the Victoria Cross.
I’m told that Ulrich has dropped me an invitation to a dogfight – the CO tried to stop me finding out but one of the pilots let me in on it.
I of course fly out to the fight. I get to choose from the same 2 planes. I go back to the American plane to start. The problem with this mission is that after I autopilot in he is directly on my tail and I die in seconds. This is just ridiculous and I die in seconds.
I try flying the Fokker instead. I contrive a maneouver of diving then pulling sharply up and dipping down again which gets me on Ulrichs tail. Its not an easy fight – if I give him a chance to shoot I’m dead after the hits I have to take at the start but I get him in the end.
My revenge complete and the war over I leave my Victoria Cross on Charles grave. This brings up the final cutscene.
I have enjoyed this game but it didn’t develop as well as I’d hoped from the start. It honestly didn’t give me any real storyline to write up here at all. The missions were all quite similar – I think Pacific Strike has it beat for variety. I wouldn’t say it got boring as it was easy and introduced new planes very slowly.
There appear to be some quirks in the 3D engine. When I turn left I notice the objects (planes, etc..) move in stages rather than smoothly. This doesn’t make life easier and spoils the realism a bit. It also makes it much harder to hit anything – without this quirk the game which is already quite easy would have become an absolute walkover on this difficulty level.
The scenery in the entire game was flat which seems a big step backwards from the mountainous islands I saw in Pacific Strike. Its probably the most fun of the 3 games to play but ultimately falls a bit short of what it could have been. The possibility was there early on but its definitely not a classic as it never built upon this. Pacific Strike was probably a better game overall with its branching missions and stronger plot. Wings Of Glory is, however, the most fun I’ve had playing a flight simulator.
I’m away for a week from Sunday and I’m not starting a new game before then so my next post will be either 5th or 6th January.
Next: System Shock