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You'll play as Nathan Zachary, a swashbuckler/ladies' man with an assortment of privateer missions that will require you to be a daredevil flyer, ruthless dogfighter and a good judge of character since there is no honour among thieves. You'll steal government fighters for parts and save beautiful damsels in distress. A special logbook tracks all of your adventures, or, if you'd rather, you can put the cart before the horse by using special pull-down menus in the log to create your own adventure from scratch. The game includes 24 single-player missions and supports up to 16 players on MSN Gaming Zone.
You are Air-Pirate leader, Nathan Zachary...
The graphics are very good with the airframe textures convincing while not altogether stunning, they show real-time damage. Defiantely a match for any other recently released flight sim (that I've played anyway!) Some of the buildings arent very detailed and there is quite alot of fogging, even on max detail level. There are 3 resoloutions to choose from, but my P2 733 didnt fair too well on the 1024x768 top level.
The gameplay is really what makes Crimson Skies such a GREAT game, the laws of physics solidly apply to the game (so dont expect to be turning on the spot) and msot of the components are based around 1930's technology. Although I'm a bit dubious as to whether the "eyeglass" tracking system would've been around during the 30's - nevertheless, this takes nothing away from the gameplay and only makes it a little easier to hit those damn pirates! (It's not so much of a tracker as a guide to where to shoot your machine guns) - There are no homing rockets or heat seekers, just aim, fire, and if you're like me, miss! Mission briefings are excellant and full of detail, as is the scrapbook which is compiled from memorbilla and newspaper clippings that you collect during the game.
The sound FX in this game are excellant, and I'm sure if I was flying in a 600 bhp plane, armed to the teeth, the engine would hum just the same (maybe louder) and the ricochet of machine gun fire would sound just the same. The music is almost right out of a treasure-island pirate adventure and fits in very well to this title.
The game has 3 difficulty settings with another 3 levels of enemy pilot skill, you might not see a novice enemy pilot pulling off too many evasive stunners, but definately dont expect the Aces to go down easily, some planes even set on a collision course with you if they are too damaged to go on! (Got me the first time) - The normal setting is pretty spot on for first timers, if you make the first mission without dying early, you're doing well! It's a challenge from start to finish.
There is a mulitplayer mode (IPX, TCP/IP, Modem-Modem or online) in which you can customise your own plane, even the paint job and nose art! - The best multiplayer game in my mind is the Zepplin Battle, very innovative. Deathmatch and capture the flag modes are also here, if they take your fancy.
Overall, this game has good graphics, great music and FX and top notch gameplay, a winner all-round. If you buy this game thinking it's a flight sim, you will maybe be dissapointed, but look at it this way: You have perhaps the best aerial adventure game in ages sitting on your PC, just waiting to be challenged.
Stop rerading this and go play it! Mind the Zepplins ;)
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