There are not many arcade games that try to recreate air battles that take place in the WW1 era. However, there are many aerial combat games, with different styles, that have covered this genre from a direct action perspective. Here we have a really interesting game that takes advantage of the moment and offers a simple and direct action. Red Wings: Aces of the Sky feels like to emulate the Red Baron himself.
Since classics like 1943, taking to the skies with a fighter jet and taking on waves of enemies has been a way of approaching arcade action. Other titles, like Afterburner, opted for something more modern. In recent years, the best example we have with War Thunder, although with a somewhat different perspective. Red Wings: Aces of the Sky tries to takes us back in history, more specifically, World War I, with mythical figures such as the Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen.
The game has a very colourful palette, with a style closer to graphic novels. With this art direction, the action is not spectacular, but it is as effective as a burst of projectiles on a classic combat aircraft. There is a good cast of real models, which can be customized. Although their cartoonish design may seem very simple. The same can be said for the settings, which are adapted to this vintage style based on the design of graphic novels. Very much in line with how the game manages the narrative in certain cinematographic sequences.
With a camera perspective fixed behind the aircraft, we will enter extensive air combat areas full of enemies. The simplistic artistic direction is a smart choice because the performance is fluid. Given this decision, it could be expected that the scenario would be better used to cover more massive battles. As for the soundtrack, it has a strong tone that fits the bill. Also, good sound effects are added, but somewhat limited in diversity. With the necessary brief explanations, as well as follow the thread of stories based on real situations on the battlefield, you have everything you need.
The gameplay is accessible, and this makes Red Wings: Aces of the Sky a game that lovers of aerial combat will enjoy without hesitation. Because you hardly have to worry about the speed and overheating weapons, the rest is to attack and defend yourself. Make sure to monitor the damage you sustain and the fuel of the plane, which are aspects that we recharge at specific points scattered around the map. The dog fights unfold gracefully and in a very direct way. Without complications, and without contemplations.
There are several different game modes to pick from. The first is that we have a story mode divided into two sides and 25 chapters converted into missions. And in this aspect, it is striking that in addition to aerial combat, there are other challenges that will require a certain skill to pass checkpoints, or bomb some areas avoiding anti-aircraft fire. With a narrative that takes us to the side of the axis or that of the allies, overcoming each mission with three stars will be a real challenge.
Throughout the missions, it can be observed that tougher, more capable or more lethal enemies will appear. Little by little the complexity of each scenario will require more of us as pilots and fighters. From fighters to flying fortresses, the phases unfold with a measured action that is more enjoyable if you don’t have to think about a time limit to complete them. This aspect can be frustrating at first, but it’s almost best to save it for a second round and enjoy the game while gaining experience.
And it is that the obtaining of points has been managed in this way to use in the pilot’s skill tree. We can improve each of the four active skills and the various branches of passive skills. In this way, even if the objective of the three stars is not achieved at first, in a second-round it can be easier, which does not mean easy at all. Among the unlockable items, there are also some cosmetic items for the cast of 10 aircraft. To obtain them, you have to beat certain records in certain missions. If in the end, the challenge is to overcome certain marks and continue having fun with the action of this game.
And it’s not just for solo play, it can also be played in multiplayer. But surprisingly enough, we find ourselves limited to local multiplayer. Two controllers, two players, and both the campaign and the other available modes can only be played on the same console. Tackling these two additional modes, we have a classic survival mode based on score and score, in pure arcade-style. And a confrontational mode that will go beyond couch co-op.
One main issue is the lack of content. And it is something that can be questioned in a way, because being a game that catches for hours, the diversity could be greater. And especially when we talk about those additional game modes. Completing it 100% will be a difficult task, but the complexity of the more advanced missions in a quick access mode is still lacking. It is what it is, and to note this is that as a whole, it is well raised.
Red Wings: Aces of the Sky is a simple proposal for lovers of aerial combat. A challenging proposal, especially since most of the things are achieved by overcoming the challenges and obtaining the three stars. Good doses of action that in both campaigns will give a few hours. It could take more because the game is fun and the additional game modes help but not enough. A more conventional multiplayer could have been implemented, such as online, with battles with more players. But this is where Red Wings: Aces of the Sky has come, as a title that fills in those downtimes well with old-school action.
We prepared this review with a digital review key for the PS4 Pro version of the title provided by Evolve PR