Release Date: September 5th, 2012
Developer: City Interactive
Publisher: City Interactive
Platform: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC
Genre: Flying and Racing
Hop into the cockpit and whirl back into the arcade flying shooter genre as we take to the skies in City Interactive’s DogFight 1942.
So, what is DogFight 1942 in short? DogFight 1942 is another recent addition to the flying simulation/arcade type niche that used to be pretty popular back in its time. One of the more notable titles last generation would have to be Crimson Skies. Let us not forget 2010’s Snoopy Flying Ace by any means either. Those two games were a really big hit in the flying arcade genre and its something to think about when looking at Dogfight 1942.
In the seriousness of tone, DogFight 1942 carries higher then Snoopy Flying Ace as it compels to tell a Hollywood forged war story. The sound effects, voice acting, and attempts at creating a plot are all very well attempted and come off as a nice melding of elements. Most of the time the objectives don’t reach much further than “protect this” and “kill those guys over there,” but its hard to expect much more than that from an arcade title.
The gameplay itself is fun and the fast paced action is a much for this type of game. There hardly feels like any downtime and there is always something to attack and defend. When you get into one of the more heated moments in the game, it can really envelope you and add that extra cool factor while playing it out. At various moments, you also get some cinematic kill cams. The kill cams are really a nice touch and add a lot to the presentation and epic tone. What really makes you feel important when playing is the ability to control your supporting wingmen with commands. Order your squad member to take out a target, cover your flank, or follow you around if you so desire. The AI seems pretty average in this aspect, however, and a little questionable to its effectiveness. Sometimes I found it easier to just take the battle into my own hands and do most of the dirty work.
Controls for this game are split into two different modes. The flight simulation mode adds more control and flexibility to the plane and is meant for the more experiences players. For the average players, and for a smoother experience ,you can use the arcade mode setup. Besides this, the overall control scheme are pretty good for a flight sim.
As far as graphics go, this title is a little waning. From a good distance up in the air, the environment and models look okay. If you get down to a ground level, then you really start to see some low texture resolution. After seeing what environments City Interactive made for Sniper Ghost Warrior, you would think the ground textures would be a little more high quality then what they are. You are probably saying, “you are going to be in the air for the entire game so does it matter”? There is a good point to be made there but that simply doesn’t put the problem away.
Take a look at Battlefield 1943, that game has a mode rotating around airplane combat and every single map involves airplanes in some way. The detail or frame rate didn’t suffer in that game and everything looked pretty good from the sky and even when you swooped in low. With City Interactive’s engine, I don’t see why better detail couldn’t have been pushed out. The only real reasonable solution for this must have something to do with conserving the game’s function-ability. To any extent, if you take to the fact you buy the game to actually play it and not stare at it, you might be able to overcome this.
Dogfight 1942 includes a campaign mode that splits into two acts and it comes fully co-op compatible. If you have a buddy or a family member who wants to join in, they have a golden opportunity for some split-screen action. The game varies little from mission to mission but Dogfight 1942 seems to do most of what you can within the genre’s limits. You can adjust the difficulty as you like with various settings if you get bored and want a challenge, just don’t be afraid to test your skills as a fighter pilot!
A real sticking point to this game is the multiplayer modes. Multiplayer is composed of two modes; DogFight and Survival. Dogfight mode is a lot like your average death-match mode and the goal it take out as many planes as you can in a match. Survival mode is a “horde” based mode where you must survive wave after wave of enemies and see how long you can last. Survival mode supports play with a friend (online or co-op) and would be enjoyed the most with one. There are five maps to choose from and each do good to change-up the scene and feel (London, Midway, France, Dover, and Iwo Jima). If you really get into it, you could waste a few good hours playing survival mode.
Dogfight 1942 is a nice little game in its own right, but it is off into a little market of its own. Some people are going to love it, some people are going to find it so-so, and other people are just going to get disinterested fast. Dogfight 1942 doesn’t redefine the genre, but it also doesn’t do anything horribly bad. Most flight simulator enthusiasts should get a big kick out of it and it might tie them over until the next flight sim comes out down the line. Dogfight 1942 is a nice little game, but more so only for that special crowd. Play the free demo and see what you think. You might find a liking into the flight sim genre.
Overall Rating: 3/5