Typically when you get a WWII game all the action is based on the ground and rarely do you get to experience the thrill of having a proper dogfight in the skies. But Dogfight 1942 focuses all the action on the skies. But does Dogfight deserve a medal, or does it crash and burn?
The game mainly features a single player campaign that is played over two acts. Through this campaign you get to fly a wide variety of planes with different pilots with different armies blowing up either the Luftwaffe or the Japanese Air Service. The campaign doesn’t as much offer a story but more scenarios. For example one mission sees you defending London during the Battle of Britain while another sees you doing a bombing run in German occupied France. The missions are wide and varied but are not always interesting as they could be which is a shame.
As it is essentially an arcade flight simulation game you get given a wide range of planes for you to fly. With that you can customise it but I use it on the lightest of terms. Basically you can change some of the paint options and that’s about it. The campaign sees you flying a lot of different planes each with different weapons but thankfully in terms of controlling the planes, it’s not that difficult. You can tell City Interactive tried to make this game as accessible as it possibly could with also adding a simulation mode for those who prefer their flight games a bit more realistic.
The enemy AI isn’t exactly a bunch of genius and you will find killing them a rather simple affair. In some cases you will will get a kill cam that shows the moment that the pilot is essentially doomed but misses the interesting bit, the moment the plane crashes into the ground and explodes. Its a shame because seeing as the game is all about aerial combat, you would want the AI to be a bit smarter to make combat more tense and interesting. To be able to get the most out of the AI you should really be playing on Normal or Hard as Easy is simply no fun at all.
The graphics look nice for a flight game. Obviously there isn’t going to be as much attention to detail seeing as all the combat is done is the sky but the environments look nice a in times where you’re going to and from objectives it’s nice to look down at the countryside. The planes also look authentic from the Spitfire to the P-38 Lightning.
The lack of Online in my opinion is crazy as games such as Battlefield 1943: Air Superiority proves that Dogfighting online is actually very fun. Instead you have to deal with Local Co-Op with two game modes; Dogfight and Survival. Dogfight sees you and your partner taking each other on while also having to compete with other AI planes. Survival sees you teaming up with your partner as you try to fend off as many waves of enemies as you can. Although there is one thing that does not make any sense whatsoever in Co-Op. In the world of Dogfight 1942, shooting your partner doesn’t kill them. It heals them.
Overall Dogfight 1942 is a decent arcade flyer which is dampened by a relatively dull and forgettable storyline, lack on Online matchplay and nothing that would really make you come back to it once you’ve finished everything the game has to offer which doesn’t take too long to do. But flight and WWII enthusiasts will find some fun here re-creating famous aerial encounters while also benefiting from a simple control scheme which makes the game accessible to casual and hardcore gamers. Just don’t expect a challenge.