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 Home -> Reviews -> Rowan's Battle of Britain
Rowan's Battle of Britain By John "Award" Del Percio, May 09, 2001
Developer :Rowan Software
Publisher :Empire Interactive
Release Date :Winter 2001
Demo Available : Yes - Download
Table of Contents

· Introduction
· Closer Look
· Facts
· Final

Fly the Unfriendly Skies

I must admit, this game has one massive learning curve. Few games--even simulators--show this level of complexity, realism, and historical accuracy. As somewhat of a history buff, it was a real treat being able to jump into an immerse environment around it rather than simply watching the latest PBS special. This is one of those games that would probably be enjoyable for those veterans of WWII, or wars fought with similar flight technology who have managed to acquire a taste for flight simulators. It is definitely not a game that you can pick up over night, but in the end, it is highly worth it. I think I'll likely pick the game up and fly a battle or two from time to time, a rarity for sure, and it should be considered an honor if I keep the game on my hard drive for a greater length than the time of the review.


Personal Note

Graphics - Sound - Gameplay - Depth - Multiplayer  Reviewed by John Del Percio
98 %

As far as flight simulators go, there is far more detail here than ever before. With wonderfully rendered cockpits, plane detail, multi-level atmospheric conditions, and even a well drawn out ground horizon, it is truly exceptional. The full motion video featuring actual footage from WWII, and the original sound bytes that went with them most definitely added to the experience. I simply wish that there had been another ground detail level, that when you get closer to the ground, it looks completely realistic, rather than a much larger version of the view from 1400 feet.

94 %

If there is one weak point in the game it's the sound. Granted, the sound quality sounds like it was ripped right out of the original sound bytes, then digitally enhanced. The voices are very well done, so that they can form any number and pattern they are speaking of. Where the problem comes in is the volume. Everything is so off scale, and unadjustable, I keep playing with my volume bar every time I play. Some things (simulator, movies) are very quiet, yet the engine will give you a headache at a volume where you can hear the voices. On the other hand, in the 2D screens, the voices are booming, but the sound effects are soft. It drives me insane, though, in the end, it can be overlooked.

100 %

If the rest of the review has not yet convinced you enough, I'll say it again. The gameplay is excellent. As difficult a learning curve as there may be, it's most definitely worth learning. Few games, even simulators, have this level of gameplay.

100 %

I don't think there needs to be much said about depth here. You can not pick a deeper topic than World War II for a storyline, nor a deeper subject than flying for a subject. It is highly entailed no matter what way you look at it, and it will take you weeks to learn, and months to master. I am most definitely not at the mastery level, yet.

99 %

What better can you get for a multiplayer game than one on one dogfighting? It's a true test of skill, tactics, and reflexes, the likes of which only a simulator can provide. The one thing that would have made it better? A central server or Mplayer support for open servers so you can hop into a battle would have made multiplayer quite a bit more playable, and popular.

When playing through the game on the side of the RAF, it's all too easy to look at it and see it as a video game which gets increasingly difficult in unfair and impossible ways. The incredible part is that it really did happen, and just the way it occurs in the game. I don't have a clue how the RAF fended off the attacks, it certainly wasn't in numbers, aircraft, or firepower, that is for certain. It's remarkable that any of them survived, let alone won. The game definitely, if nothing else, gives a good depiction of the reality that was faced by everyone involved in the war. On a more jovial note, for excellence in a simulation game and historical accuracy, I'm pleased to present Rowan Software and Empire Interactive the first-ever GameVisions Editors Choice award for Battle of Britain, as well as present to it the first nomination for the 2001 Top Pupil awards, for the category of Best Simulation.

Overall Rating


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