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Posted on Apr 23, 2010 in Electronic Games

Rise of Flight: The First Great Air War – PC Game Review

By Neal West

So, how to you make all these sub-objects go where you want? Well, the game supports the TrackIR head movement system and all popular joystick combinations from the simplest stick to the expensive stick/rudder/throttle models. To make sure these objects go where you want at a smooth frame rate Neoqb recommends a Core 2 Duo @ 2.8 GHz, 3GB Ram, 6 GB hard drive space and a GeForce 9800, Radeon 4850 512 MB or higher.

All this technological excess also means you cannot just jump in and start flying. Fortunately, RoF has an extensive training session, taught by American ace Eddie Rickenbacker, which provides the rookie pilot flight theory followed by a practice mission and a post mission debrief.

Once you’ve passed flight school, RoF has five play modes: "quick mission," "missions," "campaign," and "career," and "multiplayer." I felt that I had to list these modes in quotes to differentiate between them; a "quick mission" is not the same as "missions."

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A "quick mission" allows players the most flexibility in sculpting their flight. You can choose sides, the number of planes (1 -5 or random) and type of encounter: face to face, pursuit, escape, aside, or scramble. Weather options let you adjust the time of day, wind, turbulence, cloud density, and weather. There is no historical basis for these missions.

The "missions" mode, on the other hand, allows a player to pick a plane, any included or purchased plane, and play one or two hypothetical situations that a WW1 flyer could have faced during the Great War. It’s up to you to replicate the aces’ feats or ride a flaming basket into the ground.

RoF’s "campaign" mode is not what you might be familiar with; it’s simply a series of historical missions strung together. You pick a certain unit, such as the 94th Aero "Hat in the Ring" squadron, and fly a series of 16 or so missions with that unit.

In the "career" mode you’ll create a pilot of your own and fly missions from one of eight historical or 300 generic airfields and be sent on fighter sweeps, bomber intercept or escort missions, and balloon-busting tasks. You may also be charged to attack ground targets such as the 38 different trains, tanks, trucks, and artillery vehicles modeled in the game. Each successful mission goes toward promotions and commendations that will help you rise through the ranks from a green lieutenant to full colonel.

Once you’ve bested the in-game AI, you can log in to multiplayer matches and play against other pilots. Kill streaks are tracked along with other statistics; kill a multi-ace and you gain extra points, but die yourself and your kill streak is set to zero-an incentive to prudent flying. You can also try designing your own fights with the included mission editor.

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