might possibly be my favourite flight simulator ever. As a flight simulator, technically, it is very bare bones, but the story and action really pull me in to the point where it is all I think about until I finish the main campaign (then inevitably come back to is a couple of months later.)
If you are familiar with Wing Commander and how it plays out, you will see a lot of similarities (minus the talking to wingmen etc. – it is 1916 after all!) It is built on Origin's RealSpace engine, used for Wing Commander, and follows the same format in that you alternate between missions and roaming around the aerodrome, changing locations a few times as the story progresses.
There is something I really enjoy about the fact that you are very limited in the instruments you can use, since it is WWI, like radar and comms between teammates. You don’t have to memorise a tonne of controls – the main focus is on the mission at hand. The flying feels great and the sound really pulls you in e.g. wings creaking as you pull up hard (another thing to mention is the added simulation options, such as wings breaking due to excessive g-forces, among others. To be honest, it can be rather repetitive as you progress through the campaign – the mission types are fairly limited – but the combat and story are interesting enough to carry you through this.
Combat inis raw and exciting. Charging head-first towards an enemy plane, guns blazing, is nerve-wracking. The attention to detail in the damage taken is appreciated, for example you as the pilot can take gunfire directly if your enemy gets a lucky shot in. The screen goes red and too many shots taken results in you plummeting to your doom.
There are other modes, such as the Gauntlet Mode with waves of enemies to boost the longevity of the game, as well as a model viewer to get a closer look at the various aircraft and vehicles, but it is the campaign where this game really shines.
The story builds up to that of revenge and you feel invested towards the end. Combine that with the combat and you really get a satisfying package. I highly recommend this game to fans of Wing Commander and similar flight/combat simulators.