I know we've all had our fill of WWII games over the last few years, so at least Blazing Angels gives us a new perspective on the most utilized war in gaming history. The Second World War was more involved then grunts marching through the trouble streets of Germany . The air battle was very important to every aspect of the war including the horrific attack on Pearl Harbor . Blazing Angels revisits some of the most memorable events of the war in Ubisoft latest WWII game.

Flying games are few are far between, so it's nice to see another flyer hit the shelf. The last flyer I enjoyed was Wings of War which also ran with a historic war theme. Blazing Angels slides along the pages of history, but also plays off with a more arcade action game feeling. I'm actually glad Blazing Angels didn't take itself overly serious and lets the gamer have fun above ground.

Blazing Angels starts you off training and then quickly brings you right in the battle. The first thing you're going to notice about Blazing Angels are the pleasant graphics, then you'll probably be laughing at the comments of your flight instructor. This guy is brutal with the stereotypical down south personality. Luckily, it doesn't last long until you're in to some heavy dogfights in a real missions. The missions range over a number of locals from Dunkirk to Berlin and feature famous campaigns like The Battle of Britain, Pearl Harbor, and The Battle of Midway. You'll always kept moving fast, fighting against the odds, and jumping objectives. In the mission respect Blazing Angels will keep you entertained, just as long as you're not looking for depth.

Flying your aircraft in Blazing Angels is straight forward and easy to grasp. The hard part is actually keeping track of the action in the sky. It's easy to feel rattled and lost when in the heat of battle, but that is what flying is all about. Speed, Accuracy and Luck! The dogfights are the best part of Angels and this even translates over Xbox Live. The AI is no slouch as well; the enemies are like tricky snakes and provide a fair challenge to gun down. You'll soon learn to let the bullets fly once those cross hairs light up. Fighting in the sky can be summed up into one word, and that word is intense. I didn't have one battle where I wasn't on the edge of my seat just trying to get the upper hand on the enemy.

Besides the Dogfights in Xbox Live you can try a few other modes including Squad Based Capture the Base, Onslaught, Bombing Run, Kamikaze, and co-op Historical Missions. The only real problem I found with the online part of the game is that not too many people are playing. Hopefully that will change because for the hour or so I spend online; I had a good time getting shot down.

Blazing Angels has implemented an auto target camera which makes all the difference in the gameplay. By holding the left trigger you will active the 'Follow Camera' which switches your perspective to always been on the current target. This is when you'll probably experience vertigo, it takes a little getting used to and it's an absolute necessity if you want to get far in the campaigns. Admit tingly this feature is important and should be included in every flying game. Besides the follow camera, Blazing Angels is bare bones. Although like it should be you only have your guns and bombs, no missiles and no extra options like power ups. I do wish the added a first person control scheme to the game, just for the option.

Like cars are important to racing games, the plans play a big roll in Blazing Angels. All the typical more known planes are included like the P-51 Mustang, F4F Wildcat, Spitfires, and the B-17. The United States and Britain have the biggest selection with 12 planes each then follows Germany and Japan . For history buffs it would have been nice to have a few rare fighters included, the selection is a little bare and doesn't real measure up to another similar game like Heroes of the Pacific.

In total we are looking at 38 WWII fighters that you can set the sky on fire with in 18 intense missions. Plus Blazing Angels has a good selection of online modes. The controls are pretty intuitive, but to note this game can give you vertigo. Blazing Angels could have had a little more added to the mix to really bring the player more into the game like customizing your planes, alternative views and a deeper story mode. Online keeps her fueled up, but overall Blazing Angels gameplay comes in for a landing that is just average.

How do you like you motion blur? I hope your thinking exhaustive! To convey the sense of speed Blazing Angels overdoses on the blur effect. It's a cool effect t but the developers over used it to say the least. The graphics besides the blur are passable, but by no means up to most Xbox 360 standards, like Ubisofts own Ghost Recon. What Angels does right is the extra effects like smoke, and it does a good job of recreating landmarks and the sense of height and speed.

The sound of Blazing Angels is a slight dip down from the graphics presenting a mediocre experience. From the background music and sound effects, to the cartoonish, border line racism voice-overs, Blazing Angels is being hailed with bullets. One major problem sound is the frequency use of one liner and blah insults that the pilots scream at each other in battle, its way too frequent and gets annoying. Besides the underlining bad accents nothing really stands out in Blazing Angels in both the graphics and sound.

Blazing Angels needs a refill of the mojo because she is running on empty! I wanted to love the angels because it's been a while since we've had an exceptional WWII air combat game, but overall I was letdown. I guess it will have to wait for another Angels, or a new franchise. The mojo Angels does have is from the dogfights in game, and over Xbox Live. They can get crazy because of the 360 battlefield. In that instance Blazing Angels rocks!

Blazing Angels does a sufficient job making an entertaining are aerial action game. It's not full with substance, but the action is fast and intense. Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII is best enjoyed online where it's a blast, lets just hope more gamers go online. Blazing Angels is worth a look for all interested Sky Captions, just rent it first.

Gameplay: 6.5, Graphics/Sound: 7, Innovation: 4, Mojo: 6. Final: 6.5 / 10

Reviewed by DowntownJimmy | 03.17.06


  • WWII's most epic and famous air battles. - Experience the greatest air battles of World War II in famous locations from across the globe. Whether it's the invasion of the Philippines , the fierce fighting for the desserts of North Africa , or the battle of Britain , the player and his squadron will be tasked with turning the tide of war.
  • Innovative squadron-based gameplay. - AI-controlled wingmen will obey player commands. As the pilot's skills improve, so will the skills of his squadron. The pilot's heroism and leadership will grow during the course of the campaign as players fly with their squadron and evolve together into an ace fighting force.
  • A large variety of realistic-looking WWII aircraft. Pilot 40 authentic WWII aircraft including the famous P-51 Mustang, the P-38 Lightning, the B-17 Flying Fortress, the Luftwaffe's Messerschmitt, the Spitfire of Britain and the Japanese Zero. From the wing rivets, to the nose art, to the detailed cockpits, these planes are just like the real thing.
  • Twenty heart-stopping missions in a compelling storyline. Pilots will begin as untrained recruits and evolve through battle experience into ace combat pilots. WWII missions will take place around the globe in places like England , Germany , France , Morocco , Midway and Okinawa.
  • Authentic WWII atmosphere. Fly in close to Germany 's industrial terrain for a bombing raid, strafe the islands of the pacific, or emerge from the cloud cover over London and engage the enemy. The environment looks so real you'll feel like you're the pilot in a famous WWII movie.
  • Planes are easy to handle and fun to fly. - No need to attend the Air Force Academy to pilot these planes; players can jump right into air combat action.
  • Xbox Live for up to 20 players online. - Engage in head-to-head dogfights or cooperative team play between squadrons on huge maps with large formations.

Blazing Angels:
Squadrons of WWII


Aerial Shooter
March 2006

Players 1-2
Sys Link 2-16
Dolby 5.1
HDTV 720p