Birds of Steel Review (Xbox 360)

Posted by Christophor Rick (TheSuperGuido), Apr 16, 2012 15:25

Birds of Steel from Konami puts you in the pilot’s seat of classic World War II aircraft in a variety of missions from strafing and bombing runs to high-flying dog fights with intense View from the cockpitcombat. If you’re not a pro at the flight controls don’t worry because there’s an arcade mode that gives you the feel of flying without all the super-technical requirements. For those who know their way around aircraft controls you’ll be happy to know there’s a higher level that’s closer to simulation. In fact, the difficulty levels are simplistic, realistic, simulation and custom. On top of that you can have unlimited or limited fuel and ammo.

The Birds of Steel campaign mode starts you out just after the bombing of Pearl Harbor which pulls America into the war. From there you take a tour of the Pacific Theater through a series of pivotal missions from WWII. There are three main eras in the historical campaign; USA Pre-war 1941, USA Pacific War 41-42 and then you can play as Japan in the Pacific War in 1941-42. There are around 15 USA campaign missions and almost as many as the Japanese.

One of the really interesting things is the actual historic footage they put together to give you an intro into each campaign and some of the missions. It’s a great information resource and really helps get into the mindset of the times. In the Japanese campaign you get a history lesson on what led up to the Pearl Harbor attack and then take part in the attack as the first wave. Now there will probably be some people that are angered over this as it is the "Day of Infamy." However, I think enough time has passed that it can reproduced now as part of a video game. Many of the other key battles in the Pacific have appeared in games and the entire European theater has been done so many times I’ve lost count.

View from Japan

If you’re really concerned with it, you can totally skip the Japanese side of things. Also, if you do play know that you need only bomb one airfield and drop one torpedo for a ship kill. It’s not really more than a few minutes of gameplay. After that there is also a second wave bombing mission and a strafing run and then you move on to the Battle of the Coral Sea. It’s a bold move by Konami to include the Japanese side of the story and the attack on Pearl Harbor and I think they did it well.

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Our Rating for Birds of Steel Review (Xbox 360)
9.0 Replay
With periodic tournaments and events there’s a lot of reason to return. Plus, being able to sort of make your own campaigns an the difference in gameplay between difficulty levels really means this has some long play time.
7.5 Graphics
Not the most stunning graphics for a flight game and you have limited modifications you can make to your online planes, but still, not terrible either. I really did appreciate the old newsreel footage and scenes they did.
9.0 Sound
I can’t speak to the actual historical accurateness of the plane and weapon sounds, but if anything, they’re damned close. The soundtrack really sparkles and stands out.
9.0 Gameplay
I like flying games, but I’m not a pilot. Luckily, Birds of Steel lets you make it as easy or as challenging as you would like and that really means you can get comfortable with the game and then up the challenge level over time. Plus, it’s tons of fun both solo and with others.
9.0 Multiplayer/Online Content
Aside from not being able to make your own events and tournaments there’s a lot of online possibilities and I look forward to continuing to expand my online wingman (or woman) and flight groups.
9.0 Overall
Seriously, I should have had this review done a week ago but I was having so much fun trying repeatedly to down those incoming bombers I couldn’t tear away to write this. It’s a very well done game all around and a lot of attention to detail made it not only interesting and fun to play but also informational as well.

Rating: 0.0, votes: 0

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