And introducing today, Red Baron by Dynamix 1990.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY5mDKmS_xk
Germans have made a movie with the same name last year. Historical accuracy is not the movie's best part, suprisingly game is more strict in this sense. However the flight model of the game most likely does not represent what it was in reality. Given the time frame the game was made, I suppose this was the best they could achieve. Back then with a 486DX33 the framerate was quite smooth, and I remember that the aircraft were modelled suprisingly accurately. The ground isn't that great, sometimes it was very possible to lose track of one's location over the front lines simply because there wasn't enough details to see.
The game replaces the flight model with sheer fun factor, though there is some historical accuracy in each aircraft. Sopwith Camel indeed turned easier on the other side, but there is no spins or flat spins involved in the game. It was possible to rip off the wings by exceeding the stuctural maximum speed, and with some aircraft this happened ridiculously easily. The challenge comes from the fact that there is no virtual cockpit nor a padlock view, so pilot has to constantly scan around each view so that he doesn't get surprised.
There were some other interesting details, like when firing weapons in dogfight, pilot most likely has to pull so much lead that there is no line of sight towards enemy aircraft as your airplane's nose hides it! This made up a possibility for quick reversals. Of the mission variety, there are balloon busting and defending missions, stopping bombing raids, escorting bombing raids, patrolling and Zeppelin hunting (available only for Allies). Of these Zeppelin busting was fun but also demanding in terms of ammunition, bombers had accurate gunners behind and destroying them required some amount of tactics. The most difficult missions were Balloon bustings, as the enemy had aircraft defending them and also flak.
In the campaign mode (WWI from beginning to end), each mission was randomly generated, but there is no overall chart that would show how the ground units fared despite of your failures or successes. In the mode, it is also possible to get your own aircrafts (when each became available), paint them accordingly, get promoted to get more wingmen and from performing heroic deeds, getting medals. Time by time, if stationed in the same region as enemy ace, being knights of the skies they usually issued a challenge. Usually mission briefing said man against man above some land mark, but as you became more famous the enemy simply stated to come alone, yet it was allowed for them to have three wingmen.
In the later months of the war, it became increasingly more difficult to stay alive, and in the aircraft by that time, there were no parachutes - this probably was considered as unsportmanship behavior. So if pilot gets hit in mid-air, he only had a fraction of minute to land the aircraft. If that failed, pilot simply died. Other than that, enemy was not willing to let the wounded aircraft to land, so basically getting hit in the air was game over if a miracle didn't happen. Too bad if the injured pilot happened to land on the wrong side of the front line, then he was captured and managed to escape maybe after six months of prison time.
In some other comments, the game itself had an intuitive user interface and in general was programmed remarkably well, I don't recall a single crash & reboot from the time I played the game!
Till next time. I think we still need to revise slightly older generation of games...