• Review: Wings Over Flanders Fields

    Campaigns

    The campaigns in WOFF date from 1915, right up to the end of the war, with each being both dynamic and historically accurate. Each squadron within the simulator plays their part, and everything and everyone is connected in WOFF. Even though you are important, you are just a small part of the WOFF world and it's that which makes the simulator feel so real. Your progress during the campaign is monitored and logged in the pilots log book, and it is here that you can find information regarding hours flown, victories, claims and awards.

    Visuals

    Upon finding myself in the world of WOFF, my first thoughts were...wow, this is incredible! Even though WOFF borrows from CFS3, you'd be hard pressed to find any similarities whatsoever with Microsoft's offering. Panning around the highly detailed and authentic aircraft, I was stunned by how good WOFF looks.

    Being used to X-Plane 10 visuals, and scenery from the likes of Orbx for FSX, it takes quite a bit to impress me but in this case, I really was blown away by the visuals. It's not just how they look, it's how all those individual elements work together to create a believable picture.

           

    The aircraft that are depicted in the simulator, have all been modelled to an extremely high level of detail, and really are beautiful to look at. In fact, they look so good it almost seems a shame to take them into combat and fill them with holes!

    The cockpits of each aircraft have all been faithfully reproduced and exhibit details such as wood, leather, and chrome finishings. Gauges and dials are, again, well modelled and show the correct measurements used at the time.

    Walking around each aircraft gives you an idea of how brave the young men who piloted these flimsy aircraft were. Aerial combat, and aviation as a whole, was, at this time, still in its infancy, and what with the absence of a parachute, each flight could well and truly have been your last.

    Once up in the air, you are free (briefly) to enjoy the beauty of the scenery. Rolling hills, forests, and fields all adorn the landscape of WOFF and look truly stunning. The more you look around you, the more you realise just how much love and care the developers have put into the development of this simulator.

           

    The impression I got whilst flying over the scenery was that, in places, it had a similar look and feel to it as that depicted in Tolkien's world of Middle Earth in places. Some parts of it looked tranquil and beautiful, as nature had intended, much like the Shire, but then there were other parts, like the dark trenches and the solitary plains of No-Mans Land, which could have passed for Mordor.

    Weather

    The weather in WOFF is done well, and does a great job at setting the scene. Clouds are suitably rendered, and rain, mist and fog has been created to good effect. Seeing the ground suddenly appear as you come out of the clouds is quite something; even more so when you hear bullets striking your aircraft from ground units. Depending on the time of year and also the weather, you will find that some missions and even campaigns are set against a snowy backdrop. Sitting in that little aircraft, two thousand feet up, really does make you feel cold.

           

    Flight Characteristics

    Having flown exceptionally well modelled aircraft in FSX, such as A2A's Spitfire and vFlyteAir's Grumman in X-Plane, I'd say that I've been suitable spoilt in the aircraft department, so when I first loaded up WOFF, I was unsure of what kind of flight experience I would have. Well, I'm no fighter ace, and I've never flown a First World War aircraft, but I have flown, and the feeling I had from flying these machines in WOFF was that they seemed realistic and true to form. Spins and stalls were all present and accurate, and if not corrected promptly, would bring your flight to an untimely end.

    Tags: obd, woff

    8 Comments
    1. anaismith's Avatar
      anaismith -
      24 years! Yikes I had that, where did the time go?
    1. adger1971's Avatar
      adger1971 -
      A really good review. Ive been flying this incredible sim since its release and it's probably the best sim I've ever flown (and I've flown them all from the C64 era to D.c.s A10 and Falcon 4 Bms on my PC). What WOFF does to the CFS3 engine is quite remarkable. Excellent FMs for all flyable craft, excellent graphics, and above all else Superb Developer support. An excellent website with some really helpful people. I cannot recommend it enough.
    1. cptroyce's Avatar
      cptroyce -
      This sim is absolutely the best single player, campaign environment one could hope for in WW1 setting.
      It's a labor of love and it shows in every aspect. The AI coding alone is worth the price of admission.

      Try it..fly it..you will love it!
    1. Polovski's Avatar
      Polovski -
      Many thanks for a super review Dom.

      One comment regarding your comments about 'mouselook'. I believe there is a 3rd party utility to allow this (see FAQ section in our forums) but also most people use TracKIR 4 or 5 which totally transforms how you feel in the craft, much more immersive. Also for WOFF we improved TracKIR response greatly, so looking around is much smoother and cleaner than it would normally be.

      http://simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.ph...ok#Post3876639

      Also some have been using free programs such as FaceTrackNOIR with WOFF that just uses a web camera - cheaper than TracKIR.

      Hope that helps.
    1. btwallis's Avatar
      btwallis -
      Since I have Rise of Flight...which is also excellent...can you tell us the different, or advantage to get another sim of this nature.
    1. Slick Wilhelm's Avatar
      Slick Wilhelm -
      Quote Originally Posted by btwallis View Post
      Since I have Rise of Flight...which is also excellent...can you tell us the different, or advantage to get another sim of this nature.
      IMO, WOFF holds two major advantages over ROF (which I also love):

      1) Quality of AI. The AI in WOFF can and does actually break off combat and head for home when it feels like it is losing a fight. It also does things that are unpredictable, yet plausible. Like deciding not to attack every formation of enemy aircraft. The AI in WOFF is not perfect, of course, but it is leaps and bounds more sophisticated than ROF's AI.

      2) Dynamic campaigns. Need I say more? WOFF allows one to create a career and fly with that pilot from late 1915 to late 1918. You may choose to have your career generated somewhat randomly by choosing a few starting parameters, or you may specifically choose a squadron and time of year. Want to fly in No.209 squadron with Roy Brown and Wilfred Mays in mid April 1918? You can do that! Or perhaps you'd rather join Jasta 2 in late summer of 1916 and fly with Boelcke.

      One of my favorite features in WOFF, is that you can enable random mechanical failures. I have experienced a few random engine failures while grabbing alt on the way to a mission. It makes for a white-knuckled trip back to base, hoping you have enough alt to perform a dead-stick landing back at the aerodrome.

      Did I fail to mention the occasional bounces from enemy aircraft while you're minding your own business, trying to land at the aerodrome after an exhausting mission? It's things like this that keep WOFF fresh, and unique in the flight sim world.

      I've flown every WWI known to man since 1990, and I can say without reservation that WOFF is the best all-around WWI flight sim that it's been my pleasure to fly. And that includes my first flight sim passion, the original Red Baron.
    1. btwallis's Avatar
      btwallis -
      Very good comments Slick. Much thanks. Funny you should mention the Red Baron, which I also still have the original disks...I loved that game at that time.
    1. widowmaker320's Avatar
      widowmaker320 -
      Great Review...for a truly remarkable Simulator. I've been in love with this since it first appeared as Over Flanders Fields Phase 1.
      Where it scores (as has been mentioned) is the Campaign. You don't 'play' this Sim...you live it.
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