• Review: Wings Over The Reich


    In its current form, Wings Over The Reich gives you two Allied and one Axis aircraft to fly. You get the Supermarine Spitfire Mk IA, Hawker Hurricane Mk I and Messerschmitt Bf109 E4. There are then a number of AI only aircraft, all Axis, that populate the skies. These are the Junkers Ju88 A1, Junkers Ju87 B1, Messerschmitt Bf 110 C4, Dornier Do17 Z2 and Heinkel He111 H2.

    These aircraft all look great and really fit the simulator environment. External and cockpit modelling is done to a really high standard with all flight surfaces defined and animated, with smaller details included through the use of bump mapping and high quality textures. OBD Software have done a fantastic job at replicating real-world aircraft for their simulator and is something they deserve a lot of praise when it comes to keeping the now 75 year old planes authentic.

    Wings Over The Reich     Wings Over The Reich

    Audio is also well defined and finely tuned to sound realistic regardless of what you are doing, whether its flying low over the English Channel or following close behind a steam train carrying supplies cross-country. Sounds are dynamic and with a good headset, really immerses you into the world.

    Flight dynamics are really well tuned in WOTR too. Using data tables over blade element theory, these have been really well defined to give each aircraft their own characteristic in the air. The Spitfire is both quick and nimble but requires a lot of control to keep tame, while the Hurricane is a much more steady beast - keeping it in a straight line is a lot easier, but the drawback makes it nowhere near as nimble as the Spitfire!

    Flying the Spitfire in particular is especially fun, which has seen some major works in the recent 1.5 update to make it flyable. Being a Spitfire Mk.1, it comes equipped with your eight standard M1919 Browning machine guns and classic Merlin engine.

    Wings Over The Reich     Wings Over The Reich

    Lastly I have to talk about the damage modelling on their aircraft. Something that distinguishes a good combat flight simulator from a bad one is the damage your aircraft can receive and how it affects your flying. Flying into enemy fire and being shot at a number of times, depending on where you are hit determines how your aircraft is affected. I've had a number of occasions where I've lost most or even full roll control as my ailerons have been shot up and have also lost my engine on a couple of occasions too. When your pilot is shot, flying in first person covers your screen up with blood and makes your control reaction slightly slower to indicate damage and pain, things that determine the rest of your battle, or just bailing out altogether. While the damage may not be as well defined or soft-body as that in IL2 Sturmovik, it certainly keeps it at a realistic level that puts you right into the seat of your aircraft.

    Fighting The Enemy

    Dogfighting in WOTR is certainly a challenge, especially for beginners! This is WWII close combat aerial fighting, no auto aim tracking, no computerised support.

    Wings Over The Reich     Wings Over The Reich

    One thing that makes this stand out against other fighter simulators out there is the fatigue system built into enemy and allied aircraft alike. The longer you fly and the battle goes on, the more tired the pilots become. This means while the dogfight may start out as a high-paced action packed shootout, towards the end the pilots will start to slow down or even retreat/land altogether.

    This fatigue system is also closely linked to aircraft damage and maintenance too. I have noticed that on some occasions allied AI when taking off, may straight away return back to base soon after being airborne if the engine or another vital system fails. This I feel is linked to aircraft maintenance which is a factor of the campaign as well as quick missions too. If the aircraft doesn't feel right or the pilot feels something is not quite right and therefore not up to the challenge, they will make the decision to break formation and return to base.

    Wings Over The Reich     Wings Over The Reich

    The campaign in Wings Over The Reich is also both challenging and rewarding. Depending on how battles go, whether you succeed, divert, bail out or are killed altogether will determine the outcome of the war. You could be four years into a campaign and killed outright ending your game there, or push through enemy lines and make it to Germany with ease. Depending on how you and the AI play, your aim is to gain as much air superiority as possible, while supporting ground troops in their push against enemy lines and capturing airfields for allied use.

    1. RayH's Avatar
      RayH -
      Shame its restricted to Windows only.
    1. DangerUXB's Avatar
      DangerUXB -
      Like most serious flight sims you need Windows, you can also get it to run it under OS X or MacOS using WineSkin etc.
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