Microsoft’s Combat Flight Simulator 2 review

Microsoft is the leader when it comes to flight simulator’s. No one else in the industry comes even close to a really good flight simulator than any of the flight sim’s from Microsoft.

When the Combat Flight Sim 2 came out, I could not resist. I got hooked into the world of flight sims and the fun and excitement involved with the aircraft and the flying. With the combat flight sim games, not only are there the great combat scenarios and flying from an aircraft carrier out of the Pacific Ocean, but you get the really cool airplanes that constituted the bulk of the world war two aircraft arsenal.

Microsoft came out with their Combat Flight Simulation 2 and this time you were in the thick of it in the Pacific theatre of World War 2. The premise of the game is that you are a combat pilot in the Pacific Theatre, whether you are on the American or Japanese side.

The game comes with two full campaigns that you can play over and over again. The missions while they are not all that different from one to the next as far as what you actually do are so fun that it takes a lot to get bored with them. But if you do, there are things like the quick combat, free flight and mission editor to shake things up.

The game comes with a full start up screen, there are campaigns, free flight, quick combat, single missions, multiplayer and training. The training is not only recommended but a necessity if you expect to land on a carrier without too many crashes. That was and still is the hardest part of the whole game to me.

The combat can be great and is quite tough, the planes act real, they go into spins and stall just like a real plane would. But to get your plane to land and have to rely on the signal officer to tell you what to do is hard. That is how the landing on the carrier’s are accomplished. You come in low and slow and do what the signal officer tells you in the small window of the screen.

When you make that first landing and don’t go crashing into the ocean or end up in the back end of the carrier is a great feeling. But during the campaigns or any part of the game you can always just press the x button and skip the landing, letting the computer do it for you. That way you can get somewhere in the campaign, if I had to make every landing I would still be on the first campaign, it’s that hard.

The free flight is great, it gives you a chance to fly the different airplanes at various airfields and off the carriers to practice and just have fun. It gives you a good idea of what the airplanes can do.

The quick combat is fun when you have a short time to play around on the game and want to have some fun. You can pick the various areas of the south pacific to fight in and who you are fighting with and against. You also get to pick the aircraft you fly in. From the Hellcat, Wildcat and Corsair to the Japanese Zero, there are a lot of planes that were used in the war that you can fly in or fight against.

The planes are very well detailed and the views are great inside the cockpit, outside is another matter. The views outside the cockpit are awesome. Flying through a cloud you can see the fluffy white stuff start out as wisps of white and then turn into full sight blocking white. Then you better watch the instruments because you have no idea which way is up when your inside a big cloud.

This is a good way to sneak up on your enemy if any clouds are handy. Also you can block the view of your aircraft with the sun and attack like the real Japanese preferred, out of the sun. There are a number of ways to get an advantage in combat, not only your choice of airplane, weapons and fuel supply but tactics and flying.

The game encompasses so much of real flying that you can set the realism to realistic and have all the same worries of real pilots in combat. Running out of fuel while still over the open ocean, running out of ammo in the middle of a dog fight, or missing the target with your only two bombs and having to try it with your machine guns.

The graphics in the game are great, you have to have a pretty good computer with decent graphics card and memory to keep up with the frame rate and the video. The game is very good in action and even in just flying for fun. The free flight is fun to play around with.

The campaigns can get to be a bit tedious, the action is different in the way it approaches each mission but some of them seem to be about the same. The big difference is in the planes you get to fly. The campaigns all happen in the Pacific, small islands, lots of ocean. So the missions kind of blend together as far as where you are.

But the game is great on action. Just when you thought you could sneak up on the Japanese Zero you are tailing and have been chasing for a couple of minutes, it turns out to have a tail gunner and he cuts across with a shot through your front end. It is sure a sight to watch your engine burn and the computer tell s you the engines on fire.

The game has missions that vary from simple escort of bombers or protecting your fleet, bombing runs on islands and lone subs or full fleets. There is quite a variety of targets and some shoot back at you. The destroyers, subs and carriers have anti aircraft and flak, as well as the ground tanks.

When you get tired of the action by yourself you can go to the multiplayer section and start a whole new area of fun. There are games you can join on the internet at the Microsoft’s game zone. You have to download some things and get a net passport sign in for the site. It takes a few minutes to set up and get on line but it is fun when there are others to fly against.

It is totally different to fight against others that can out think you and second guess what you are going to try. It takes the game to a whole new level of flying and fighting.

The add ons for the game are really cool, you can get some new missions, campaigns and new aircraft from a couple of web sites that people are making on their own using the enclosed mission editor and some third party software.

At Flightsim and Simviation you can get a whole lot of add ons, new aircraft missions and whole campaigns. They are both here:

http://www.flightsim.com/cgi/kds/main/menuchoo.htm

http://www.simviation.com/menu.html

They have a wide variety of flight simulation game add ons, new missions and such for all of the flight simulation games that Microsoft has made.

The game is a great addition to the flight sim games from Microsoft, it’s graphics are great, the game play is terrific and the games attention to detail make it a winner in flight sims.

With the addition of the mission editor that the designers used to create the campaigns and missions, the game has extensive game play and a wide variety of choices when it comes time to do something different with the game. You can create your own missions and campaigns with the easy to mission builder and design your own campaign.

Many have done this and come up with some great additional campaigns and missions, even realistic campaigns that were actual combat missions in the war. The Battle of Britain campaign is an add on that used the mission editor to create a whole new campaign surrounding the Battle of Britain and it’s dog fights over England.

They could make this using the maps from previous games and creating the whole campaign with the game editor. This adds whole new campaigns and hors of game play to the game. Also you can get new aircraft, weapons and effects with third party software.

The gaming community has been working on new and better looking aircraft and weapons and better effects that the game uses. These are available for download and use at the two sites I mentioned earlier.

Microsoft’s Combat Flight Simulation 2 is a great game, it’s hours of fun and is one game that will get played over and over again.

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