Heroes over Europe

Review

posted 10/8/2009 by Dave Gamble
other articles by Dave Gamble
One Page Platforms: 360
Admit it: as you've found yourself mired in mud, hunkering down in a fox hole somewhere in Europe trying to avoid the Nazi bullet that has your name on it, you've looked longingly to the skies as wave after wave of pampered Army Air Corp pilots fly over in their shiny, high-powered airborne steeds. “Now that's the way to fight a war,” you thought to yourself as two of your buddies got blown to bits by an artillery shell, “I've been fighting WWII over and over in dozens of games and it's always the same thing: take point, take out that machine gun nest, grab that panzershreck and take out that tank. Why is it always me that has to do the tough jobs?? I'd rather be flying!”

Here's your chance!


Transmission Games and Ubisoft have heard your plaintive pleas for a new way to fight in WWII, also apparently known as The Only War Suitable for Video Gaming. So, yeah, it's the same old era you've fought in over and over and over, but it's from a new perspective this time. Instead of trudging across Europe in cold, worn out boots, in Heroes Over Europe you will get to fly over Europe in a state-of-the-art flying machine. From your seat in the cockpit of famous historical airplanes like the Supermarine Spitfire and the Hawker Hurricane, you will finally have your chance to exact revenge on the airborne menace that made your life a living (and often, dying) hell on the battlefields of Europe. No more sleeping for a mere two or three hours a day huddled in a cold puddle of water and mud, surrounded by the detritus of war for you; now you're an aviator – you fly your mission and return to the comfort of your air base. Ah, that's the life!

Well, not so fast, soldier. What you will quickly learn is that the skies over WWII Europe were every bit as deadly as the trenches. In Heroes over Europe, you will regularly find yourself outnumbered by swarms of enemy fighters with their gun sites centered on your fragile aluminum or wood airplane. That in itself would be a daunting prospect, but those fighters will often be on your tail plinking away at you while you're facing withering fire from the front as the rear gunner in the Stuka  you're trying to shoot down fights back. With all of that lead coming your way, you'll find that what appeared from the ground to be a cleaner kind of war is anything but. What will be familiar, though, is the adrenalin you feel during the heat of the battle.

In Heroes over Europe, you will fly for the Allies. Towards the end of the war that was the side to be on, but early in the fight, when Germany appeared to be unbeatable and Britain was on the knife edge of defeat, it was a very tough situation. You start out as a neophyte flier, anxious to get your first kills and start your way down the path to glory. Your mentors are more experienced with the naked truth of war and try to temper some of your fervor with the sage advice that there is more to fighting in the air than guns and glory, but these are lessons that you will have to learn for yourself.

The game sets the ambiance for the early war period with a contemporaneous visual designs patterned after the government posters that were ubiquitously placed in ready rooms and military facilities throughout Britain.  News reel films at the beginning of each mission and witty cut scene banter between your character and his wingman also do a very good job of setting an appropriate tone.
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