One of my favorite games to come out on this generation of consoles was Namco’s Ace Combat 4, which was a flight action game that really gave you the supreme sense of flying an aircraft while taking out the bad guys along the way. Well it has been a long while since the last flight action game, and for whatever reason they have not been all that abundant in recent years. Could this latest flight game from Ubi Soft possibly be the winning ticket? Read our full review of Heroes of the Pacific to find out!
Before I get too far into my review, I should probably start by mentioning that this game, Heroes of the Pacific is based off the ever-famous war of World War II. Now I bring this up mainly for the mere fact that Heroes of the Pacific is a game that is among the hundreds if not thousands of games that have been based off this war. And as terribly horrific and maybe interesting this war was, it still has been getting a lot of use, and to be honest I have seen the interest in this war continue to rise even with the extensive amount of games that have been released from it. So obviously the war is not over for WWII and Heroes of the Pacific is a perfect example of this.
You start in Heroes of the Pacific by learning a bit about your character, Billy Crowe, who is not the most interesting fellow in the world but not all that bad. Your buddy Billy and Brother sign up into the military and go over to Hawaii where they are some of the people who were at Pearl Harbor the day it happened. Now our character Billy made it up in the air but his brother was unfortunately not this lucky. So of course now Billy is really ready to take action. Although the game starts off with a tutorial mode, it then goes straight into the action.
So after you get introduced to everything that is going on in the game’s story you are then brought into the action, going through many of the major air battles of WWII, which to be honest can really be quite a treat. The actual gameplay usually consists of you picking which plane to fly and then be dropped into a variety of missions. The thing I liked about Heroes of the Pacific is that although the majority of the battles will be with other aircrafts, there were a good amount of them that had to do with taking out land targets, which were actually really enjoyable. The campaign mode is not what I would call overly difficult however, and therefore the mode may not last as long as some had hoped. But this is precisely why the developers of Heroes of the Pacific didn’t leave the game as just merely a single player campaign sort of title.
Heroes of the Pacific actually has a few other modes, including the instant action mode which is my favorite. The mode really is exactly how it sounds - you basically just jump into a dog fight and are ready to take action. One of the things I can see being a turn off about the action in this game is that there isn’t a whole lot of variety in the type of attacks you can do. And although the game has a good list of aircrafts for you to pilot, they all begin to feel pretty similar after a while, with maybe just some minor differences in handling.
The final mode that also is quite fun is the online support, which although may not be the most populated game online yet, is still a great enjoyable game to play that most people will find to be an easy experience just to pick up and play. The mode has a few different battle types to choose from, like team and free for all deathmatch and a capture the flag mode, but nothing that is really out of the ordinary. The online support ran smooth enough and from the few games I was able to play they all seemed to handle just fine. Overall Heroes of the Pacific did still feel like it needed a little more story and variety in the action to really make it to the elite category, but nevertheless the gameplay was extremely enjoyable and had a lot of different areas to explore.
Flight sims have been known to feature realistic graphics, even more so than action games set on land. In Heroes of the Pacific you have one of the really good ones with some really great sky textures and just a great sense of being in the air. I think half the fun of any flight game is the feeling that you are actually flying, and Heroes of the Pacific did a great job of that.
I however cannot say that the plane models are as well made as the environments in the game, as they don’t seem to have all of the detail that I saw in the environments. Don’t get me wrong though, the planes still look pretty impressive and have quite a variety to them. The overall presentation of the game is smooth and solid but it is probably not going to win any award either.
Being a fan of flight games did not instantly sell me to this game. In fact, I had my doubts about this game, merely because we really did not hear all that much about this game before it was released. However with that being said, Heroes of the Pacific did surprise me with its smooth gameplay and nice variety in the number of planes to fly. It also had a lot of solid action moments that made this game really a blast to play. Heroes of the Pacific did not bring revolutionary ideas to the table but nonetheless it had enough fun both online and offline to give a solid experience.
Heroes of the Pacific is not perfect, but can be fun to fans of the genre and also to casual gamers looking for something different. It would be a shame if only a few people got to play this, as it is a good enough game that a lot of people should really go out and give this game a try if as a rental at least. The campaign isn’t long enough but the game does make up for this somewhat with the Instant Action and the online support, which are both very fun to play. If you like flight games, you’re going to enjoy this one and at the very least this is a fantastic rental if not an addition to the holiday wish list.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.