When I first heard about Secret Weapons Over Normandy, it sounded like it was going to be a flight combat simulation title. But in fact that isn’t true at all, as Secret Weapons over Normandy is an arcade style flight game that attempts to recreate the magic that the 1991 PC Classic Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe.
In many ways Secret Weapons Over Normandy has the potential to be a top notch air combat title that would knock people’s socks off. It has the perfect setup for a great storyline and for a genre which is really looking for some solid titles, Lucas Arts and Total Games had the opportunity to really do something great with this one. Secret Weapons Over Normandy pulls through and does a nice job but you just feel it lacks some of the key ingredients to a great game.
You play as a young man named James Chase in the year 1940 and have been assigned to go and serve in Britain’s Royal Air Force. You will find out right from the get go that you did well in a mission and therefore were upgraded to the team Blackhawk’s. This team does some of the more difficult, tricky and unusual missions and this is your path for the game. The story does some good things, but it fails to really keep you interested, and doesn’t really do much to make you want to keep going.
The game is as straightforward as any other Flight Combat game. You are given a basic mission objective and it is your job to best help your team to complete these missions. Most of the missions that you will be taking part in deal with defending some sort of building, and this really kind of gives you that cramped feeling. I would much rather be going places and attacking enemies than taking the defensive. With that being said it isn’t all that bad and a lot of times you are given a new mission in the middle of the level.
Secret Weapons Over Normandy is one of those plane combat games that you can easily pick up and play. It’s not one that would be considered a simulation by any stretch, but more what you would consider it an arcade style game. Right when you start the game you can easily maneuver and navigate your plane every which way, and the controls are close to where the point everything can be accomplished rather easily.
The one thing that Total Games decided to do right from the get go is create a game that has a lot of planes and that’s exactly what they did. The game basically gives you a new plane for every mission so although you really won’t be able to truly get attached to a particular plane; you will be given quite a bit of variety.
The game plays pretty easily and with an arcade style like mentioned earlier. Total Games added the ability to slow down time (like Max Payne), which makes shooting down enemies even easier. As you progress through the game the difficulty does increase but so does your level of armor and this makes for not that difficult of a game, which is one of the games biggest downsides. It will only take you a good ten to twelve hours to complete the game and even throughout that entirety there isn’t much challenge in the game. For the most part it will only take you one maybe two tries to complete a mission. With repair areas throughout most of the missions you can usually make it through the levels on the first try.
Another disappointment with the game is the lack of multiplayer. Of course the box for Secret Weapons Over Normandy shows Xbox Live support (on front), don’t be expecting to play the game online but just to have downloadable content (planes). The split screen multiplayer isn’t all that great and doesn’t do a whole heck of a lot in terms of creating a great multiplayer mode.
The one area of the game that really does a nice solid job all the way around is the graphics which prove to be the one reliable and stable part of the game. When you look at Secret Weapons Over Normandy you find a game that really doesn’t hit the great mark but stays solid throughout.
The many planes that you will encounter throughout the game all look pretty good and have quite a bit of detail to them. Each plane has a distinct look and feel to them, so you will definitely see a difference in every plane that you use. The environments are also quite good and have some nice detail placed in them. Although some of the environments start to become repetitive at the later parts of the game, for the most part they all look quite good.
For the most part Secret Weapons Over Normandy does a very nice job of creating a solid looking title all the way around. There really isn’t much to complain about in the game, and therefore the game ends up doing well in the graphics department.
Secret Weapons Over Normandy is one of those games for as long as it lasts stays fun but the replay value is just not there. There is really little to no multiplayer and like mentioned earlier the campaign mode is not all that long. So you really won’t be spending much time with this one, which hurts the fun factor in the end. During the amount of time provided in the campaign mode it is quite fun and the arcade style gameplay works nicely.
Secret Weapons Over Normandy is an average arcade style flight combat title that will appeal to those who like the genre. If you are looking for an arcade style flight combat game then you should look into Secret Weapons Over Normandy, and the game does make an excellent rental.
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.