Deadly Skies III
24th Jun 2004 | 09:19
People take off, pilot a Boeing 747 for 22 hours from London to Sydney, and land - on their PC playing a flight simulator. This kind of person is clearly a mentalist. Surely the only kind of aircraft that are fun to fly are those with massive amounts of ordinance slung beneath their wings?
Giving you tons of aircraft and massive amounts of bombs, missiles and rockets, together with plenty of things to shoot them at, Deadly Skies III is Top Gun in a really, really bad mood. Simple controls mean targeting your many foes is easy, and it's not long before you've wiped your first bogeys all over the skies.
You'll get your hands on a hangar full of aircraft, including virtually every combat plane that's been built in the last 50 years - from WWII Spitfires right up to EuroFighters and F-22 Raptors.
The visuals are solid, with the focus on making the aircraft look as cool as possible. Some of the buildings and vehicles look a bit dodgy up close, but when the tracer bullets start flying and the missiles streaking left and right, the feel of aerial combat is good.
Need For Speed
But crucially, for a game that relies upon the buzz of piloting supersonic aircraft, the feeling of speed in Deadly Skies is woefully lacking. When you watch back a post-mission replay it looks mint. But when you're playing - even with afterburners on full blast - it feels more like you're floating about in a balloon than splitting the air in a jet fighter.
To make things worse, it gets very bizarre in between missions. The game spins out a ridiculous, tedious, and utterly pointless plot using screen after screen of text accompanied by crappy comic book portraits. You end up having to button bash through a feature film's worth of this toss to get to each mission, by which point you realise you've clicked through all your objectives.
This is diet flight-sim stuff that spoils its non-stop blasting with slow-poke planes and too much crappy gabbing from rubbish characters. You definitely won't be flying this one for 22 hours straight.