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Birds of Steel Preview

Calling back to genres near forgotten, Birds of Steel seeks to soar.

The video game industry, much like any entertainment provider, has gone through many different trends and phases.  Genres spike in popularity and then peter down, sometimes even fading into obscurity and out of the communities conscious.  There was a time when flight sims were all the rage, now most retailers would look at you funny if you asked their opinion on which flight stick you should buy.  At times an arcade-style flight game like Ace Combat rears its head to remind the masses that the genre still exists, but we all know that the pure sim has been relegated to niche for quite some time.  Just don’t tell Konami that.

Birds of Steel is a call back to two bygone trends in gaming: the flight sim and World War II.  The game puts players in the cockpit of over 100 aircraft that flew during WWII.  The planes, weapons, battleships, structures and terrain have all been recreated from period authentic documentation which helps to provide for an immersive experience as you fly your way through the game’s 20 historical scenarios, or the countless procedural missions that the game has to offer.

In a game where realism is key, it comes as no surprise that Birds of Steel stresses innovation when it comes to the physics and damage engines.  Each aircraft has over 100 hitpoints and each section has its own health and damage detection.  This means that while you’ll always be concerned about how much you get hit, you’ll also suffer different consequences depending on where you get hit.

In addition to the game’s single player modes, Birds of Steel also offers traditional online multiplayer and a 4 player co-op mode.  In co-op, the mission’s success or failure will be a direct result of your ability to work as a team in order to accomplish the objective.

It’s understandable that sim based gameplay isn’t every gamer’s cup of tea, so the game incorporates three distinct levels of realism: simplified, realistic and simulator.  Simplified is an arcade based mode that will ensure beginners won’t be overwhelmed by the complex controls needed to master the more realistic simulation modes.

Birds of Steel will be released on March 13, 2012 on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.



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