Premise: Set in 1942, fight off Japanese from the seat of your fighter plane.
Dogfighting is something we don’t see very often. Aside from the occasional game like Snoopy Flying Ace or games like Battlefield 3, they just don’t happen. Dogfight 1942 is out though, does it give the genre some life?
Gameplay: Dogfight is pretty self explanatory about what it is. Dogfighting at its best. You’ll take off, land, bomb carriers, and more. For fans of the genre, it’s a pretty easy game to jump into.
Dogfight right off the bat does a lot of things right that so many dogfight games seem to not do, give the player a true reticule. When players are first introduced to fighter planes, when attacking, they just shoot directly at the plane, not knowing you should lead your shots. This game very easily leads you into that while also giving you some other nudges, such as lock on and a zoom when you’re closing in.
As for overall controls, the game plays like other dogfighting games. For newbies, the game does a decent job at introducing you new tactics, but I dislike how it’ll stop the action and bring a pop up showing you how to do it. I feel it could’ve been much more intuitive.
Presentation: As far as set pieces go, this game actually looks pretty good. The environments on the ground and distance you travel is pretty expansive for an XBLA game. Sound doesn’t really have a factor in the game. After a few missions I just muted the TV and this became the game I’d play while listening to podcasts.
There’s cinematic cutscenes that are fun to watch now and then, but perhaps it wasn’t needed. The areas you fly around are pretty detailed. The trees look good, the ocean or lakes in the game look great. It’s pretty astounding.
Value: Missions don’t vary too often in the grand scheme of things. Most of them deal with either taking down carriers or killing surrounding enemies before they take out an important structure. You’ll run through most of the different options in the first few missions and rinse and repeat for later ones.
The biggest downside of the game is there’s no online. No co-op or multiplayer. I really think this should’ve had some. It’s 1200 points, or $15, the game begs to have some multiplayer. Games like Snoopy Flying Ace live and breathe through its multiplayer. This game could’ve done the same. There’s local co-op, but that’s not the same.
Still, the campaign was fun, missions are neat to breeze through, and the game is overall well built.
Final thought: The game brings a lot to the table for dogfighting, but also has not a lot of replayability. I give Dogfight 1942 a C. It’s a strong game for the genre lovers, but for newbies, make sure you try a demo and know the amount of content.