Review: Damage Inc: Pacific Squadron WW2

GERARD CAMPBELL
Last updated 05:00 18/09/2012
Damage Inc: Pacific Squadron WW2

DAMAGE INC: Fly around the Pacific and shoot stuff.

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REVIEW: Flight simulators on consoles are few and far between, so Damage Inc: Pacific Squadron WW2 hopes to remedy that with its pacific-era game. While not featuring pilots yelling “Tally ho” it does feature plenty of dog fighting.

However, Damage Inc isn't going to win any awards for graphical splendour or stunning game play. It's all a little mundane on the game play front, to be honest. And when I first started playing it I actually thought I'd been transported back to the days of the PlayStation 2 when high-definition lighting, particle effects and other graphical trickery were just a developer's dream.

Sadly, the game play doesn't fare much better, as I quickly discovered that main missions are made up of sub-missions tasking you with doing things like fly over to that base and shoot those planes then fly over to that base and shoot those planes... and so on and so on.

Many of the missions seemed to spam countless numbers of enemy planes for me to shoot down until, seemingly, I'd managed to shoot down enough to trigger the next objective. And talking about shooting, it's pretty hard to have pin-point accuracy, and I found my plane was off target most of the time, until I realised that I had to aim in front of the plane I was trying to hit. My World War II-era plane could also slow down time at the flick of a switch, meaning shooting down enemy planes became a whole lot easier.

The game certainly isn't short on features, with 32 World War II-era fighter planes to fly and 23 missions to complete, visiting locations such as Pearl Harbour and the atoll of Iwo Jima, but it just wasn't that fun to play.

The best part of the expeience was using the Saitek Pacific AV8R flight stick that comes bundled with the collector's edition of the game ($179). I was lucky enough to get one to use with our review copy and while you can play the game without a standard controller, using the flight stick makes for a much more immersive experience thanks to its numerous switches, an integrated throttle and a trigger. It's almost like flying a plane. Almost.

I have high regard for Saitek products and the AV8R is a well-made flight stick and the bonus is that it'll apparently work with a variety of other console flight games, as well as on your PC, making the collector's edition worth considering, even if the game isn't up to much.

As a game, I can't recommend Damage Inc as a purchase - flight sims fans: rent it first - but if you've got other flight games and are after a solid flight stick, the collectors edition could be worth investigating.

Damage Inc: Pacific Squadron WW2
From: Trickstar Games
Reviewed on: Xbox 360
Classification: G
RRP: $109.99

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