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Jane's Combat Simulations: Attack Squadron

Score: 90%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Xicat
Developer: Mad Doc Software
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 8
Genre: Miscellaneous

Graphics & Sound:

Recreating the appearance of the sky, land, and entire world is a difficult challenge for the creators of a Flight Simulation game. Attack Squadron utilizes the same basic graphical qualities as what has become second nature in a flight simulator. This has its obvious likes but also brings a few drawbacks.

Textures look amazing from higher ranges, but lower altitudes show the pixelation and sparseness of terrain in the maps. However, in important battlefield areas, the terrains are busied with buildings, enemy machines, and varied elevations.

With over seven different viewpoints and an infinite number of angles to view from, there is not a minute where you cannot see the action. Even though this takes away from the realism of flying alongside a squadron in your cockpit, it makes for excellent real-time cinematics. The camera even glares any time it stares into the sunlight, aircraft and other vehicles and buildings visibly show damage, and most cockpit commands echoed with some button switching.

The opening and selection screens to Attack Squadron feature music straight from an early 1940's radio show. The happy nostalgia sets the feel for the time and place. In-game, the music switches feel and creates a tense battle-ready atmosphere, setting the tone for Attack Squadron.


The warfare of World War II was greatly affected by aircraft that covered the skies during battles and missions. Attack Squadron puts you straight into the cockpit of one of those aircraft. Accompanied by a squadron of other aircraft, Attack Squadron gives you the feel of working with a team of well-trained World War II era flyers.

Jane's Attack Squadron includes options to play quick single player missions, or enlist in a full campaign. Either mode allows play on either an Axis or Allied power. In the Campaign mode, you will participate in almost every major air-assisted mission flown during the war. Detailed backgrounds on each objective are clearly laid out before deployment.

The amount of historical detail associated with Attack Squadron separates it from other WWII Flight Sims. Every operation, every aircraft, and even the buildings and terrain are set to specifications of the time. At times, Attack Squadron felt almost like a three-dimensional history lesson, recreating the theater of Western Europe's warfront.

An abundant amount of targets, ranging from other aircraft to historic landmarks, detail the diverse mission objectives. Attack Squadron features 14 different flyable aircraft. Some aircraft appear more often, but each get considerable playtime in the Campaign mode. A Multiplayer mode is also available, giving the player complete control over any aircraft in dogfight-like gameplay.


Avoiding enemy fire from the air and the ground, and dodging or defending other aircraft as they cross in synchronistic patterns all around you, the difficulty of Attack Squadron could be as difficult as your precision for aim and ammunition control. Certain scenarios are simpler than others and tough missions are interspersed with generally thought-out campaigns. The difficulty does not follow a directly linear progression. One mission may require you to defend a base under heavy attack by enemy fighters, ground vehicles, and nukes. Some missions later you may simply be required to assist in leading a large bomber to its bombing site, encountering little resistance along the way. This form of sporadic difficulty keeps the game inviting, keeping the player on edge - not sure of what might come out of the sky.

Game Mechanics:

Recreating the feel of real-time World War II warfare does not come without a price. Operating an aircraft requires very accurate precision while working with a huge number of switches and controls. The same goes for operating these simulated aircraft. The amount of controls required to properly operate your planes is insane. Even the slightest error could put your craft into a stall, sending you plummeting to your death. Finding which keystroke relates to which command takes some time at first, but can be overcome quickly with the help of the tutorials included in the game. Joystick control is slightly less complicated, and the reactions of yaw, speed, and direction provide better realism than the direction keys on the keyboard.

For those not yet knowledgeable of the Jane's Combat Simulation series of games, numerous games have been developed under the title. In fact, Jane's title derived from Jane's Information Group, a highly sophisticated war-news research group whom the government trusts to provide the best information on air based warfare. Justly, Jane's Combat Simulations has become a title associated with the best, most realistic simulation of air-based warfare. Attack Squadron earns a seat in that series of games. The recreation of the WWII air attacks and battles is entirely historic and realistic. Attack Squadron not only provides excellent battles and warfare, but it also gives enough insight to the history of World War II, to fully envelop a player into the patriotic past of the Second Great War.

-==Boy, GameVortex Communications
AKA Kyle Prestenback

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows XP/ME/98, Pentium II 400 Mhz, 128 MB RAM, 16MB D3D video card, MS compatible mouse, DirectX 8.0 Compatible Sound card, 500 MB hard drive space, 16X cd-rom drive.

Test System:

Pavilion 8776C, Windows XP, AMD Athlon 1Ghz, 512 MB RAM, 12X DVD, NVIDEA Vanta 16 MB 3D video card

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