In all of the great conflicts fought through mankind’s history, World War II was the largest. World War II has unmistakably given rise to many dozens of video games and everything in between. Kalypso Media, the studio that has brought players the Tropico games, has released the Air Conflicts Collection for the Nintendo Switch. Featuring two full games in one package, this collection of flight combat games provides a thrilling duo of aeronautical excitement, even if it hits some turbulence along the way.
Air Conflicts Collection features to games Air Conflicts: Secret Wars and Air Conflict: Pacific Carriers. Both games are similar in that players will take to the skies of World War II to fight the Axis Powers in a variety of aircraft across a large selection of missions. Each game features its own story and cutscenes as well as its own unique selection of aircraft to choose from.
Air Conflicts: Secret Wars takes place in Europe and features a female mercenary working between the battlefields of the European Theatre. Air Conflicts: Pacific Carriers, on the other hand, puts players in the Pacific against the Imperial Japanese Navy. In each game, players will hop into real-life World War II aircraft and engage in arcade-style aerial combat.
Some of the missions presented are simple search-and-destroy missions, while others require defending a target or providing offensive support. In some instances, players will embark on stealth missions that require flying their plane skillfully to avoid detection. Naturally, this is all against the backdrop of World War II, providing an interesting balance of fact and fiction. The story and characters take their liberties but remain grounded within the realities and facts of World War II. There are over 30 aircraft to choose from and several modes to try out, including arcade and multiplayer modes.
Some aerial combat games can be rather difficult to get into, but Air Conflicts makes the flight controls accessible while still being incredibly engaging. Players will learn basic flight and maneuvering controls as well as how to deploy their weapons. Each aircraft is significantly different in its speed, maneuverability, durability, and firepower. Some aircraft can have the player switch from the pilot’s seat to the tail gunner to shoot down bogies.
More planes and missions are unlocked as the game continues. Players can also choose between various difficulty levels and even control schemes, from casual to simulator. Casual prevent your aircraft from rolling or going upside down, keeping all assists turned on, while simulator turns off assists and allows players to roll their aircraft for truer flight experience. Players can adjust their throttle but must be careful, as slowing down for a combat maneuver can put the plane at risk of a stall. When players are familiar with the flight to controls, Air Conflicts becomes a satisfying aerial combat game.
Playing Air Conflicts Collection is a satisfying, if not tremendously spectacular experience. Handling each aircraft feels good and the combat, whether it is air-to-air or air-to-ground, is the right amount of challenging and fun. Players can engage various enemy types in the air and on the ground with ease, but don’t expect the enemy to be a pushover. While a bit of a slow burner at first, the missions and their difficulty will ramp up. Many of which will involve larger-than-life aerial, ground, and naval battles.
The enemy will engage and stop at nothing to shoot you down, especially from the various ground and naval forces. These missions can become absolutely fierce and challenging, but the missions do have a forgiving checkpoint system. Players can also switch cameras and even fight inside the cockpit view, delivering a true combat experience for aviation enthusiasts.
In terms of the difference between Air Conflicts: Secret Wars and Air Conflicts: Pacific Carriers, the two are similar but significantly different games. Air Conflicts: Secret Wars has you as more of a mercenary in the European theatre of war, taking players to Russian, North Africa, and so on. Players will fight and destroy various targets belonging to the Nazi and Soviet forces and fly aircraft more in line with the European theatre. Eventually, players will fly, and fight, more experimental fighters, such as the German Me-262. Air Conflicts: Pacific Carriers take place in the Pacific Theatre of World War II, and players will be a part of American forces fighting the empire of Japan.
Air Conflicts: Pacific Carriers focuses on more ocean-faring and amphibious naval battles, as players fly a completely different roster of aircraft and fight enemies both at land and at sea. Players will engage in battle with Japanese warship and bombard targets on various islands, and therefore fly aircraft designed for torpedo strikes and diving, such as the Grumman F4F Wildcat.
The two games player very similarly but also significantly different, but those differences lie in the theatre of operations and the type of battles that players experiences. Land, air, and sea battle as well as the type of aircraft faced require different tactics, though, both games help the player in learning how to adapt to these different strategies. While both games are rather similar, I’d say the better of the two would be Air Conflicts: Pacific Carriers, but that is only a personal preference.
Everything about the Air Conflicts Collection is very satisfying, from the controls to the presentation to the actual gameplay. On the switch, the game performs everything it needs to do remarkably well. However, given the Switch’s capabilities, there could have been a bit more things done with the two games. The Switch is a more advanced PlayStation 3 so adding new campaigns and aircraft could have been beneficial to the overall package. I also experienced random audio cutouts after long sessions and do hope those are patched out at a later date.
Air Conflicts Collection stands tall amongst other Nintendo Switch games. There are hardly any other flight games currently available for the platform. The collection fulfills any player looking for a solid, smooth, but fun and exciting aerial combat arcade game. While it could have used some more polish in its port to the Nintendo Switch, what Air Conflicts Collection accomplishes is a solid foundation, with good gameplay, story, and presentation. Air Conflicts Collection is the only place where you can participate in World War II’s biggest battles on-the-go.
Air Conflicts Collection
- Rating - 8/108/10
Air Conflicts Collection stands tall amongst other Nintendo Switch games. There are hardly any other flight games currently available for the platform. The collection fulfills any player looking for a solid, smooth, but fun and exciting aerial combat arcade game.