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What We Want to See in Skies of War 2
If you are into war simulations, Skies of War is a great candidate to fulfill your game craving. This action title is both challenging and exciting, giving you the reigns to blow up enemy structures from above. Aircrafts may be equipped with a hefty payload of guns, missiles and bombs to rain destruction. With multiple objectives open to you all at once, perfecting a stage will truly test your mettle. On the other hand, if you have been through all of these things, survived the war and have collected every unit, what's next?
They should definitely keep the extensive firepower and unlockable planes. This gives the game some replayability for those who wish to try a different approach to stages. Having multiple objectives also makes for good game play. Other than raising the challenge bar, it also lends the game a sense of depth. It is quite realistic to have a checklist of things to do before considering a mission as a solid victory. Plus, it's a reason to play your favorite stage a bit longer. As for improvements, there are a quite a few that we would like to see in a sequel.
The first thing we would like to see changed is the mouse control scheme. Using the default settings, clicking on the aircraft in order to switch weapons tends to get in the way especially during later missions. Add the directional and weapon fire input and the combination makes for complicated overlapping controls. If the option is retained, using a simpler control scheme will leave players with less to mind. Only then will it be possible to be totally immersed, enjoying the on-screen mayhem.
The sad part is that there is a way to remove mouse controls but it comes with its own issue. For instance, it is possible to press the "C" key to change weapons, but this is not introduced off the bat and must be found out accidentally. Perhaps introducing the options early on would assist those who are new to the game.
Next is the graphics. While the military style and overall theme fit Skies of War perfectly, we would have liked better contrast between the plane and the background. Being a war simulation, there is usually a lot going on at once. Maneuvering the aircraft and being able to efficiently whittle down enemy forces may spell the success or failure of a mission. Unfortunately due to the muddy colors, there are times when it affects visibility and that is quite distracting.
De-cluttering the Minimap would also help make the game more enjoyable. As it is, the map itself is barely half the screen. Most of the space is taken up by unorganized lines of text. The concept of dividing areas is appreciated but the rainbow-like colors used are mismatched and just a tad extreme. Basically, it is just a bit of an eye sore. Compressing the text and having a means to display the map legend or not might help improve the layout enough for reliable referencing between missions.
Aside from the controls, landing and loading adds an anticlimactic pause in the midst of the action. An upgrade to help with this or an ability to load mid-flight using comrade aircrafts would be interesting to see.
Shockwave's Skies of War definitely has something special to offer those who are looking for a challenging war simulation. While diehards would no doubt play the sequel regardless, it would be nice to see improvements to make the system even better.