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Heroes in the Sky Review

Heroes in the Sky is a free World War II flight simulator. Players choose to fly for either the Allies or the Axis powers, and hundreds of airplanes, and participate in a variety of game modes. There are PvE missions to do, air raids, free-for-all PvP dogfights, "Attack-and-Defend", and the Occupational War in which the Axis and Allied powers fight for control of territories on the Western Front and in the Pacific. There's a good variety of airplanes and equipment to take control of, and combat is fast-paced and exciting.

Pros: Plenty of airplanes too choose from, fast-paced combat, co-op missions

Cons: Imbalance between newbies and experienced players, short co-op missions

In Heroes in the Sky, players take a variety of historical fighters and bombers into combat. I recognize a few of the fighters, like the Spitfire. You can customize your airplanes with different equipment, including machine guns, cannons, engines, bombs, missiles, and armour, and can even change their paint job. Each airplane has unique stats, and can equip different types of equipment. There's a tech tree of sorts that players can progress down. Actually, there's quite a few of them. One for each nationality (England, US, Russia, Germany, Japan, and Italy), as well as one for bombers and one for gunners (whatever those are).
If this isn't exciting, I can't imagine anything that is.

The Occupational war is vaguely interesting; members of either faction can start attacks on adjacent battlefields, at which point others may join for a set amount of time. Certain battlefields have bonuses, like factories, that grant bonuses. I've never been able to join a battle, though, because you have to be at least level 30 to join, and because the server's time zone is different from mine (battles are from 2-4 and 6-8 pm) and they don't state their time zone, so I can never tell when the battles are going to start.

Co-op missions are an essential component to Heroes in the Sky. They offer even newbies the chance to live through intense dogfights, and there's some very good fun to be had. But they're far too easy, and far too short.

It would be really interesting to see some different game modes and missions, though. It seems all the missions are the same. It's usually just destroying a squadron, or some tanks, or sinking a boat, or defending a friendly boat (which just means destroying a squadron, with a time limit). It would be interesting to escort paratroopers, or a slow-moving transport, to destroy enemy fortifications (that actually shoot back. For some strange reason they just sit there, letting you kill them), or something along those lines.

Blow up the transport, eh? Again?

Now to the more minor details. The game's graphics are great in places and not so great in others. When a plane is shot down, it lingers in the air for a few seconds and loses control, bursting into flames, and explodes. It's a brilliant display of great graphics. But the graphics for tanks and boats, which just serve as objectives, are not as good. It always looks as if you're looking at them through a thick fog, no matter how close you are.

Translation errors are common, and sometimes figures of speech are misused. And sometimes common sense is  (very) lacked. Like when, after downing dozens of enemy fighters in a mission, your commander says “I fear this war may reach our borders”. But it's not that bad. It doesn't take too much away from the gameplay.

Score: 8.5

Heroes in the Sky has good, fluid gameplay, and a very good variety of airplanes and upgrades. But after a while, the gameplay is largely the same. Kill this, defend that, go here, go there. It's got good game mechanics, but they do get old. Adding more creative, interesting game modes would make the game a lot better. And it would also be nice to let newbies help some way in the Occupational War, because that message that you get saying that you're twenty-some levels too low is really discouraging. It's a long way up to level thirty. Especially since every time you enter a PvP battle, you're sniped from across from the map.