Aces of the Luftwaffe: Squadron (PlayStation 4) Second Opinion Review

By Colin Beauchamp 22.12.2018

Review for Aces of the Luftwaffe: Squadron on PlayStation 4

The successor to HandyGames' Aces of the Luftwaffe, Aces of the Luftwaffe: Squadron is another take on the shoot 'em up genre. It takes place in the middle of a war against Germany, as protagonist Mark Taylor has to pilot an aircraft to take down enemies alongside his three allies. This type of game can make way for some rewarding gameplay, but there's such an abundance in similar titles, that it can be tough to stand out. Is Aces of the Luftwaffe: Squadron worthy of a look, or is nothing lost by skipping it?

One element of Aces of the Luftwaffe: Squadron that stands out right from the start, is its surprising amount of focus put into telling a story. Each level has at least one cut-scene (often times more), and all dialogue is fully voice-acted, which gives a bit more personality to the characters. This isn't to say the plot is spectacular by any means (it's not),but it does help prevent the narrative from feeling sterile or shoehorned in. To be fair, this isn't the type of title you pick up for its story, but these cut-scenes are brief enough to avoid being obtrusive, and they're all skippable, anyway, so in the end, it's something that does benefit the experience in this case.

Gameplay is standard shoot 'em up fare, for the most part. The screen scrolls vertically as you shoot bullets to take down enemy ships, while collecting power-ups for a deadlier arsenal,as you weave in and out of foes' projectiles. Three allies surround your ship, also shooting at enemies,unless they run out of health, in which case some time will pass before they'll return to the fray. Sometimes anally may undergo a detrimental effect during a mission, such as going berserk with anger, which usually changes how you have to play to some degree. The justification for this can sometimes be questionable,to the point where even the characters point fun at it (like when one character falls asleep in the middle of battle and won't assist you for portions of the level), but it is a nice way of spicing things up

Screenshot for Aces of the Luftwaffe: Squadron on PlayStation 4

Although the challenge may be lower than what's present in most bullet hell games, Aces of the Luftwaffe: Squadron still has a solid difficulty curve, helped by having two options from the start (Normal and Hard), with an additional unlockable setting to make things even tougher as well. It gets noticeably tricky later on into the campaign (even on Normal), always making victories feel well earned, and there's even a secondary task in each stage if you want to go the extra mile. As a whole, the gameplay may not add much to the table when compared to other entries in the genre, but it doesn't necessarily need to do so to be entertaining.

One intriguing aspect are some of the extra systems it integrates into its progression. While most shooters would be satisfied with handing the player a set of base mechanics with the expectation of mastering them, Aces of the Luftwaffe: Squadron goes a bit further, and incorporates elements such as skill trees for each character, as well as a leveling system. These may initially seem like superfluous additions, but they actually have some genuine benefits, offering player some helpful abilities that, while nice, are still ignorable if you just want to go from one stage to the next.

Applause is deserved for how complete the experience feels. The campaign isn't long by any means (which is understandable when these types of games are generally short anyway), but it's fulfilling nonetheless, and it even has a co-op mode. The amount of variety in the optional objectives (even in main levels sometimes) is appreciated, the bosses are all unique, and the way the narrative is handled makes it a well rounded package overall. Admittedly, not an innovative one, but it is enjoyable enough to be ultimately satisfying

Screenshot for Aces of the Luftwaffe: Squadron on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Aces of the Luftwaffe: Squadron is a shoot 'em up that does many things right.Its difficulty curve is balanced;it has enough mechanics and systems to be interesting without becoming bloated;and, finally, a healthy amount of charm as well. It may not particularly excel above other games of its kind, but it's still worth checking out if a fan of the genre.

Developer

HandyGames

Publisher

HandyGames

Genre

Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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