How many flying games are you willing to dish out money for? SGN, the makers of F.A.S.T., are hoping that you’re not willing to commit a cent. First F.A.S.T. went free, and now their latest game, Skies of Glory, has followed suit. But there’s a big difference between these two games beyond the modern-day and WWII settings.
F.A.S.T. originally came at a cost, so there is more readily available content, whereas Skies was designed to be a free game with additional paid content from the onset. When you download Skies for free, you’re getting little more than a teaser, as the rest of the game only becomes available through paid expansions.
Tactical bridge destruction.
We’re not talking about additional planes, which can be purchased for the oddly high price of a couple of dollars each. You only get one mission, a handful of dogfights, and a limited amount of online multiplayer for that free admission. For $4.99, you can buy 10 additional missions. You can churn out more dough for more dogfights than you’ll ever care to play, and unlocking unlimited multiplayer will also cost you. Throw in the aforementioned planes and you could easily spend $30 for what was originally a free game, making it one of the costliest games for the platform.
So, let’s just forget that this is a free game and assume that you’re willing to pay SGN more for the full experience. Padding their pocketbooks is ultimately worthwhile if you dig the whole WWII scene, because Skies of Glory knocks it right out of the park.
A silky smooth frame rate (even on a 3G iPhone), some gorgeous environmental texturing, a variety of weather effects (rain, fog, snow, and the like), multiple camera angles, and planes exploding to bits are all amazingly rendered. Tilt controls, aided by a few manual controls to tweak your left and right movement, make dogfighting easier than you’d expect, and having two types of weaponry at your disposal adds some tactical gameplay to the mix.
You’ll need a government bailout if you buy everything available in this game.
The missions are lengthy, given the game’s portable nature, with plenty of exploration and story to move things along and keep you from getting bored. It’s so good that you might be upset when that first mission is over and you’ve got no single-player campaign to play. It’s just substantial enough to make you want to fork over a few dollars to make it last longer.
The dogfights lack the sophistication of the missions, though, so you’re much better off jumping into online matches. These load quickly, face you off against a number of real-life opponents, and are immensely enjoyable, even if there are not a lot of options. You’re probably going to find yourself forking over more money for this expansion, as well.
Even if you feel that the free game is little more than a lite version in disguise, we cannot deny that this is among the best pay-as-you-play games to be released yet. The hook sets in early, and we foresee a long life for the game, should SGN continue to release more missions and upgrades.
As it stands, the overall price you’ll pay to play what we consider to be the full experience is too high when compared to similar games, so that keeps Skies of Glory from earning our highest marks. Aviation fans are sure to be pleased with this finely crafted piece of software, if you’re willing to make the investment.