It only makes sense, World War II replayed at home on the video game console. It provides today's savvy game players the perfect blend of violence, action and history. For you slackers who slept through history class in high school, these games allow you to learn about and to some degree experience the events of WWII, and Secret Weapons Over Normandy (SWON) is no exception."
God Mode Enter Up, Down, Left, Right, Left, Left, Right, Right, L, L, R, R, White, Black at the New Game/Continue screen. All Planes and Levels Unlocked Enter Y, Y, Y, X, X, X, L, R, Black, Black, White, White at the New Game/Continue screen.
Overall User Average: 8.75 / 10 (84.8%)
Gameplay User Average: 8.50 / 10
Graphics User Average: 7.25 / 10
Sound User Average: 8.75 / 10JediMasterChief
Date reviewed: August 9, 2005.
Overall: Secret Weapons Over Normandy puts you in the center of WWII flight action. Assuming the role of a fighter pilot, you battle your way through missions spanning across the globe. This game is the sequel to a previous game titled ?Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe?, which I myself haven?t ever played. The overall game structure is quite simple, though is also highly detailed. The historical aspect of the game is worth it?s money - the developers have sure done their research. The game is not a ?must-get?, but is certainly worth a play. Gameplay: You follow through the game by completing all kinds of missions at different stages during WWII and at different locations too. Most missions are composed of dogfights in the air. Some missions also have parts where you control ground artillery. The game flows well. It?s generally easy, but can also be frustrating at times. In addition, the game also provides some multiplayer stuff too. The controls are also straightforward to use and no complications were experienced. Graphics: The visuals in the game are good, but not astounding. The airplanes are well designed. Same goes for the environments. It?s merely a shame there wasn?t more ?life? in the visuals. For instance, when bombing a certain town in the game, all you could really see was vehicles or tanks. What I mean to say is, there were no people. Normally, there would be people - civilians, soldiers, etc. - running around. Graphically, the game is well done, but could have been more realistic. Sound: The sound in Secret Weapons Over Normandy is superior. The sound effects, music, and voices are what really bring the game to life. It really evokes that WWII feeling: the guns blazing, the triumphant-style music, and all the voices heard during gameplay. A job well done by the sound people. Suggestions: I would suggest adding some more ?life? into the visuals - more details, more debris, shrapnel, and all that kind of stuff. Some new gameplay modes would be good too, but it?s really difficult to come up with new stuff for this type of game style.
Overall: This is a great game. Usually I don't like games that take place in the passt. I like a game with futuristic weapons, bigger, better, and faster! The exception to this rule is with airplane games. Somehow when you are piloting an F-16, it just doesn't have that same feel. The planes today are just to good to make for an effective dogfight. And that's what this game is...dogfighting. Lots of it, and done well. It also is a history teacher, I swear I learned more about WWII from this game than I ever did in High School! Gameplay: In this game you will dogfight. That's the game in a nutshell. It can be a little repetitive, but the gameplay is good. Each level is start, kill the Germans, or the Japanese, and win. I liked it though. You start with a basic plane, and through your success you get new planes, and new upgrades for your planes. At the end you get two very SPECIAL planes to work with!
The only had 2 problems with this game. 1) the targeting system. If a plane comes up behind you and starts to shoot you, you can't target it. Because you can't target it you can't see where it is. The only way to target this plane is to get it in your sights for a second. It's not too bad if the enemy pilot cooperates, but there are times where you know that there is a plane our there, but you just can't lock on to it! You just keep flying in circles. It can be a little infuriating. 2) I had to make the controls the simple style. Hold left to go left. I want left to tilt my wings left, and up to go up relative to my plane. In order to do this though you'll need the second joystick to fine tune your aim. The problem with this is that you need a button to fire your non-machine gun weapon. It makes it impossible. I was stuck with the crappy simple way to control the plane. Because of this a simple barrelroll was beyond me.
One wonderful thing that this game did was just before a 'stall' your joystick would vibrate. This made it really easy to up the throttle just before you stall. It really added to the realism of the game. It felt a little bit like you were actually in the plane.
All in all a fantastic game with awesome replayability.
Graphics: The graphics were good. I'll tell you even the missles were rendered nicely! I had this one moment in the game where an enemy missle fly right past my cockpit window! It was AWESOME! Made my heart skip a beat and everything.
For the most part though the things that you are shooting at are in the distance. Not a huge burden for the graphics. Sound: Picture this.... You're flying along minding your own business, when, totally unprovoked, a German gets a bead on you and riddles your plane full of bullets! You hear the bullets, and most importantly you hear their impact in your plane! Right down to the sound of your windshield shattering! Cool!
All of the planes even sound different. And they sound different according to their throttle level as well. Suggestions: My only problem with the game was after a mission you don't have the ability to go back and play it again. I wanted to replay some of the missions to better my score, or just because they were fun. Also the 2 SPECIAL planes at the end. Put them in my hanger so that I can go back and play the campaign with them at my disposal. THAT WOULD BE TRULY AWESOME!
Overall: Just a great fun game. From the moment I slapped it in, to the moment I stopped playin, I realized this is a sweet kickass game. The story comes along great with pretty good cutscenes, overall I would reccomend this game to any WW2 fanatic, like myself. Definate buy! Gameplay: The gameplay is easy to play. You can just jump right in and start playing or you can try some tutorial shtuff. The chalenges are fun and entertaining and give you a good break from the game. The gameplay alone is pretty fun and is addictive, its easy but at times gives you the challenge you want. This is the best plane game I have ever boughten, and I am glad I did. Go out and pick up this game, YOU! will not regret it. Graphics: The graphics arent something to rant or brag about, but there not bad. There good enough to keep you in the game and great for the cutscenes. After all, its not the graphics that are meant to keep you into this game, its the gameplay. Sound: The sound is really nice. I put it through surround sound and it was amazing, one of the best sounds and they actually recorded each planes individual sound, you can see them in some bonus movies you get. Overall the sound fits perfectly in with the gameplay and its something you will like, and gets better, I love hearing planes eeeeeeeeeeeeeer noises and bullets zingin by my face, just awesome. Chh Chh Chh. Suggestions: LIVE!!!! LIVE!!! Take advantage of LIVE!! this game would be the absolute best if it was live enabled, although i am looking forward to downloading content. Oh and make it so I can be not just the allies, but the axis aswell, that would be swell. Like a successful Battle of Britain, I donno I just hate always bein the good guys.
Overall: Poor Secret Weapons over Normandy. It has to be released against the heavyweight flyer Crimson Skies. Also, chances are good, when it comes to the console game flying gamers will choose, 49 out of 50 will probably try Crimson first. That?s not saying SWON is a game not worthy of the attention, it?s just not as spectacular as CS. Enough comparing this game to Crimson, I?ve decided to write the review from a non ?CS vs. SWON? point of view. To start it off, SWON takes place in the 1940s (hence the title, with Normandy being one the location of one of WWII?s biggest battles). The main character has a name, but all the pilots call him Chase. As Chase, you have to shoot or bomb all your competitors until none are left. Sound easy? It is. As said in EGM, ?if you stuck wings on all the good and bad guys in Medal of Honor, took away the stealthy and difficult bits, you?d have SWON?. Gameplay: There are basically 3 things you (the player) will have to do in Secret Weapons. One, use your airplanes machineguns and blast the heck out of the competition. Two, use your planes bombs and blast enemy ground troops. And three, man a stationary gun and blast the heck out of enemy planes. Controls won?t take too long to get used to, and even though it sounds tough, landing your plane on the ground to reload is easy, even if you?re under heavy fire. Another thing that EGM said that I?d like to quote is ?the only difficulty SWON has to offer is not in the skills of enemy pilots, but in the sheer number of them?. That?s right, half the time in SWON, you and your few co-pilots will be outnumbered at least 10 to 1. Other than that, SWON is pretty fun to play, but not really a great game to play. Graphics: Secret Weapons looks good, but I can?t help but feel that all the planes have a kind of ?model-planish? quality to them. Whether it be that all the model planes you see look like the ones in SWON, or the planes in this game just have a ?fresh coat of paint? gleam to them, I don?t know. Also, the environs aren?t too much to be proud of, since most of them are rolling hills, dense forests (with trees that you can some how fly through), or dull bodies of water. Sound: At first, the character voices in SWON really bugged me. Chase has a real ?Texas cowboy? quality to him, and all the Brits have English accents and all the Germans have German accents. However, once I got used to each characters unique voice, it didn?t bother me too much. In fact, I even watched a few of the introductions to each mission after I got over how annoying Chase?s voice can be. Bombs can be really annoying, each having a very high pitched ?WHIIIIRrrrrr? to them. Guns also don?t go any farther than the simple ?rat-a-tat-a-tat?. The soundtrack is the big (and almost only) plus SWON has in the sound department. Each level has almost Indiana Jones quality music (coincidentally, LucasArts makes those games too). Suggestions: LucasArts, if you can make the excellent Star Wars shooters, why didn?t you take more from those games and put it into SWON? Other than that, SWON screams for an XBL mode, along with cooler planes and more variety in the environs.
New Content For SWON
The second Secret Weapons Over Normandy Xbox Live content package has been released according to word from LucasArts. Star Wars Secret in SWoN
You can play as an X-Wing or a Tie Fighter in Lucas Arts Secret Weapons Over Normandy. Screenshots available! Secret Weapons Over Normandy Goes Gold
Achtung! LucasArts is excited to announce that the revolutionary new flight-action combat game, Secret Weapons Over Normandy has officially GONE GOLD on PS2, Xbox and PC and is scheduled to land in store shelves on Tuesday, November 18, 2003. Secret Weapons Over Normandy Site
Lucasarts has launched their official Secret Weapons Over Normandy web site! Check it out!