I will be up front. I only rented this game because the first game was easy to get achievements on (by the way the first game was horrible and had a glitch that prevented you from completing the entire final mission). I downloaded the demo of this game before it launched and was surprised with the updated graphics, a cool weapon upgrade system, and better gameplay. So I had higher hopes for the game. The gameplay is awesome, the game plays smooth, chaos rocks the battlefield, and there is always something to shoot at. That is the only highlight of the gameplay. The story line is horrible. Giant air balloons that take an entire squadron and all their missiles to take it down? Do you remember the Hindenburg? I don't but I watched a mythbusters episode featuring a myth surrounding the explosion. The acting is horrendous. The guy who plays the captain on the "cut scenes" wears three stars (general rank) and four stripes (gunnery sergeant rank). He has long hair and doesn't convince anyone that he has anything to do with top secret military operations. It is almost like the developers said "You know, we should star in the games. Screw hiring real actors, I can act!" Almost as bad as the Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job. I think the same actors guild provided these actors. If you enjoy airplane games get Ace Combat. If you have to have a WWI/WWII era airplane game, go for the first Blazing Angels or play Ace Combat on a black and white TV with an RF connection. Online play is non existent. How am I supposed to spend 50 hours online when no one else plays this game online? Searched for a skirmish mode, no players. Totally dissatisfied with these achievement requirements. Total time to conquer the game: 5-6 hours. Total time to unlock offline achievements: 10-12 hours. Total satisfaction level on a scale of 1-3: 1
One of the better Flight Combat games for the 360, to a point.
I love the fact that there is a flying tutorial built into the first level. Then within a flashback, the fun begins, hard and heavy. Levels are of different length and difficulty. Some are straight forward shooting down all planes. Others are more interesting, such as getting a passenger to jump onto a moving train, or saving said passenger by getting them out of Paris while figuring out how to get them back onto your plane.
I also enjoy the fact that there are different things to do during levels. The point is always to shoot up stuff. But you can also find places to perform stunts for bonus points.
A major thing that most Flight Combat games don't get right is the bosses. Most simply have a hard mission or multiple targets. BA2 actually has bosses, big ones. An armored Zeppelin, a mega gun...to just name a few. You need to think to defeat them. I have to admit. I enjoyed taking on the Zeppelin, it's not just point and shoot. Everything needs to be taken into account, from where you are in the skies, to enemies coming up behind you while you make your runs. Your wingmen are very helpful in these situations.
There is somewhat of a story that goes along with the game, but nothing really to worry about. The comic book style stills inbetween missions is not all that impressive. And while they try to make you feel for these characters. Nothing really comes across.
I like the fact there is a checkpoint system, but not as many as you would hope. You will curse this fact during the Egypt level. You will. There is no checkpoint, save for one, that I remember until you reach the Zeppelin. The game can get repetitive quickly, so there is zero replay value, unless you go multiplayer. Once you reach the Egypt level and there on out, prepare to die over and over. Flying through the gorge was very infuriating for me.
On a final note, the game isn't as bad as some say, give it a chance.
The first Blazing Angels was a fun but very repetitive. The same seems to happen in BA2. When you begin playing BA2 you'll recognize that it feels completely like the first game. Controls, graphics and missions feel very familiar.
You will again upgrade your planes that you unlock through a "cash" system that you earn by collecting prestige in each mission. The more objectives you complete the more prestige you earn. You can also earn prestige by finding "stunt" icons throughout each level and flying through them at top speed (which can be a little tricky sometimes).
BA2 has online play this time around, but from what I tried it seemed very laggy and not the fun I expected. Oh how I wish for the day a Crimson Skies 2 would come out for online play!
If you liked the original Blazing Angles, then you should definitely rent BA2. If you weren't a fan of the original than stay way clear of this one.