" Multiplayer ultralight games kick much ass. "
Title: Behind Enemy Lines by Abacus
Format: PC Flight Sim
Reviewing Monkey: Cornelius
The Hype: A stolen Bf-109, 200 rounds of ammo, Hitler’s secret European defense plan tucked in you flight suit, and you just drank the last of your whiskey rations…and you thought working for a living was hard. 30 new missions for Microsoft’s Combat Flight Simulator (CFS) on both the allied and axis sides. Oh and by the way, you get to fly an ultralight through cities with the Spitfire’s weapon profile.
What This Monkey Thought...
Graphics: If you’re looking for new aircraft, (that is what Abacus add-ons are normally about) you will find only 2 here. The Schwietzer sailplane, and the ultralight. This add-on is not about more aircraft, rather focusing on story lines and interesting mission objectives. However, that is not to say that Abacus has not added new scenery. North Africa, Italy, and some detailed cities have been added. Honestly, I was hoping for a little more than I got graphically. 2.5 out of 5
Sound: A very cool feature Abacus has decided to add to BEL is allied agents guiding you through enemy territory over the radio. It gives the missions that have it a James Bond like feel to the game. Now you too can be the allies top secret agent on daring raids deep into German territory, raising hell and violating beautiful fraulines along the way. Okay, so you won’t get to play with any buxom German waitresses or ravish grateful, young, nubile French resistance fighters, but maybe you can get your girlfriend to pretend… To test how well the voices guide you around in foreign territory I decided to go way out of my way to get lost. To their credit, Abacus did a great job with the guidance, and the allied agent will usually get you back on track. Other than that we are stuck with the normal CFS sounds, not that they are bad. 4 out of 5
Game Play: I was so hoping this was going to be like a spy movie. Of course it is only CFS so the story line can’t go too deep. How would all of us flight sim geeks handle it if there were an actual plot. Even just a little story to read between missions would have at least sucked me into the game. But just like original CFS you fly a bunch of seemingly unrelated missions, and it makes no difference if you succeed of fail. The other problem is half the missions aren’t at all behind enemy lines. They are just normal everyday missions you can do in CFS; protect the harbor, escort the fighter-bombers, etc. One really neato feature Abacus designed is the ultra light and the glider. Flying through cities in the ultralight and landing in the streets is very cool. As is gliding in from afar to slip silently past the enemy. A very cool take on the whole CFS concept, but you only get to do it a couple of times out of the 30 missions. On an interesting side note the ultralight has the same weapons profile as the Spitfire. Multiplayer ultralight games kick much ass. 2 out of 5
Level and Environment Designs: Standard CFS environments even though Abacus has added some detailed cities and new areas in which to fly. And this just in from the famous Game Monkey’s Box O’ Bugs, there are spots in Europe where it may look like just another farm, but really houses Wonder Woman’s invisible fortress and invisible hangar for her invisible jet. In other words, you will be flying along at low level and suddenly explode into warm meaty bits. Abacus warns you of this and suggests "you remember where it was you ran into it and then avoid that area". How about just fixing it guys? Of course if you run into her house enough times maybe Wonder Woman will feel sorry for you, ask you in for a glass of milk, and then use her magic lasso to make you tell her the truth. I don’t know, the whole thing sounds too kinky for CFS. 2 out of 5
Multiplayer: The advent of the ultralight should add a little more life to multiplayer for a while, then you will go back to the P-51, damn automatons. 2.5 out of 5
Replayability: Once you’ve beat the missions there isn’t much left here, no new planes to screw around with. Kind of kills their chances here. 1.5 out of 5
Story/Dramatics: I already told you: it had ample opportunity to kick butt, but never followed through. Too bad, it could have made this game. To Abacus’ credit they are significantly better than the original CFS, just wish they would have gone the extra mile. 3 out of 5
Instructions and Learning Curve: Do I even need to rate this? It’s CFS you dolt!
Installation and Real System Requirements: If you’re currently running CFS you’ll have no problem here.
A decent add-on to CFS, worth having, especially if you don’t do a lot of multiplayer. Some of the new missions are really very exciting, the game is just lacking a story line to hold it together.
The Good: The ultralight with eight .303’s and flying through cities to capture mission objectives.
The Bad: No solid story to gel the missions. Left with the feeling of "Why the hell did I just do that?"
The Overall Ugly: Had all the opportunity in the world to excel and settled for average.
What it's Worth: You won’t be disappointed if you spent $10.