Cons: Dogfighting can get a little repetive, but this is minor.
The Bottom Line: For fans of flying, action and dog fighting, this is the best game available hands-down.
Introduction Im a big fan of the original Crimson Skies for Windows. I was very enthusiastic about this game since I love the franchise. Theres something about the smarmy Indiana Jones style of action, story and dialog. I picked up Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge and I was not disappointed.
Single Player The campaign in Crimson Skies (CS:HRtR) puts you in the shoes of Nathan Zachary yet again. It is obvious from the first cut scene that Nathan is a ladies man and a daring sky pirate with a love of women, money and his own possessions. The cut scenes are dramatic and very effectively done. Being pre-rendered, they do not suffer from quality issues like those scenes done in-engine. Instead, the characters have wonderful facial expressions and the voice-acting is top notch.
The campaign is somewhat diverse and not entirely linear. Similar to the Grand Theft Auto series, you can take different missions for money from different people in each environment. Some of these are races, some are rescue, some are defend. Most involve dog fighting of some kind. In a few situations, you can man a turret. Once you complete certain missions that progress the story, you are taken to a different environment with different missions. While not entirely linear, the game does gently push you along to complete the story. The story is entertaining and worth the price of the game alone.
As you continue along you unlock new planes. As you gain medals, you can upgrade those planes to make them faster and more powerful. Multiplayer While the single player campaign is one of the better campaigns Ive seen in games, the title really shines in Multiplayer mode. Supporting 16 players over Live, this title really takes the service to the limits and delivers all the way. There is not much lag especially given how precise some of the firing needs to be. This is not a sim game, so the action is swift and vibrant. This is dog fighting at its best.
There are several different types of games including dog fighting, CTF and others. Plus, Microsoft has released 2 free downloadable content modules which add 2 new game types, new planes, and new maps. I love seeing this type of support from the developers. Obviously they have faith in the game and since it is a free download, Microsoft doesnt make any money. They are simply supporting a game they know is excellent. Conclusion If you are a fan of Crimson Skies or dog fighting games in general, you need to get this. The diversity of game types, maps, and planes will keep you playing all night. And with new planes, maps and game types for free download over Live, youll be playing into the wee hours of the morning too.
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About the reviewer
Jeffrey Kafer (jkafer)
Voice over artist specializing in audiobook narration. Hear more at http://audiobook-voice-over.com/ and http://JeffreyKafer.com
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Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge combines the thrills of low to the ground air combat with the swashbuckling style of an action-adventure movie. Players pilot powerful fantasy aircraft in a game reminiscent of a classic Hollywood tale, as they battle enemy aces and navigate tricky stunts in single and multiplayer modes. As the handsome and daring air pirate Nathan Zachary, players barnstorm through 1930s America hunting down the murderers of Nathan's best friend.