The Blue Angels are the United States Navy’s flight demonstration squadron, and formed way back in 1946. Making them the second oldest in history. Quite the accolade, and it’s only now that we get a Simulation game developed by Rortos based on the aerobatic displays of the Blue Angels. In all fairness, Flight sims are a niche genre, with a few titles of said genre making it to consoles, and with Blue Angels you can now replicate all their maneuvres across different locations. What you waiting for?
One point to make, is that Blue Angels is full of various aerobatic maneuvres and these are all entirely accurate. A lot of work has been put into getting these right, and not only that, you are able to take part in an air show at the end of each of the 5 stages. Albeit in a basic way. There’s no fanfare, adoring fans to cheer you. Just complete the aerial trick and move onto the next one all the way through the game. This is all that really happens along the way, with some free flight missions placed in for good measure.
Visually, the textures for the ground are flat and smeared with just a small selection of 3D buildings dotted around the maps, making the game look rushed out of the door. I’m not expecting Triple A quality in any Indie game, although a bit of polish would have been welcomed. The various jets look good enough, and close to the real thing, although when taking off at the same time, you will most certainly notice the static wheels of the landing gear, which given the current generation of console we’re on, you’d expect something like that to be a thing of the past.
When selecting a stage, you’re presented with a choice of three different difficulties; ranging from the auto-pilot assisted Easy, to the fully involved Simulation which requires you to be on full alert from beginning to end during the stage, and one wrong move will quickly see you off track and failing the challenge to get all three stars. It’s far harder than it sounds.
While Blue Angels doesn’t offer much in the way of variety, it does provide a decent challenge if you play above easy, and is a good time killer. You’d have to be interested in the genre in all honesty, if you were to purchase it, and given how the genre doesn’t make an appearance all that often, it may be worth considering if you’d like to add it to your collection.
One issue that I had was that there wasn’t a quick explanation of controls when I first started playing, and ended up jumping into the menus to find out what I was supposed to be doing. Not a hard control layout to memorize, and quite responsive truth be told. Although pushing up should make you dip the nose of your jet as in all other flight games, here in Blue Angels it does the exact opposite, and therefore took me a while to get to grips with it. Needless to say, I made a few mistakes.
If I’m entirely honest, it’s not an in depth game by any stretch of the imagination, and could have benefited from some more development time to flesh it out a bit more. The mechanics are satisfactory, and respond well enough, but when the rest of the game fails to meet any expectations then it may well end up being left by the way side in favour of other games on your wish list. Who knows, it may end up with some kind of cult following. I’ve played worse games, that’s for sure, and those stinkers barely functioned as a game. Blue Angels does at least stay true to the real life counterpart, and includes some information screens at the start menu if this floats your boat.
Overall, Blue Angels needs some more work on it. Most notably the textures on the ground, and making it all feel a fleshed out experience. A lack of crowd that you’d expect at a show like this gives a feeling of emptiness, and while the focus is on the flight aspect, it would have been nice to have something like that make you feel a part of the show.
Overall Score 5/10
Release Date: 1st December 2017
File Size: 959MB
Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Steam, Android & iOS
Xbox One copy provided for review purposes.