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PC Reviews: Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 3: Battle for Europe


Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 3: Battle for Europe Screenshots

The Final Say!


Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 3: Battle for Europe - reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: 12 December 2002
Review Score: 8.5/10
Distributed by Microsoft 

When it comes to realism, the Microsoft family of flight simulators cannot be beaten. Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 3: Battle of Europe is the latest instalment in the family of combat flight games and is set in World War II. 

Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 3: Battle for Europe Features

  • Pilot 18 authentic WWII aircraft, including the earliest combat jets
  • Man the bombardier or gunner position
  • Experience stunningly accurate 3D cockpit detail
  • Battle in thrilling multiplayer missions
  • Brand new Graphics Engine that include highly detailed ground attack targets, European scenery and enhanced weather effects


The game begins in 1943 with the player taking on the role as squadron leader for either the Americans, British or Germans. Before engaging in the mission, the player has a choice of just about all the aircrafts available in the game that include the powerful Spitfire LF IXc or the deadly German Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6. As you progress throughout the game, other aircrafts are soon available to you such as the P-80A Shooting Star Jet or the De Havilland Vampire F.1 jet. These aircrafts would become the predecessors of the modern jet plane and if developed earlier in the European conflict would have changed the tides of war.

The main method of gameplay in Combat Flight Simulator 3 is the campaign mode that lets players choose between the allies or the axis. There are a wide variety of objectives in the mission that include attacking weapon factories, bridges or even airports. Sometimes you must escort a squadron of aircrafts over enemy territory in order to complete the missions objectives and you must dogfight any aircrafts which is simply exhilarating. The controls of aircrafts are extremely similar to the previous games in the series and I would highly recommend that gamers purchase a SideWinder in order to feel the true power behind this game. Although the game can be played with the mouse/keyboard combination, it's just not as fun as with the SideWinder. Unlike other flight sims, gamers also have the chance to play as the gunner of the aircraft and the programs A.I. takes over as pilot while you are left to defend your brothers in arms. 

The main objective of the game is to push your troops over the front line in order to gain as much territory as possible in order to win the campaign. Combat Flight Simulator 3 also supports a variety of solo missions and even a few historical accurate missions.

You must commend the developers of Combat Flight Simulator 3 because of the attention to detail and the amount of realism throughout the game such as the accurate interpretation of missions, cockpits and the overall feel of the World War II aircrafts. As squadron leader you also have the choice of manoeuvring your aircrafts and telling them to either attack of defend a set target that really helps in some tricky situations. 

Graphically as with most Microsoft Flight Simulators, the backgrounds look a little flat but fortunately they have managed to successfully recreate the world of war torn Europe. The planes themselves are the most impressive feature of the game and feature a high amount of polygons with some realistic texture details to make them one of the most realistic computer generated aircrafts around. The cockpits have all been rendered in 3D and every instrument is actually working in the game, although I still haven't managed to work out what everything does. Although the backgrounds are a little flat in some places, the game excels in the amazing weather effects and the glorious explosions of enemy aircrafts that is extremely realistic. The planes plummet to earth with bits of metal flying from them as plumes of smoke leak out from the engines when you have destroyed an enemy craft. 

Combat Flight Simulator 3 also has one of the most realistic rolling cloudeffects to ever grace the world of PC gaming and is pure eye candy. Just imageflying through real clouds whenever you go on a flight. When flying close to the ground, there is a very high amount of objects on the ground such as trees, buildings and terrain that help add to the realism of the game. 

The sound effects of Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 3 have managed to capture the feel of World War II fighters and everything has this 1940's style of sound to them, although its hard to pinpoint, the roar of the engines or the dropping of bombs, everything comes together perfectly. Notto mention the noises of bullets penetrating your aircrafts body as you areattacked by enemy planes.

Minimum Requirements

- Windows 98/Me/2000/XP
- 128MB RAM
- 400 Processor or higher
- 900MB Hard Drive

- 16MB/3D Video Card
- Online Multiplayer requirements (56.6K
  modem or higher) or LAN

In conclusion, Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 3: Battle for Europe is a must have for all flight enthusiasts and would make the ideal present for dad's forChristmas. Great graphics, gameplay and sound is the perfect game for the long hot months of summer. Check it out!

- Andrew B

Copyright 2002 www.impulsegamer.com