When I first saw Flying Tigers: Shadows Over China being released on Steam/PC last year, it looked to be a fun and historic game based off the true story of a secret band of pilots battling in the fight between Japan and China. Turns out it is, as anyone who is looking for some high-flying, dogfight action will want to take to the skies with these fighters.
Based on true events dealing with America’s secret volunteer pilots that defended China against Japan during World War II, you’re able to select fighter planes from the American Volunteer Group (AVG), the Royal Air Force, and the US Air Force. No matter which plane you select, the controls are pretty good and responsive which helps ease anyone into the cockpit and get to flying and fighting quickly. There are plenty of missions to choose from and keep you busy in the campaign mode, from dogfighting in the skies, to bombing runs and transport missions. Between the missions, you’re also treated to some pretty neat bits of information on how the mission you just accomplished was based off one of the Flying Tigers real life missions and the part it played during the war. After seeing some of these, it made me wish there were more of them and that they were longer, as I love learning about historic moments during conflicts such as these.
There’s also some other modes to try out such as Dog Fighting mode where you choose your fighter, the time of day, map, number of enemies, and such as you take to the skies and shoot down all of the enemy planes. Now that I think about it, this also makes for a pretty good and fun practice mode of sorts for those just jumping into the game. Survival mode is just that, you doing your best to survive against enemies that just keep coming wave after wave. Challenge mode is certainly that, as you’re forced to do various objectives in order to proceed, such as completing a task within a certain time limit, etc. As the name suggests, some of these objectives can pose quite a challenge, but at least they’re fair for the most part. Flying buffs will love the Free Flight mode, as you’re free to pick and choose whatever you want and just fly around. Lastly there’s Multiplayer mode, where you get to fight it out against other players online in various modes.
The graphics sounds aren’t the best, but they’re serviceable. The planes look pretty great, but everything else is just enough to get by. There’s also some pretty bad/stale voice acting going on here, and it’s bound to get on some player’s nerves as you’re duking it and have to suffer through stoic radio chatter, but I just took it in stride as I played. The sound effects and music are good enough to keep you engaged in the action, but it was kind of odd to hear rock music in a World War II-era game. Even still, if you’re a virtual ace pilot looking to get your flying fix, you’ll want to pick up your controller (and landing gear) and soar with Flying Tigers: Shadows Over China.