First Eagles: The Great Air War 1918 - PC

Release Date:

01 November 2006


First Eagles: The Great Air War 1918 covers aerial combat during the closing stages of the Great War. The game offers players the opportunity to pilot three of the greatest fighters that took to the air during that conflict, including varieties of the SPAD XIII, the S.E.5a and the Fokker DVII. Combat takes place above the complex network of trenches and surrounding countryside of Verdun and players have the opportunity to manage and lead a squadron belonging to either the US Air Service, the Royal Air Force, French Military Aviation, or the Imperial German Air Service.

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by Slitherine
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Lowly Worm

PC Games


Taking off on a circa 1918 aircraft sounds nice on paper. First Eagles: The Great Air War 1918 is set in, obviously, 1918, the World War I era that shaped Europe.

All combats take place in the air using contemporary aircraft complete with propellers. These dog fights and such are fought over vistas of trenches and the countryside. The gamer has the choice of being a squadron leader of the French Military Aviation, Imperial German Air Service, the Royal Air Force or the US Air Service.

Now, this all sounds good, but then there is the installation problem. After the file is downloaded, wherein it automatically gets stored in the hard disk, there is no need to reinstall anything should there be a problem. Once the setup is done and over with, surprise, surprise it takes up 500MB of disk space.

Once the game is set to run, there is a need to study the manual composed of 23 pages. This manual outlines the features and the basics of aerial combat and controls. There is no option for a hands-on tutorial but as the flying is fairly simple, it is not all that difficult. There is also the option to adjust the level of difficulty.

The graphics are okay too. There are some options which can adjust the resolutions and configurations to accommodate the different types of monitors. There is even an option to customize the details and textures of the graphics. For the control surfaces, they are fine too and the cockpits in the planes are well drawn and detailed to be highly satisfactory. A bonus is that the controls do function as they should, so no problems there. The sound effects are basic and do provide the engine stutters and growls to be expected from the propeller driven planes.

As for the interface, they are fairly simple and straightforward. There are three modes in the single mission games, and there is the multiplayer mode. All the gamer has to do is make a choice on which option or mode they want to play with and they are immediately placed in that mode. As for the pilot, well, they have their own specific profiles so they can be referred to by the gamer if they want to. The gameplay is fair as well and can be unique at times.

A word of warning though: the gamers have to connect to an IP address to play this game for this does not support the multiplayer connection to a dedicated server. Most of the players of First Eagles: The Great Air War 1918 use HyperLobby to meet and arrange for a potential dogfight.

In the end, First Eagles The Great Air War 1918 has helped many sim flight fans for there is a lack of this genre being released today. The production is well done and it is fun and challenging. I must admit that the game is pretty basic and can be limiting, but this does not in any way divert from the fact that this can be an exciting game.

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