Before I get into the review, Damage Inc. Pacific Squadron is meant to be the ultimate experience in flight combat simulation. It includes a story that is highly historically accurate from Pearl Harbor to Iwo Jima. You get 30 aircraft from the era and 20 mission in Single Player that span out to about 12 hours of gameplay. Add support for a Flight Stick, Multiplayer and Co-op and you’ve got plenty to keep you busy.
For once my review shall be written without finishing the game, currently I am at the half way point, with good reason. More on that later. Let’s start positive, we have beautiful scenery, incredible graphics with a very high attention to detail from the water, environment, planes, ships, and more. The story is well written and encourages you to keep playing. Voice acting was on par and sound FX along with the soundtrack were spot on.
Gameplay is fun and slightly addicting. Controls in arcade mode are easy to pick up and the game does guide you through some of the basics. It’s really what you’d expect from a gamepad. I preferred the external view, although you have a few other options such as cockpit view or nose. Missions are mostly straightforward, but can be very challenging-especially for those of us who don’t play many flight games.
Overall it sounds like a pretty good game, right? Unfortunately not, the game is riddled with bugs from the crazy slightly inconvenient to the game ending bugs. Yep, you guessed it! About half way through I found a game ending bug that I could not find any way around. At the end of our first dive bombing mission, we return to our strike group and must pick off the last few Japanese fighters. They actually ended up blowing up on their own, leaving me with an incomplete objective. The game simple didn’t register their demise and was expecting me to shoot them down, but they weren’t there. Other bugs involved clipping where I flew through objects, even water and once through my aircraft carrier! On other occasions the mission would start but my plane was not visible nor moving, yet the mission sounded as if it were proceeding.
I had hopes this would be a solid and fun game, but the bugs are killing it. With bugs this game can only be rated a 4/10. If these bugs can be fixed, perhaps it could be worthy of a 8/10 score. Sad, yes, I was really starting to enjoy this game. As it sits, I suggest waiting for it to hit the $10 rack.