grumbel's Battle Engine Aquila (Xbox) review

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  • grumbel has written a total of 86 reviews. The last one was for The Swapper

Fun for a while, but ultimativly pointless

The good thing about Aquila is that flying is as fun as ever. With the genre of flying games mostly gone, its good to see a game in that area and in large parts the game is enjoyable.

The switching between plane mode and mech mode works nicely and is a nice addition and the other gameplay is also not that bad, even so a little primitive, since the flight physics are far from realistic and collision detection is also rather primitive. A lot of buttons on the XBox controller also go unused, which is sad, since they would have given the freedom for additional plane functions and a bit more complexitiy.

What the game however misses most is story and balance. The few cutscenes to little to nothing to elevate the story over "random blue guys vs random red ones" and balance is virtually non-existant. By far most of the missions consist of protection of allied forces and they just die way to soon if you don't protect them very carefully. In practice this mostly means just randomly shooting at everything and remembering the timespots when a few bombers approach, leaving those throught basically means instant death, which can frustrate quite a bit. The crux is that there isn't a proper difficulty curve across the missions. Many missions can be easily finished on the first try and yet a few ones can take 30 tries or more, not because they are noticably harder, but simply because the troops you shall protect die for some reason why earlier then in other missions. One would expect tactic would play a role in the protection, but for most part you simply shoot at everything that moves rather randomly, which is disappointing. Ironically the last mission is among the easiest ones of the whole game. So those that expect some thinking in their flying will be disappointed. CrimsonSkies and especially Yager are far better in that area. What saves the game in the end are a few nice moments, the buildings with multiple destructable parts are pretty well done and being able to land on enemy vehicles or even attack them from the inside is pretty cool, but it happens for to seldomly and your own play has far to little real consequence in the game. In the end the game is fun, but it also feels pointless, you simply have to little influence of what happens in the game world, which is sad, considering that the game is full of units and stuff that actually scream for being commanded by you.
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