Occasionally here at Player2.net.au, we will play something that deserves your attention but probably doesn’t need a full review written for it. Be it DLC for the latest AAA title, a little indie game or even an Android/iOS title. We play these titles for a blockbusting amount of time (2 – 5 hours) and report back to you the reader on what we found. So grab your popcorn and settle in for the latest episode of Blockbuster Gaming.
Blockbuster Gaming – Eagle Flight
Ubisoft is a company that rarely shies from putting their trust in a new piece of technology, and if you thought that they were going to pass on the potential of VR then you have another thing coming. Kicking off Ubisoft’s tilt at the VR landscape is the gorgeous Eagle Flight, a flying sim that to the surprise of nobody who plays it, puts you in the wings of an Eagle as you soar through a post-apocalyptic Paris.
The game’s main menu has three options to choose from. There’s free flight, the best option if you want to immediately take to the streets of Paris that have now been reclaimed by nature, with your alternative options being Story Mode of a 3v3 competitive mode. Story mode doesn’t really have much of a story to tell, with a basic scaffold created to justify why you fly to certain key locations with Paris. While the difficulty spike is never extreme, the missions never get especially frustrating – the fault for failing in the mission completely rests at your feet, but rarely do drastic changes need to be made to correct your mistakes. Missions themselves are somewhat repetitive and not particularly innovative; you’ll be collecting feathers (ala Assassin’s Creed) and you’ll be completing escort missions where you protect injured eagles from attacking vultures.
At times particularly tight spaces become even trickier due to your eagle’s particularly narrow field of view, but what the single player campaign does really well is it breaks the ice, and prepares you for the multiplayer. The 3v3 competitive option, while limited, certainly is unique. Capture the flag is a familiar multiplayer option to most competitive gamers, but in how many games has the flag been a carcass? That’s correct, in Eagle Flight, you and your avian allies will be attempting to maintain possession of the limp, deceased body before registering a score. The mode isn’t especially deep so don’t expect to have a wide range of offensive of defensive options available to you during a match. Connecting to a match was sometimes a problem, which could be reflective of server issues or a lack of players due to the limited range of available modes.
Soaring over the vast city of Paris might sound daunting to those with a less than stellar track record when it comes to motion-sickness; check those fears at the door though because Eagle Flight is an exceptionally smooth experience. Those who have fears of heights should also check those fears at the door as well because having passed this game onto numerous players, a number of them who had a fear of heights all came away feeling about as free as the bird they were cast as. Movement itself is quite simple with slight tilts of the head resulting in your eagle banking left of right, or looking up or down to soar high or swoop down low – the movement is simple, yet effective, and means the player can choose to play the game seated if they choose.
It was astonishing how quickly I felt at home whilst playing Eagle Flight. Movement is fluid and while the actions you complete are somewhat repetitive, you’ll get plenty of game time out of Eagle Flight before you ever feel the experience begin to grow stale. Soaring through the skies is a blast, whilst is never a stomach turner. The world is bright with colour, packed with gorgeous wildlife and is what I hope (should an apocalypse occur) that a post-apocalyptic world looks like, because should I survive, it’ll be a stunning one to live in. There’s not a lot of meat on the bones of Eagle Flight, but the experience of playing the game makes it a game from 2016 that I won’t likely forget.