1942: Pacific Air War
WHAT IS INCLUDED
I will also provide a compatibility CD that will allow the game to run under ALL VERSIONS of Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP, both 32 and 64 bit.
Want to play? Click the icon. Want the game off your computer? Click Uninstall. Zero hassle.
In the extremely rare event I cannot get this title to work on your system I will take it back for a full refund. All I ask is minimal assistance from you during the troubleshooting process.
1942 Pacific Air War recounts the exploits of the fleet commanders and pilots involved in the Pacific carrier operations of World War II. Combining great early 90s graphics and a realistic flight model, 1942 promises became the next level in flight sims when it was released.
Players have several different choices in playing 1942, from choosing amongst a series of single missions, to following the path of a pilot through a career, to taking the helm as an admiral commanding a task force in the south Pacific ocean. For all these choices, Japanese or American forces can be selected by the player to pilot or command.
These missions are broken down by mission type (Combat Air Patrol, Fighter Sweep, Bombing Run, Torpedo Ship) and are intended to familiarize the player with the many different facets of piloting the various planes featured in 1942. Becoming a proficient torpedo bomber will not mean much once you strap yourself into a fighter!
Once the player decides which mission to run, he is then brought to a briefing screen that displays in summary fashion the flight path of the mission and its objectives. Following this is the Armament screen that displays a default payload (usually extra fuel tanks as required or a set of bombs or a torpedo should you choose such a mission). This screen can basically be clicked by without much thought. Once your plane is armed and ready, you find yourself sitting in your cockpit going over your pre-flight checklist. This is where you decide how "hard" your mission will be by toggling the enemy pilot skill level, realistic flight model, and limited ammo among other things. The total difficulty factor is tallied at the top, and varies from 0 (if you choose training mode) to 3.0 (maximum lethality).
Finally, you're on the runway! Initially your view is on the dials of your plane, but this can easily be switched to a "heads-up" view through the front of the canopy, and to the standard left/right/back and external views. Don't be gazing for too long though, as your wingmen are busy getting airborne and you don't want to be left behind!
Once airborne and in formation (this can be taken care of by switching on the autopilot), the player can move to a map of the area of the Pacific ocean the mission takes place in and follow the flight of the planes as they proceed along their flight path. Time Acceleration can speed this process up substantially.
Eventually, the player will either reach the target or will be met by bandits, whichever comes first. At this point the game will dump the player back into the cockpit to deal with the present situation. Unless in training mode, leaving autopilot on will only result in the computer flying your plane for you, not defending it, so it is a good idea to take matters into your own hands.
From this point the player gets a good feel for the flight model present in 1942. As somewhat of a layman as far as flight sims are concerned, I can't attest to specific performance characteristics that others may detect as either correctly modeled or deficient. However, I can say that it sure feels right to me! Knocking bogeys from the sky is much more difficult in 1942 than in any other flight sim I've played. Elements of flight such as engine torque, buffeting, and the effect of the sun are all modeled quite well in 1942.
Once the objective of the mission is completed, the player returns to home base and a post-mission briefing provides a summary rundown of the mission results. One thing to note in single missions is that if the plane you should be piloting gets shot down, you then jump into the cockpit of the next plane in your flight. You can also do this at any time during a mission through the press of a key. This is not available if you should choose to pursue a pilot career. You can also jump to the back seat in dive or torpedo bombers to man the rear machine gun in single missions, with the computer taking over piloting chores. Again, this cannot be done during a career since the career you are following is that of a pilot, not a tail gunner.
After playing various single missions, the next logical move is to see how far you can make it through the war by choosing the career pilot option. At times MPS flight sims have been criticized for always putting the player in a "you against the world" environment. Well, despite the fact that you have other planes alongside you, this feeling is still prevalent in 1942. Flying missions as a career pilot is virtually identical to flying single missions, except that you now fly a string of them in one type of plane only (either a fighter, bomber, or torpedo plane). All sequences leading up to the beginning of each mission in a career are identical to what is seen during single missions.
The strategic element of carrier operations is simulated very elegantly and cleanly in the Carrier Battle option. Via this option the player has the opportunity to fill the boots of Admiral Nimitz or Yamamoto by taking control of an entire task group in any of the 5 major Pacific carrier battles of World War II. The player can also set various realism settings such as accurate/inaccurate battle reports, weather effects, and random or historical set-up to spice things up. This adds greatly to the replay- ability of carrier battles. Players can also jump in to any strike that they launch as well, effectively creating a single mission to play.
Carrier battles are played out on a map screen very similar to the map screen displayed when you are piloting a plane, except the map during a carrier battle covers more area. It is from this screen that the player carries out all the major functions that an Admiral had to be concerned with - launching searches, CAP, strikes, and direction and speed of the task group. Success will require the admiral to be able to balance all these functions, and to be lucky once in a while.
The Carrier Battles option presents a very good overview of carrier operations in the Pacific during this period of history, and is loads of fun.
One of the many things 1942 allows you to do is build your own missions from scratch, or edit one of the many existing missions. The mission builder allows you to create missions that contain all of the elements that are evident in the missions that were included in 1942. As of this writing, I have not had time to experiment with this option, so I cannot describe more fully its capabilities. One thing I have noticed is that there is a limit of 16 planes total that can be in one mission.
Although a bit confusing at first, the film replay feature is really quite a powerful and flexible tool in 1942. Missions are automatically recorded from the moment the player takes off to the moment he lands (or crashes). The player can review a mission in its entirety from any of the available camera angles, and can also step in to relive the mission at any time. In addition, portions of the film can be edited to change the camera angles and these changes can be saved in order to produce a more cinematic replay of a mission.
Enemy pilots are tough enough for me without setting their skill level to the difficult setting. Now if only tail gunners were as proficient. In this release of 1942, Japanese tail gunners do not seem to be nearly as active as US tail gunners. In fact, I've never seen a Japanese tail gunner fire a shot when I'm piloting a Japanese bomber.
Overall this is a fine sim for its time. 1942 offered so many choices that there was something to suit nearly everyone's tastes.