European Air War
|European Air War|
|Release||October 31, 1998|
|Genre(s)||Combat flight simulator|
European Air War is a combat flight simulator developed by Third Wire and published by MicroProse in 1998. It is a sequel to 1942: The Pacific Air War. The stock standard version simulates the Battle of Britain, and the Allied Air offensives in Western Europe during World War II in 1943-1945.
European Air War consists several modes; a Quick Start option, which allows immediate undefined play; a Single Mission option, which allows selection of aircraft and mission type, and a campaign mode called Pilot Career.
The Pilot Career mode, allows the user to take the role of a pilot in the RAF, Luftwaffe or USAAF and play in any of three time eras, the Battle of Britain in 1940, the Allied Air offensives in 1943, and the Air offensives before and after D-Day until the end of the war in 1944-45. During a Pilot Career player actions will directly affect the progress of the war, including delaying or bringing forward the invasion of Europe. Players may also rise up the ranks, starting as a non-commissioned officer to full officer commanding a fighter squadron (or staffel) and assuming responsibility for the men and machines under the player's command. As a squadron commander a player can select the rosters and weapons loadouts for use in missions, selecting between disposable fuel tanks, rockets, or bombs to assist in completing assigned missions.
The AI in European Air War is flexible, with several difficulty settings that can be altered by the user to ensure the game remains challenging for a long period of time. AI pilots within the player's squadron can be controlled by the user in Quick Start and Single Mission options, and gradually become available as the player receives promotions within their squadron in a Pilot Career.
The game won Computer Games Strategy Plus's 1998 "Simulation of the Year" award. The editors wrote, "Of all the WWII sims [this year], this one offered the best balance of campaigns, flight modeling, graphics, and gameplay." It similarly won Computer Gaming World's "Best Simulation" award, and the editors raved that it "captured the feeling of being in a living, unpredictable combat environment better than any other sim released this past year."
The editors of PC Gamer US nominated European Air War as the best simulation of 1998, although it lost to Falcon 4.0. They wrote that European Air War was "easily the most engaging and authentic-feeling WWII sim" of that year.
- Staff (February 11, 1999). "The Best of 1998". Computer Games Strategy Plus. Archived from the original on February 3, 2005.
- Staff (April 1999). "Computer Gaming World's 1999 Premier Awards; CGW Presents the Best Games of 1998". Computer Gaming World (177): 90, 93, 96–105.
- Staff (March 1999). "The Fifth Annual PC Gamer Awards". PC Gamer US. 6 (3): 64, 67, 70–73, 76–78, 84, 86, 87.