Maverick! Goose! Get up here… we have a situation….
Ok, so it’s not Top Gun, more like Biggles, still, the feeling of flight combat is very much active in Ben Librojo’s Flying Aces VR. Right, lets fire away then shall we……
Armed with my Oculus Rift (resembling Biggles goggles) and an Xbox 360 controller I found myself at the calibration screen which is narrated to assist you. Look straight ahead from your usual position and press the left bumper button, once done, hit “X” on your controller to start the game.
The first thing that strikes you about this game is how well everything is implemented. Select a mission from the 5 options your presented with (3 training missions and 2 actual ones), then climb into the cockpit and take to the skies. You will have to take off, navigate and land your plane for each mission you participate in. To assist you there will be visible way points highlighted in blue both in the air as well as on your dashboard compass.
Don’t expect FSX or Wings of prey level of detail here, the graphics are simple but nice, and you really do feel like your flying around. The controls work very well with the left thumbstick controlling your bank and pitch movements and the right thumbstick controlling your yaw via the rudder. Increasing/decreasing the throttle and braking is done via the X /A joypad buttons, with B helping you bring the plane to a halt. The top left trigger is to drop bombs whilst the top right fires your guns.
When it comes to graphics Flying Aces VR is a basic-looking game. Textures are low-res and the planes are low polygonal. There’s also a lack of post-processing to really make things shine, but the game runs at a continuous 75 frames-per-second, and uses both head and positional-tracking to let you lean out of the cockpit or track an enemy aircraft through the sky. Audio is what you’d expect, there is some narration, lots of flying noises and gunfire with “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary” playing on the initial title screen. The air siren that continually plays during action-based missions can get a little annoying, however.
As it stands, I really do like this game, the only thing I would say is that it would be nice if it had HOTAS support – currently you can only fly with your keyboard or Xbox controller. As with anything, there have been some not so great flight games out there, but I would suggest giving this one a test flight, you won’t be disappointed.