Game Over Online ~ Flying Heroes

GameOver Game Reviews - Flying Heroes (c) Talonsoft, Reviewed by - Neil McCauley

Game & Publisher Flying Heroes (c) Talonsoft
System Requirements Pentium 166, 64MB Ram, 3D Accelerator, 300MB HDD, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 52%
Date Published Tuesday, May 30th, 2000 at 02:44 PM

Divider Left By: Neil McCauley Divider Right

Every year, amidst a sea of clones and an ocean of mediocrity, a handful of completely original titles make its way to store shelves. Talonsoft's Flying Heroes is one of those unique titles. Problem is, the more I played Flying Heroes, the less interested I became with it. For the sake of a better metaphor, think of Flying Heroes as a stripper at a peeler who makes the mistake of removing all her clothes in the first minute of the first song. Why is this a bad thing you ask? That's simple, the show's only begun and you've already shown me all your goodies. I don't care if there's still another song or two left in your routine, get off the stage and bring on the next lady… err, game!

Flying Heroes is a real-time first person aerial combat game. If you're having a hard time picturing that combination, think of a deathmatch mode in Descent and replace the environments with those found in Drakan. The end result is an airborne gladiatorial fight merging technology with classic fantasy themes.

The beautiful lands of Hesperia are the site for these airborne battles, as a handful of different factions have decided to do battle for supremacy of this vast and beautiful world. There are four basic factions doing battle, the Lizard Riders, Magion, Sky Knights and Hammercraft. In the single player mode, you can select any one creature from any one faction and do battle with other factions. This is strictly a deathmatch style mode in which the sole objective is killing your opponents as many times as possible. If anything, this mode serves well as a tutorial or practice arena where you can hone your flying skills and learn how to use each creature and the weapons they possess. Once you've completed a few battles and learned the ropes, you can begin the career mode, where the real meat of the game lies. Unfortunately, there's just not much meat there.

In the career mode, you play an up-and-coming sky pilot looking to make a name for himself in the world of Hesperia. You'll begin by selecting a faction to associate with, but your choices are limited to either the Lizard Riders or the Magion. You can't align yourself with the Sky Knights or the Hammercraft until you've successfully completed the campaigns for both of those factions. Once you've selected a faction, you'll enter a series of skirmishes with a variety of creatures from other factions. These skirmishes play out much like a deathmatch from any first person shooter with several differences. For one, the battles take place in the sky, as you're strapped to the back of some mythical or technological creature. Another difference, or perhaps hindrance, is the fact that the arenas and overall environments are incredible petite in design. There's relatively little room to manoeuvre and it consistently comes down to flying head-on and firing your weapons as many times as possible. Most of the arenas sport camping spots and hidden areas, but most of the combat will undoubtedly take place in a small portion of the map.

With each kill in the career mode, you'll gain experience points which can be later used to purchase new weapons and new fighting machines. While most of the battles are one-on-one deathmatchs, there are also games of tag and the occasional mission-based Quest matches that take place in between the deathmatchs. The Quest matches are a nice little distraction from the constant skirmishes but certainly aren't used well. They're relatively simple and quick quests that result in very little gain in terms of experience points. You'll find yourself back in the arena before you know it for another heralded air battle.

Visually, Flying Heroes is fairly attractive. The environments, while some seemingly stolen from Drakan, serve well for these one-on-one battles. While the creatures look realistic enough, the little guy riding on their back offers an embarrassingly low polygon count. The cut scenes also have an ugly feel to them, featuring animations that are pitiful to say the least. In terms of the audio department, the sounds could certainly use touching up. The voice-overs are laughable at times but luckily are kept to a minimum. The taunts during the battles are all text-based, a decision that no doubt came after they realized how bad the voice-overs were. Other than that, the sound effects include the average noises you'd expect from a battle.

Flying Heroes features multiplayer options that include support for up to six players via modem, LAN and the Internet. As I'm sure you could predict, the multiplayer feature… deathmatch play. There are also cooperative scenarios with a variety of play modes, all of which succumb to the same problem the single player game does, that being that it's only fun the first few times. There are several modes of difficulty offered in Flying Heroes but I'd suggest sticking to one of the easier levels since the only factor the difficulty setting seems to alter is the amount of weapons your opponents have. On the hardest level, you'll find yourself replaying several battles just to accumulate enough experience to purchase a new weapon.

Flying Heroes is one of those games that offer a certain amount of replayability by offering four separate factions to be apart of. When you complete the career mode with the Lizard Riders, why not give it a go with the Magion? I'll tell you why, because once you complete a few battles with any particular faction, you've already seen all the goodies. Flying Heroes does very little to make you come back a second or third time to do battle in Hesperia. It was fun for about 5 minutes but this title lacks staying power in a big way.

[ 14/20 ] Graphics
[ 08/15 ] Sound
[ 15/30 ] Gameplay
[ 08/20 ] Fun Factor
[ 02/05 ] Multiplayer
[ 05/10 ] Overall Impression


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