Red Baron 3D
This game did what Rise of Flight did but with more primative graphics technology and gaming design concepts from the 90s (Which is why I'm reviewing it first) Sure it's kind of low tech but for the time, it was some pretty impressive stuff. You have this 3D battlefield in which you can fly around and cause all kinds of mayhem from blowing up bridges, shoot at convoys, take out anti air guns, shoot observation ballons, and of course have dog fights with other scout (yeah they were called scouts and not fighters in WW1 because that was how such aircraft were seen back in World War 1) and bomber aircrafts. Considering this is World War 1, the aircraft you control aren't going to be as nimble nor as fast as say fighter planes from WW2. Some of them even have odd flight characteristics that you have to overcome in order to not lose in dogfights or more likely, stall out and plumment to your death. This isn't some Ace Combat Shit (good series nonetheless). We're gonna sim some shit up.
If you are familiar with another game IL2:Sturmovik 1946, Red Baron 3D is sort of like that except in World War 1 and with even more dated graphics. You have a variety of options in terms of how much realism you want for your game and these settings will take affect in quick skirmishes (where you select your plane as well as the plane of the enemy you'll be facing off against), or you can do a pilot career mode where you create your own pilot, set your starting rank (difficulty) and fight in a campaing along the western front for various nations like the United Kingdom, France, The United States, and Germany. As a starting point, realize the French were one of the first to incoporate aeroplanes in the First World War so their designs are generally more refined compared to their British counterparts imo. You have SPADs which are very robust and are best suited to boom and zoom tatics and can even handle a bit of nose diving while the Nieuports are light and nibble but are generally lacking in firepower. British aircraft like the Sopwith Camel and DH2 are tricky aircraft to fly but will outperform any of their contemporaries if your piloting skills are gud enough. German Aircraft are also really good too with a mix of scouts suited to dogfighting to two seater scouts that speed through the skys over no-man's-land before the Entente can try to catch you. Can't forget about the Fokker Dr1 Triplane with it's triple wing set up for those excellent climb and fight turning capabilities. I'm personally a big fan of the Albatros series of planes though early models were prone to have their wings break with excessive G-Force. Americans tend to use most of the same stuff as the British and French so there's that. Bombers can be a difficult target for a scout if you don't know what you are doing. Fun fact, since most if not all of these aircraft are basically wood and fabric, shooting through the wings or airframe won't really do much other than make holes but well placed shots on support beams, fuel tank, engine, or even the pilot will get you some good results. There's nothing more exciting than to engage in a dog fight and see the enemy's plane rip into shreads as your machine gun tears everything up from the airfame to the wings. Red Baron 3D protrays this feeling pretty well along with the dread you feel when you're on the receiving end of all this and you have nothing but dread as your plane starts to plumment into the ground with little to no chance of survival. This Life or death aspect of early dogfighting is crucial to the pilot career mode and dying on the runway from failing to take off from your plane because you crashed into the other pilots in your squad during take off and got yourself killed results in nothing more than an immediate game over for your pilot career. Unlike in real life, you can just create another pilot persona and try again.
I can't say for certain how easy it is for someone new to the flight combat sim genre to jump into Red Baron 3D and know what they are doing. Thanks to the mostly simplistic and primative designs of planes at the time combined with the hardware limitations that this game was designed around, it's safe to say that it's certainly an easier flight sim than something like IL2-Sturmovik 1946, DCS, or Rise of Flight. You can adjust the realism settings such that the game has more of an arcade feel but I highly recommend you get yourself a flight joystick and learn how to pitch, roll, yaw, and throttle before getting into combat flight sims in general. Perhaps start off with something like Microsoft Flight Simulator first. Oh yeah and since this game is kind of old, you should get the modern patches for this game as well as the Hell's Angels Modpack which adds additional skins, graphical enchancemenets, and features to the game. The game isn't expensive either and you get Red Baron on DOS as a freebee though Red Baron 3D kind of makes it pointless unless you want to go back to more old school style of flight sim like F-117A Nighthawk Stealth Fighter 2.0 or some of those other Micropose Flight sims.Return to Catalog