Aircraft carriers are odd and brilliant. I rarely think about them but the trailer for Air Conflicts: Pacific Carriers just sent me into a tailspin of questioning. Who first had the idea to build mobile artificial islands that are, as I understand it, motels for murderous planes? Check in, fuel up, admire the cheesecake nose art on the 22nd's B-24s, then back to the business of battle. The Pacific was strewn with carriers, as well as the ruined parts of men and machines, and Air Conflicts has plotted a course to the heart of it. Trailer below.
The previous Air Conflicts game entertained me, although in a fashion so forgettable that I didn't recall playing it until seeing the name jolted my memory. To be honest, that probably says as much about my memory as it does about the game. If it happened in the nineties it's imprinted for good, but anything after that is hazy at best, which includes everything I've forgotten that I learned at university and minor details such as where I've left my keys and which house I actually live in.
If the missions in Pacific Carriers are, or at least feel, a little less scripted then I could be tempted back into the cockpit. The simplistic handling is about as close to flying a metal tube as is suitable for a man of my limited capacities. Give me too many buttons to press and I'll only mix them up and end up bombing US carriers while trying to perform a fly by complete with a cheeky wink and a wave to the engineers on deck.
Inclusion of a carrier command mode raises hope that there may be a stronger campaign offering, with elements of strategy to make the arcade-styled engagements rather more engaging. Maybe this will mean more to the WWII devotees among the readership:
Slip into the role of Admiral Lucas Stark or Hideaki Hashimoto and become the captain of an aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean in WW2.
No release date beyond Q3 2012.