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August 12, 2005
Heroes of the Pacific - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
23/9/2005CodemastersIR Gurus1-2, 8 $99.95

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Blowing up the depot.
There haven't really been as many flight simulations on current generation consoles as you may have expected a couple of years ago. On Playstation 2 Namco's Ace Combat titles seem to reign supreme, but they are set in the future. The only older propeller based plane sim of any note is LucasArt's very impressive Secret Weapons Over Normandy - a game which remains one of our favourites here in the Future Gamez office. Codemasters are about to unleash a new flight sim and it also looks quite impressive and promises not only split screen but also online gameplay.

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The skies look wonderful.
Heroes of the Pacific is an arcade flight simulation based around key battles in the Pacific theatre during World War II. During the course of the game you will participate in epic battles including Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Midway, Leyte Gulf, and the Coral Sea and play a role in the outcome of the war.

Heroes of the Pacific is split across 26 missions and includes over 35 WWII aircraft and some hidden planes such as the Japanese Zero. Perhaps more impressive is the promise of around 150 planes in each battle although we'll bet that they aren't all in close proximity while playing!

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39 planes to go!
The game modes are fairly standard for games these days with Campaign, Mission, Instant Action, Flight Training, Historical Missions, Multiplayer (split screen, LAN or online). Perhaps more important to the gameplay is the ability to change from arcade or advanced controls, from 1st person to 3rd person perspective or selecting between being the pilot or gunner. It will also be possible to control your wingmen through a menu system. I only wish that the wingmen could be controlled through the headset voice commands. It certianly would have added more realism but at this stage in development looks unlikely.

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Taking off from the carrier.
There is little doubt that the game has all the right ingredients however it's the multi-player options that we feel will be it's biggest asset. With both Namco's Ace Combat and LucasArts' Secret Weapons Over Normandy failing to include online gameplay Codemasters have a big opportunity to generate a lot of interest from flight buffs with support for 8-players online. If you're not online never fear as a 2-player split screen mode will also be included although we can't see this being as gripping as playing against 7 other hot shots.

Heroes of the Pacific is shaping up as a very solid flight simulation. The action looks intense and the graphics solid enough. Keep an eye out for a review in late September.