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[PlayStation 4] Aces of Luftwaffe - Squadron Review

[PlayStation 4] Aces of Luftwaffe – Squadron Review

Aces of Luftwaffe – Squadron is a vertical scrolling 2D shoot ’em up in an alternate universe from developer Handygames. Learn more about it in our Aces of Luftwaffe – Squadron review!


Aces of the Luftwaffe is a vertical shoot ’em up set in the aftermath of an alternate reality’s World War II. Juxtaposed to its subject matter, the game is presented in a bright and colorful motif. The world is imaginative, and some of the ideas the game implements are clever, while others are a little bit jarring. The game has you flying four planes in a diamond formation. Each plane is linked to your button inputs: press left on the D-Pad or the left stick and all four planes will react accordingly. Each plane has its own animated pilot with their own characteristics, and they can all be upgraded individually to contribute to the overall attack power and abilities of the group.

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While you control all four planes as one, each plane is still open to individual attacks. If a satellite plane takes enough damage, it will fall out of the sky, and you then need to go through a brief period without receiving too much damage to regain the assistance of said plane. If your main plane takes too many small hits or one major hit, then you will lose a life. Loosing four lives in a stage will nets you a game over. Alternatively, up to four people can use couch co-op to control each plane individually, which was a nice feature I didn’t have the chance to test, but that will certainly please some gamers looking for a cooperative experience. If you have a full complement of planes and upgrade/collect enough power-ups, the game becomes a spectacular light show.

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Aces of Luftwaffe does have some nice visuals and stylistic choices if you take damage: you will actually get bullet holes appearing on screen, and taking too many hits will leave you overwhelmed, adding a little more to the rising tension. Aces of Luftwaffe also boasts some impressive set pieces, with one or two boss designs that stand out, and a few segments that try to mix things up a bit.

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But sadly, not everything the game tries to do hits its target. You have four planes flying in formation but, every once in a while an ally will come down with an “affliction” of some kind that will negatively affect their aircraft, forcing them to either fall out of formation or become a hindrance to the team. While this is clearly an attempt to keep the players on their toes and force a change in strategy, all it does is annoy and distract from the more enjoyable aspects of the game. Another comment-worthy element of the game, though less sinful than the one mentioned above, is that some character models should have been redesigned, and dialogue should have been revised to avoid offending some people.

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All in all, Aces of the Luftwaffe – Squadron is a fun endeavour if a little simplistic at times. It is definitely recommended if you’re a fan of shoot ’em up games and are looking at something a bit different.

This Aces of the Luftwaffe – Squadron review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by HandyGames.


Review Overview

Good and fun shoot 'em up