Full Review: Nice take-off, but ultimately it's shot down way too quickly.
There's no denying what a cool concept aerial combat is. Jump into the cockpit of a multimillion-dollar flying beast and fly through the skies at 600/mph while you blast down opposing forces with missiles and gunfire. But few titles have actually successfully pulled off a flawless attempt at this concept. Unfortunately, even with the power of the Xbox, Airforce Delta Storm's problems make it one of the failed attempts. Hardcore fans need only apply.
It's not that AFDS is exactly a horrible game. Visually, the game is beautiful ? with exceptional plane models, a fast frame rate, and other visual splendors, aside from the pop-up and weak water/ground effects you should be impressed. Your ears are in for a treat too, the game features some insanely intense sounds, from missiles whizzing by you to the huge explosions as you take your enemies out. In addition, AFDS is massive. It features over 50 different missions and over 70 distinct aircraft, some real-life and other fantasy ones, each one strong in their own category, ranging from hit points, to speed, to firepower, and everything in between. So it's pretty, sounds good, and it offers a lot of content, so what's the problem? Here's a clue, it's in the all important gameplay department.
The story in the game is what you'd expect, that being nothing too amazing. In a nutshell, a once thought to be peaceful world is split in half between people who have food and those that don't, basically, the people that don't have food want it too be shared equally around the planet. So a war brews and you're right in the middle of it. Cheesy, eh? Anyway, the story isn't important. The gameplay has a lot going for it, with the majority, ok, all of it, involving you to be sent on missions to blow up the opposing forces in aerial dogfights. Additionally, on occasion you'll have to take out their fleet of ships and whatever else they want to throw your way. When in combat there aren't too many things you must keep up with in order to complete a mission. Just watch your altitude to make sure you don't smash into the ground, try not to get blown up (i.e.- no hit points), and don't waste missiles (there's nothing worse than running out of missiles at the end of a mission).
AFDS's main fault is just how tedious the dogfights can be. 90% of the time when you lock on and fire a missile the enemy will just turn sharply and avoid getting hit. The same goes for you, whenever you receive a warning that a missile is coming, all you have to do is fire your engines, make a sharp turn, and more than likely it will miss. So the dogfights turn out to be way longer than they have to be, and it just seems as if you're flying in circles as you try to gun them down, which isn't easy. A feeling of frustration comes over you and all you want to do is cut the game off, not a good thing. A game isn't going to keep your attention for a long time if it feels like a chore instead of an enjoyable experience.
The good news is that while your being discouraged, at least you're doing it with some nice controls. Maybe a tad bit on the sensitive side, but more than likely you'll be shooting like a pro in a matter of minutes. Also included are different set-ups, so beginners and experts alike will have a scheme to fit their liking.