Alliance: Air War Review
This will primarily be a very kind review as the game is really not finished as of yet. But it does have enough content at this point to give it a short review. Don’t let the lack of content fool you. The game is a lot of fun and very polished. But I think the best is yet to come for this aircraft warfare sim-cade. You really won’t be disappointed. Here’s my review.
Whether you are console or PC/Mac gamer, there have always been a pretty good selection of air combat games available. Some realistic and some a bit more geared toward fantasy. Unfortunately, on the AppleTV platform, there are not nearly as many good flight warfare games that would appeal to a fan of more realistic flight. Space shooters are represented fairly well on the platform, but if you want to fly the real thing, it can be much harder to find. Enter Alliance: Air War.
Ok, when speaking about a “mobile” game, expectations are usually kept in check when it comes to visuals. Considering the AppleTV receives most of it’s games in the way of ports from their iOS counterparts, it is hard to expect a true console-like experience. Alliance: Air War does just that though. The aircraft models are stunning on their own but really shine when they are put into the environments that ‘Art of the State’ have created. The lighting is superb and really makes the entire universe feel real. Though there are only sea environments in this version so far, they are beautifully designed and give a real “Top Gun” feel to the game.
The effects are just as refined. The trails from gunfire and the Missile explosions are fantastic. There’s not a lot to complain about here, but one thing that no one can complain about is the volumetric clouds. Wow! They are simply amazing in this game. Traveling through the clouds and watching them change and shift in front of you can be mesmerizing. The entire experience looks grand on a large TV.
There are not many sound samples in Alliance: Air War due to the fact there are only aircraft and sea environments, but the sounds incorporated are very well done. Whizzing by an enemy plane rockets through your ears and distorts exactly as it would in real life. The weapon sounds are very nice and tidy and the explosions sound just as you would expect.
Engine noise, just as in real life, are somewhat similar and though they may not be too diverse, they get the job done for sure. The entire time I have been playing this game I have enjoyed it and I am really into the audio incorporated into games. Even more than the graphics. Turning my speakers up when playing Alliance: Air War is a very nice experience and worth the risk of blowing them out.
This is where Alliance: Air War truly shines. The gameplay is fast and frantic and a hell of a lot of fun! The controls are very tight and there are options for a more sim or arcade flight control. No matter which you use, you’ll feel like you’re in the middle of the action. The controls can be mastered by pro’s and novices alike making the game very accessible to all players. There is a great satisfaction in taking down an enemy fighter and it comes screaming toward you.
Yes, there is now multiplayer! It is still in an early stage, but what is there is fairly stable and a lot of fun. I am sure there will be more modes added in the near future.
Art of the State is currently working on new content and have shown some screenshots of new planes coming in a future update on the games Facebook page. It’s hard not to get excited about what the future holds for this game.
Alliance: Air War is technically a free-to-play (FTP) game, but if you really want to enjoy the game you can purchase a supporter bundle. I purchased the Platinum support bundle for $100 USD after I put some time into the game as I definitely wanted to support the developers and I also thought the game was well worth the money. But there are less expensive bundles to purchase for those who are a bit more skeptical.
It’s always a gamble throwing money at a game on the AppleTV platform. Case in point; Modern Combat 5. I spent a lot of money (I mean a lot of money) on that game and they stopped supporting the game 5 months after they released it on the platform. I had to mov over to the iOS version to get the new updates. Very disappointing. But I have spoken with the developer through email conversations and they have stated that they do not foresee dropping the tvOS version any time in the near future. Granted, that is not a guarantee that they won’t as the platform is very small, but it is developers like these that keep me excited about the future of gaming on the AppleTV.
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