Yeah! Beat IGN again! No review, no preview, can't even review it there!
BIA:AoW is Gameloft's new take on the BIA franchise they licensed from Gearbox. However, this time they seem to have regressed instead of advanced, from BIA 3D.
BIA:AOW (from now on, just AOW) is a 2D take on the career of Matt Baker, super paratrooper, as he fights everywhere US Army Airborne went, all over Europe. However, this time, the fight is 2D, quite similar to Medal of Honor: Airborne (mobile) by EA. Thus, the game feels much more of a copycat now, albeit they did throw in a couple twists, like "anti-air gunner", but that doesn't help with that "I've played this before" feeling.
AOW boasts 13 missions, with four levels of difficulty (2 of which you must unlock by finishing the campaign). However, even on "private" the game is hard enough. Basically, you're this one guy that runs around the battlefield, shooting Germans (who sometimes hides in bushes) with his Thompson SMG (i.e. Tommy Gun), throws the occasional grenade, shoots the occasional bazooka (at tanks, German MG positions, etc.), avoid enemy grenades (though you CAN throw it back if you're fast enough), avoid enemy guns, mortars, and generally, survive on the battlefield.
You can go in and out of buildings in AOW. Move through door of a building, and you're in the interior. Shoot more Germans, then come out the other door to continue through the level. There's one way through the level, enemies at same places every time. So this is more of a gimmick than anything else.
AOW also has "crates", which contains health packs, or ammo, or grenade, or weapons, and such. Occasionally some crates drop from the sky in front of you. At other times you find them littered among the landscape. You have to approach it and "action" on it to smash it and claim the contents. This feels both gimmicky and oldskool.
AOW starts with a parachute jump, but ONLY ONE, where you're supposed to "avoid the flak" by moving up/down/left/right. However, no matter how well you do, you ALWAYS get hit a few times, then it's "hang on, we're going in hard!"
You get to "rescue" a comrade in arms ONCE, where you basically get next to him, then you hit "right" to pull him right. You went maybe 10 ft (game-wise), then a medic suddenly appeared and took over. What's the point? They're not even under fire! At least go around the corner or something! Total wasted opportunity!
Another level have you manning an AA gun where you need to shoot down German bombers, while defending yourself from strafing German fighters. It's boring being a turret though. At least it didn't repeat.
Another section have you driving a tank around. That's kinda fun, until you realize that the turret doesn't do smooth scrolling, and only faces 8 directions. This makes hitting enemies tougher... Until you realize you need to point kinda in that direction for the machine-gun to open fire automatically. The problem then is shooting at other thanks and bazooka troopers before they shoot you to pieces.
There's another sequence where you need to abandon the tank, run up an enemy occupied building, blasting your way in, kill the Germans manning the mortars, then use the mortar to "escort" a fellow airborne soldier. The idea is to drop shots on the enemy before they start shooting at your buddy. There really isn't anything else to do, except to learn the optimum places to put the shots as you replay this mission over... and over and over... :P
The end requires you to chase down this German general in an arms factory. However, your "boss fight" is conducted on this platform, which is now moving like 100 MPH (how? where? how long is it?) The General took off and is shooting at you plus a few guided rockets. You... have bazooka and your trusty Tommy gun. Can you kill the Me-262 from the platform (before it kills you, by shooting you, missiling you, or by blowing you off the platform.) This makes no SENSE at all, and is a copy of most of the other Gameloft game endings (except BIA 3D, which doesn't have a hokey ending.)
The graphics feels both better and worse, and there's no volume control for sound this time around.
All in all, BIA:AOW is an ALSO-RAN, and its higher frustration level means your money may be better spent elsewhere. EA's MOH:Airborne Mobile is good, so is 24:Special Ops. This one... just isn't up to par.
Rating: 6 out of 10 barely competent, copycat feel
About This Place
First started in late 2007, Kasey's Mobile Game Review (then just a regular feature of Kasey's Korner) started as a simul-post between here and IGN. Later I realized there's no reason to post it twice, when I can use the traffic on my own site. so, here we are, in 2010, and the mobile game industry has grown a bit. What do you think?