B-17 Flying Fortress — the Mighty… wait that’s a different game. Let’s talk instead about the latest edition to Bomber Crew, the USAAF DLC.
Take all the chaos of that is Bomber Crew and transfer it to a new front stationed out of North Africa and take to the skies again, but this time the iconic bomber in question is the B-17. If you are already familiar with Bomber Crew you’ll have a pretty good idea what to expect. If not you can look our review to get up to speed.
So what’s new? How about of course the new iconic aircraft in the B-17 and it’s much larger crew of 9. Swap out those Spitfires for Mustangs and head down from the Channel to North Africa. A new theater of war also brings with it some new enemies as well. You get everything from Cr.42’s to Hs-129’s trying to tear you apart.
The larger crew may seem like an area of concern at first. How am I going to manage a crew of 9? While the number may seem a bit daunting, it turns out to be a good bit easier. With every station manned at all times and no need to go to that pesky ammo bucket, you’ll be the most demanding on your engineer. That may have you breathing a sigh of relief, but don’t relax too soon because the action in the skies is busier than ever. A swarm of Cr.42’s might not seem like that much of a bother, but that swarm is mixed in with Bf-109’s, far more Bf-110’s than before and what I believe were Hs-129’s. I could be wrong, but when they showed up I was generally too busy trying not die rather than geeking out over exact plane ID in those situations. Oh well, nobody’s perfect.
Trying not to die is tougher than ever though. There is very little in terms of build up this time around as your feet are to the fire from the get-go. You are rarely wanting for some action. Although the occasional breather wouldn’t be so bad now would it? This does lead a bit to the only real issue I have with the campaign which is carried over to the DLC as well. Losing a bomber naturally is very detrimental, but the green replacement you get can be rather ill equipped to even handle the easiest of missions depending on how far you’ve advanced.
That’s really the shame of it, as I greatly enjoy the game. Losing a bomber can be very demotivating. It’s not the act of losing the plane, but rather that dread of trying to step in to replace that lost craft and knowing that the new plane stands no chance in hell of coming back either. You can add some more sorrow to that mixture after you spend the last of your saved up money gearing up the crew with basics (now you have to clothe 9 of them remember) in the mistaken delusion that everything will be fine. Nope, the new plane is gone, the new crew is gone and so is all your money. Guess what new crew, hope you like flying at 30k feet in what you’re wearing right now, cause we’re broke!
Maybe I’m just being a bit of a poor sport about it, but really it’s something that has kept me from playing on a regular basis since release. If it’s kept me from more regular playing, I’m sure that it has for someone else as well. About the only thing I can really suggest is some sort of minimum upgrade per section of the campaign, that includes what you’re flying too. It might actually solve 2 issues as well. One, no longer having to be way under equipped and two, removes the incentive to farm money and XP on side missions instead of tackling a critical mission. If you know that losing a bomber will be that detrimental then why wouldn’t you just linger at the beginning of the campaign building up an arsenal so no one is even a threat to you? Well, was just a thought at least.
Anyway, if you already enjoy Bomber Crew there is no reason why you wouldn’t enjoy the USAAF DLC. For those who may have a bit more attachment to seeing a B-17 instead of a Lancaster it may even be more enjoyable. New theater of operations and new planes are all very good stuff. The gameplay does still remain the same, but if you are hungering for that different scenario it is a great addition. I know I’ll be interested to see where Bomber Crew takes us next.
Bomber Crew’s USAAF DLC is available now on PC, Mac and Linux, and will also be launching on consoles.