From the title screen alone, it is hard to not be impressed with the visual direction and delivery style of Battle of Britain: 303 Squadron. Many history buffs would recognize this as the name for the Polish Fighter Squadron which managed to shoot down the most number of enemy planes during the battle of Britain. This feat is made even more impressive by the fact that they joined the war later than other squadrons -everyone else already had a two month lead worth of sorties and kills. The player will take on the roles of various characters throughout the history of the squadron, allowing you to see the war from various perspectives.
The Voice of the War
One of the first things that players will be happily surprised with upon starting up this game is that it has voice acting. And this is not your typical amateur level basement recording clips either. The audio for this game is top notch. The words are well articulated, the actors have pretty convincing (for a game anyway) accents, and best of all, the emotions can be palpably felt from the way the lines are delivered. It is not common to find this level of detail in a browser based game, which makes this quite a stand-out for us.
The visuals are just as impressive too. One would think that a 2D side scrolling flash game would be quite simple, but the developers took the time to hash out proper animations and effects for the way planes fight and fly. And the sprites have unique textures and effects -making it quite fun to fly around clouds and swoop down near the surface. From the explosions to the passing background details, this game is full to the brim of eye-candy, and we could not ask for more.
A Flying Challenge
One of the things about war that is so different from video games is that battles are not clean-cut engagements. Just because you finished with one major skirmish, it does not necessarily you can comfortably hop back to a menu and take a breather. The same goes for the mission structure of Battle of Britain: 303 Squadron. The opening stage alone starts off as a basic training flight with the controls being explained and all. But it is not too long before you suddenly find yourself facing hostile enemy aircraft. We see this as a recurring theme throughout the game: missions are not simple and easy. More importantly, no matter how skilled or good you are as a pilot, you cannot protect everyone. The story narrative at the end of each stage will relay all sorts of news about your squad mates during the previous engagement -and it is here where you will often hear about your wingmen having to bail out of a plane (and more often than not, be in an injured state).
Mid Battle Commentary
Our favorite thing about this game is the way the pilots talk to each other in the middle of a mission. The voice over allows you to focus on the combat instead of having to read the subtitles (though we do appreciate having the option). Not only does the conversations provide background narrative about what is going on, it also allows the player to sympathize with the characters. And the more you care about the characters in the game, the more you will want to play it. The voice acting serves as both a powerful tool for attracting players as well as being a primary method of story delivery.
Ultimately, Battle of Britain: 303 Squadron is a must-play game for anyone -and most especially for folks who underestimate how much you can do with a Flash based browser game without having to use the Unity 3D engine. Whether you enjoy the historical references or are just in it for the terrific dogfights and massive missions, it is hard to go wrong with this amazing game.