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October 29, 2003

Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge
Technically solid, but lacking in gameplay. Somewhere along the process, someone decided that what a good, straightforward fantasy dogfighting game needs is a trap-filled maze and rooms with pillars. Because it’s not a game without a pillar-lined room, right? The tedium and frustration imposed by this game’s single-player experience is a horrible shame. This is one of two or three games I basically bought the Xbox to play, and I am pretty soundly disappointed. It’s very handsome, but it’s not much of a game.

Word is that its multiplayer activity on Xbox Live is stellar. That’s nice, but how about the ability to randomly spawn AI-driven enemy planes in a single-player environment for repeat play? In my opinion, all a Crimson Skies console game needs to be a resounding success is an Unreal Tournament approach: lots of maps, lots of planes to fight. That’s it. Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge doesn’t deliver that to my satisfaction.

Having tried out the split-screen multiplayer play just a little bit, I can say that it’s entertaining. I certainly do think that this game would be a joy on Xbox Live. Once I fit into the financial bracket that can participate in that sort of thing (like so many damn twelve year-olds do), maybe I’ll feel like I’ve gotten my money’s worth.

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