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Blazing Angels 2: Secret Missions of WWII.

Interview with Bogdan Bridinel, Lead Designer

1. Please give us a short overview on Blazing Angels 2: Secret Missions of WWII. What is the story behind itů.? Does the story continue from the first game?

The story of Blazing Angels 2 is a completely new one and revolves around a special squadron of elite pilots performing secret missions all throughout World War II. While in the previous game the main focus was on historical battles and real events, Blazing Angels 2 is all about exotic, unbelievable and exciting adventures of the type that you don't see in history books, but in action movies. The missions will take the player all around the world in a variety of exotic locations, will give him access to the most impressive and the most unusual aircraft of World War II and will have him face a special division of the Third Reich, hell-bent on creating a doomsday weapon to end the war.

2. What does the new opus offer compared to the previous one?

The premise of Blazing Angels 2 has allowed us to bring a great deal of new elements to the table, starting with the prototype weapons and aircraft that make for a very diverse and interesting arsenal. Special types of weapons are the defensive ones that the player can use on planes on his tail, which means that a multiplayer game will never become a simple turning contest. These weapons have various effects, like blinding opponents behind the player or leaving behind a trail of noxious smoke that chokes the engines of any planes passing through it. Of course, it's not just the player that has special equipment - the enemies have at their disposal the monstrous creations resulted from their attempts at building the ultimate weapon. Another new element is the prestige system. Throughout the single player campaign, the player gains prestige points by destroying enemies, accomplishing objectives and performing stunts (like flying under bridges), and these points can be used to improve the aircraft, the weapons or even the skills of the player's wingmen.

3. Which parts of the gameplay have been improved?

We've taken a lot of input from both players and the reviews and we have improved virtually every aspect of the game. The biggest improvement can be seen in the missions themselves, which are a lot more diverse and unusual, each one bringing a new twist or a different challenge. From landing directly on the streets of Paris, to dodging enemy searchlights in night missions or battling a storm over the Himalayas, there's never a dull moment in the new missions. Other improvements can be seen in the user interface, the wingman system (which now gives the player more control) and the weapon system (which now requires the player to pay attention to ammo and other such details). And it's not just gameplay that has received this kind of attention - the story is also more developed and brought to life by cut-scenes and carefully chosen actors.

4. Which character do you play? Can you choose?

The player character is an American pilot that was picked to form and lead an elite squadron that could perform any type of mission. Along the way, the player will meet a variety of characters, from his trusty wingmen, each with his own special ability, to spies and commandos that will help him from the ground.

5. Is the game a pure flight sim? How do you attract non-simmers?

Blazing Angels 2 is a very accessible and easy to pick up and play game. There is enough depth in it to satisfy even the most demanding gamers, but this has not been done at the expense of accessibility. Virtually anyone can pick up a controller and start having fun immediately, without going through gruelling tutorials and without having to read the manual. For players that are more interested in the simulation side, we do provide some additional option: they can select to play the game from a cockpit view (each plane has its unique cockpit, modelled from the real life one) and they can use realistic controls, which are more demanding.

6. The game features "secret weapons & aircraft". Have they really been in development?

Blazing Angels 2 is first and foremost an exotic, incredible adventure, but history did provide inspiration for a lot of the things that you will find in it. The secret projects and experiments of the era were too interesting to pass on, so many of them reached the game as aircraft and weapons for the player or as spectacular bosses that the player has to defeat (to give an example, the first boss is a giant zeppelin that the player has to deconstruct piece by piece, defeating it's many defensive mechanisms, but, rest assured, there are many other surprises in store and many German secret projects brought to life). All the playable planes are based on actual World War II planes, even though some of them were only prototypes that in reality never saw combat. We enjoyed playing with "what if" scenarios and see what these things could have done had they been engaged in the war.

7. The graphics in the first game looked really nice. Will they be even more "next gen" in Blazing Angels 2?

The graphics have made a new leap forward and now take full advantage of the power of next gen hardware, making for a very impressive visual experience. Especially impressive are the new environments, larger, more detailed and a tall relief (hills, mountains) that not only looks impressive, but also makes gameplay more interesting. Also, the volumetric clouds, the real time shadows, the procedural damage on buildings and the spectacular weather effects make the world of the game more immersive and believable. All in all, the game delivers the complete Hollywood blockbuster experience: spectacular visual effects and relentless action, all

8. How do you plan to make the multiplayer more compelling to play: will you be implementing innovations in mission types or maps for multiplayer?

First of all, there are three new multiplayer modes: Capture the Flag, Assault and Epic Battles. Apart from that, power-ups have been introduced to add an extra tactical layer to the multiplayer matches, the cooperative mode has been enhanced to make cooperation more important, and a flurry of other, smaller improvements have been made. Worthy of mention are also the Join on the Fly and Server Migration features, which serve to eliminate the frustration that can sometimes appear in multiplayer modes. The first ones means that players can join games already in progress, while the second means that the server can leave the game without causing the session to end for the others (instead, someone else becomes the server).

9. Will Blazing Angels 2 be coming to PS3 and Wii, and are there any plans for a handheld version?

We are very pleased to announce that there is a PS3 version in work and it will be released at the same time with the Xbox 360 version. We cannot announce any other plans at the moment.