Monday 10 June 2024

Warhammer 40,000: Dakka Squadron Flyboyz Edition Review (Switch)


Warhammer games have really struggled to establish themselves on consoles despite a rich and huge source material to draw upon. There are some excellent RTS games, such as Dawn of War on the PC, but most have struggled to really capture the feel of the universe. The Switch has had several games in the past with Shootas, Blood and Teef and Boltgun already available, but none really capturing the spirit of the board games. Dakka Squadron is taking a different approach and hoping to exploit a gap in market with dogfighting.

Daka Squadron follows the Orks as they fight each other for control of various war-torn planets. You’ll be taking to the sky in various bolted together scrap heaps that probably shouldn’t be anywhere near the air and blasting your way around arenas against turrets other planes and ground vehicles. It’s a fairly arcade based take with some minor customisation available and the tone is very much comedic and slap stick.

One thing the game does right is the controlling of the plane. The flying and combat are pretty smooth in terms of the planes themselves. It’s easy to lock on to targets and planes respond quickly and consistently. The only real problem is that there’s a weird framerate issue that seems to make the plane never really fly visually smoothly. Instead, the camera always seems to be juddering in and out slightly with can kill the impression of speed.

Visuals wise, everything is fine for the most part. You can’t always tell what you are shooting, especially in handheld mode, but the targeting circles are bright and clear, and targets give off numbered damage when attacks connect. So, you’ll always know if you are hitting something or not. The game could have benefited from a bit of Switch optimisation though as there’s a lot of data on the screen and most of it is very small. The text also suffers from this but most of the game is also voiced.

We did encounter a weird bug which happened a few times which loaded levels far too dark. Unless it’s a very poorly implemented day/night feature we don’t know about it seemed very much like the lighting just didn’t load at times which made levels impossible to see and navigate. A reload solved the issue any time we had it though.

Overall, Daka Squadron is undoubtedly rough around the edges but it’s also a weirdly good amount of knock about fun. It’s a bit juddery, there’s some bugs and the arenas are a bit enclosed, but the feeling of flying is pretty decent, and the planes are fun to control. It’s not something that’s likely to hold your attention for long periods of time but certainly worth ten minutes of zooming around from time to time.

Overall 6/10




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