|System: Xbox 360*, PS3, PC|
|Pub: Mad Catz|
|Release: August 28, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Mild Language, Violence|
If you prefer killing waves of enemy planes with a friend, online co-op is available. But, of course, where multiplayer is concerned, competitive dogfighting is where the action is at.
Unfortunately, I didn't get to spend as much time as I would have liked with the online dogfighting modes. On release day, things were not working very smoothly—hardly anyone was playing, it took forever to get a match, and I kept getting kicked out in the middle of fights.
I did get a pretty good sense of how Damage Inc. works online, though—some of the problems of the single-player game are better, but others are worse—and it can't make the title worth buying.
One thing that's nice about online play is that there are no checkpoints for the developers to screw up—whenever you die, you wait about 20 seconds and respawn. This improves the flow of things significantly.
Online multiplayer definitely exacerbates the problems with the flight stick, though. Naturally, there can be no slow-motion mechanic in a multiplayer game—time has to move at the same pace for all players—so there's pretty much no way to land any shots with the AV8R. Your only real option is a gamepad, with the controls set to arcade mode.
As far as modes go, Damage Inc. is pretty bare-bones. There's a free-for-all dogfighting mode, a team dogfighting mode, a "survival" mode in which each player is given a limited number of lives, a team version of that, and "Scratch One Flattop," a mode where you try to sink an enemy's aircraft carrier before they sink yours. This last mode is the most interesting on a conceptual level, but it was incredibly boring in the tiny one-on-one matches the servers kept throwing me into. (The carriers take a lot of damage before they sink.) Supposedly, each mode can support up to eight players though.
As a bundle, Damage Inc. and the AV8R are supposed to complement each other. They don't: Damage Inc. isn't all that much fun to play, and the AV8R doesn't work all that well with it.
Date: August 30, 2012