Secret Weapons Over Normandy Review by Al Giovetti


By Al Giovetti
Genre:Flight Action
Platforms: PS2, Xbox, PC
Release:November 2003
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
Developer: Totally Games
Creative Director and Project Lead: Lawrence Holland
Technical Lead:Albert Mack
Art Lead:Jim McLeod
Mission Design Lead:Mike Hawkins
Assistant Technical Lead Game Systems:Samuel Fortiner
3D Graphics Programming: James Therien, Basil Milanich
Senior Producer:
Associate Producer:
Product Manager:
General Manager:
Production Services:
Quality Assurance:
Creative Services:
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Secret Weapons Over Normandy

Summary * History * Company Line * Game Play * Plot * Graphics * Animation * Voice Actors * Music Score * Sound Effects * Utilities * Multi-player Features * Cheats, Hints, and Walkthrough * Journalists * References * Letters


Lucas Arts produced flight simulator games that propelled game players to the skies over Europe where they could fly many of the experimental planes of the Allies and the Azis powers, such as the Me 262 which waas the forerunner of modern Jet fighter aircraft. Originally, SWOTL was released with 13 aircraft and the four add-on disks added other five other types of aircraft. Released in 1992, the original game was produced by Lawrence Holland.

The original games came with historical missions, custom missions, flight school missions, and a custom mission builder that could be used to make an infinite number of missions. The game was so popular that you can go on the internet today and find download sites where a newly released non-copy protected version of the game can be found. Many player and enthusiast created modules are also available for download on the internet.

The original game went for realism and rejected the arcade play which characterizes Secret Weapons over Normandy.

According to Sue Sesserman, the press relations person on the project, "The game was so sophisticated that it offered insight into the most compelling issues of the air war in Europe. What might have happened if Germany had accelerated its research and development efforts earlier in the war?" "We consulted with several experts in military aviation history and asked this question," said game designer Lawrence Holland. "The fascinating answers were incorporated into the game and are covered in detail in the 225-page photo-packed manual that came with the original game Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe.


This is a fun arcade simulator that puts you into the action over Europe and the Pacific during World War II as a member of the fictionally famed Battlehawks squadron. The Battlehawks are an elite unit and a secret weapon used against the Axis during the war. On the Axis side opposing the Battlehawks is the secret elite German air unit called Nemesis. You must stop Nemesis from developing a special long range bomber and the atomic bomb and save the Allies from certain destruction from the megalomanical dictators of Germany, Italy and Japan. Your tools will be many of the experimental and actual aircraft used during the original conflict.

Company Line

Jump in the cockpit, grab the contols and take to the skies in an attempt to crush the most diabolical plans of the Third Reich. Secret Weapons Over Normandy will put the controls in the hands of American Pilot James Chase as he joins a secret Royal Air Force squadron with access to 23 of the most powerful aircraft of World War II. Reenact epic air battles and help the Allied forces defeat the Axis powers in the most devastating war of all time.

Secret Weapons Over Normandy is an entirely new flight actiion game that imerses players in over 30 air-to-air and air-to-ground combat missions, each equipped with authentic WWII aircraft, campaigns, scenarios and weapons. Take out enemy aircraft and ground forces using 14 different weapons systems including 5 top-secret weapons like the Henschel 293 guided rocket. Upon completing missions and bonus objectives, players will earn important upgrade points that can be used to purchase new weaponry and improved ratings of each aircraft.

The game will feature a 15 mission, story-based campaign as well as 20 additional single-player challenge missions. Secret Weapons Over Normandy is locked and loaded

Game Play

The game is more arcade than accurate. The planes performance is so surprisingly good that you have to be careful to underfly the plane. The plane whips around at the target so quickly you can easily overshoot.

In spite of the arcade nature of the game it is a lot of fun.

The game is loaded with cut scenes that interrupt and carry the action. There are many times when you must anticipate the cut scenes in playing the game so that you can fly ahead and kill some of your enemies before the cut scene starts. If you do not anticipate the effects of many cut scenes you will loose battles.

Completing the primary goals will trigger the end of the mission, making it impossible to complete the secondary goals. The player needs to be aware of exactly where and when to take out certain targets how to take them out in order to complete both the primary and secondary goals. The game is so linear in this respect that many missions are extremely difficult to finish with both the primary and secondary goals completed.

In some cases the mission progression is controlled by the scripted element, such as the progression of a car from point A to point B. The player is required to follow and protect these ground or water based allies as they travel the map. The player cannot stray too far from the charges that you protect or they may be eliminated by a variety of threats on the ground that the player is expected to eliminate.




Voice Actors

Music Score

Sound Effects


Multi-player Features


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  1. Alfred Giovetti, Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe, Blue Notes, volume 11, number 11, November 1992, pg. 10.
  2. Alfred Giovetti, Secret Weapons: P-38 Tour of Duty, Simulations, volume 2, number 1, issue 1, 1992, pg. 14.


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