predator_085 wrote on 2023-05-05, 11:46:
I think a game with a not-annoying escort mission has not been invented yet. They are always annoying even today.
Their Finest Hour doesn't have explicitly escort missions, but if you play as the Luftwaffe, you'd need to escort your bombers anyway, to ensure success in destroying ground targets like enemy hangars, radar stations, and factories. You can fly a fighter escorting AI-controlled bomber(s), or you can fly a bomber while being escorted by AI-controlled fighter(s). I generally choose the former since I suck at bombing (except dive bombing, but dive bombers don't carry many bombs anyway). I can say that escorting your bombers is not overly difficult. In fact, I always find it much more difficult in doing the bombing myself instead of escorting friendly bombers.
Their Finest Hour.
In any case, Their Finest Hour is a wonderful mix of (lite) flight sim and strategy, where you choose your own target (if you play the German side) and mix your own aircraft to destroy the said target. So technically, you can send all-bombers (and fly in one of them) without escort whatsoever, but it is usually a recipe for disaster. Well unless you're using Messerschmitt Bf 110, which is quite capable to defend itself, but it doesn't carry many bombs anyway.
The same goes with Their Finest Hour's sequel, Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe, if you play as USAAF. While it has no explicitly escort mission, you do have to escort your bombers to ensure a successful mission.
Gunship 2000 doesn't allow you to choose your own mission objectives --they are provided for you by the random mission generator. But you can also choose to be the escort (usually AH-64 Apache or AH-1 SuperCobra) or the escorted (usually UH-60 Black Hawk). You can also try to perform the mission without escort, like flying an all-Black Hawks section, without AH-64 support whatsoever, to pick a downed pilot, but it is not advisable.
Wing Commander 1 and 2 also have escort missions, but it is not unfairly difficult.
LHX Attack Chopper has a mission where you, flying an Apache, should escort two Black Hawks. The mission is quite difficult, but to be fair, every mission in that damn game is difficult. The escort mission, while difficult, is no more difficult than other missions.
Microprose's Knights of the Sky often assigns you to escort an artillery spotter aircraft, but then again, the mission is not notably difficult compared to a typical mission, particularly since enemy aircraft are always more interested in attacking you instead!
I remember Chuck Yeager's Air Combat also has an escort mission. IIRC it was a Korea mission, where you, flying a P-51, should escort a Cessna. But it is not overly difficult compared to other missions.
Privater 2: The Darkening often has you escorting cargo ship, both as part of the plot, or part of you doing interplanetary trading, and in both cases, the escort missions are not particularly difficult either, especially if you already knew the trick. That is, wait until the escorted ship starts its jump before you jump yourself. Also, if you escort a Monolith, it's more often the cargo ship saves your ass instead of the other way around.
Just like loot boxes, DRM, microtransactions, and console-style save points, it seems unfairly difficult escort mission is a modern game phenomenon. Perhaps it's a way for game publishers to wave their middle finger to the consumers, I don't know. But there are reason why I generally stick to old games.