it comes to flight sims the holy grail has always
been the patched and systematically upgraded version
of Falcon 4.0. Since 1998 this game has been infamous
among fans as one of the greatest games that never
was - but could have been. After countless patches
and other fixes over the years it has become more
and more playable as its potential is almost visible
on the virtual horizon. Getting the game to this level
is not for the faint of heart as it requires many
hours of trial and error and a dedication that I,
and the majority of gamers, just don't have.
4.0: Allied Force was seven years in the making and
it looks as though Lead Pursuit finally got it right
- with the help of many fanatics. This is the game
that Falcon 4.0 should have been. It's the kind of
sim that others will be compared too for years to
your hands on the legendary Viper requires many hours
of practice. There are seemingly endless combinations
of controls. This classic fighter plane is excellent
in dogfights as well as bombing missions. It can carry
a large payload and it can also perform some incredible
aerial gymnastics when carrying less weight. The cockpit
looks incredible and is almost exclusively activated
by the mouse. A HUD makes things a little more convenient
by acting as a partial interface so you don't have
to look down and get lost in the control panel every
time you want to make an adjustment.
seems that all of the controls are as accurate as
one could expect. You can expect to do a lot of reading
and referencing in the manual but it's certainly worth
the effort once it all comes together. The level of
control is fascinating and the various missions assure
that you'll have to use most of plane's features.
cockpit sounds like a zoo with different bleeps, blips,
buzzers and radio chatter enhancing your visual references.
Voices come through the radio giving you information
pertaining to your location and hinting at installations
that are included in your mission. Air traffic controllers
will communicate with you and give you hell if you
land without permission. Push a wrong button and you'll
hear an annoying buzz. It's one of the few times that
you'll actually rely on a soundtrack and sound effects
for control cues.
plane is computer controlled. It's so unstable that
it requires continuous external processing to keep
it flying in a straight line. It's fast, accurate
and versatile. To avoid radar and surface to air missiles
you will find instances where you have to fly low
to the ground. The plane can be incredibly stable
in such instances and you can feel the effects of
the computer as it nudges the plane into position
with micro-adjustments every few seconds.
beginners can get the basics down and be up and flying
in short time thanks to the internal computer which
makes the plane easier to fly than most sims. There
are 30 training missions which will help you learn
how to incorporate all of the controls. All of these
training missions have to be completed in order or
you won't be able to go any further. Later you can
choose missions at your discretion. Certain parameters
can be adjusted to dumb things down for beginners
until they get the hang of things by selecting unlimited
weapons, unlimited gas and invulnerability.
aspect of the Viper that isn't imaginary is it's propensity
to aid pilots in a "deep stall." That happens
when the plane is pushed beyond its envelope or is
driven at too low of a speed. The plane will try to
point the nose in the optimum position to regain control.
In the case of going too slow you'll have to override
the computer and try to jerk the nose manually into
position. It's kind of like riding a dolphin on steroids.
pilots will appreciate the real-time dogfights that
will test their skills against some of the most agile
enemies to ever take to the skies. The battles are
intense and are guaranteed to make you a better pilot.
Just seeing what the enemy is capable of will push
you to the limits of your ability during each fight.
I must have played this game for 15 hours and I'm
still only scratching the surface. The manual is over
modes are an excellent addition. Although I didn't
feel as though I was skilled enough to take on another
human opponent at this time, I would welcome the challenge
after I invested more of my life into this game. There's
a co-op mode which facilitates up to 16 players. Perhaps
I'll see you there in a few weeks.
4.0: Allied Force is easily the best flight and fight
sim ever created. And I don't say that lightly. It's
not easy but at least if you make the effort you won't
be plagued by buggy programming. All of this and at
a price that even a low-paid videogame reviewer can