of the best flight sim games ever made - but you have
to qualify as part of the target audience to truly
appreciate this offering.
Elite Combat Academy is a great game - for the right
gamer. It's not for everyone. The gamers that it will
appeal to most of all are those beginning or dabbling
in flight sims and/or for those looking for a game
that presents a very realistic challenge. Arcade fanatics
looking for a shooter need not apply. Although there
is a decent arcade mode included, it's not wild enough
to appeal to the imagination of such gamers. The missions
in this game might be considered conservative but
married with the complexities of operating a craft
with such strict parameters this title can be a nerds'
training mode is excellent. You will learn to pilot
a variety of crafts (some 60 in all) which include
fighter jets, bombers, harrier jets and choppers.
The learning curve is somewhat steep but the training
mode helps to flatten it out over time with an balanced
approach of theory and practical. All aspects of flight
such as altitude, pitch, yaw and G-force have to be
incorporated into your mastery of the controls. Nothing
is forgiving in this game. If you're looking for a
no-nonsense challenge, and a great introduction to
sim flying, look no further.
Elite could not work without near-perfect controls.
Thankfully everything is responsive and smooth. If
there's a problem, it's going to be your lack of skill.
Once you graduate from the academy you're sent out
on numerous real-life missions. There are no space
aliens or unrealistic swarms of enemy aircraft on
any of these missions. You might have to shoot down
a bomber one mission, while you will have to destroy
ground targets on another. Each of these missions
can take a long time as you might run into problems
such as zero visibility and confusing coordinates.
Just remaining in the sky is an accomplishment in
itself. Keep in mind that commercial pilots must accumulate
thousands of hours of flight time to control a craft
in which the objective is just to get from point A
to point B safely. Not to say this game is overly
difficult - it's not if you dig into it - but some
of the missions can push you to your limit. Remember
that whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
arcade mode makes short work of the learning curve
and in my opinion shouldn't have even been included.
It takes most of the challenge out of the game as
the aircraft are much too easy to control. Carrying
out the various missions in arcade mode is under whelming
and many gamers will get bored. You really have to
invest the time at the academy to reap the rewards
of this game. You need to experience the feeling where
every little move you make can mean the difference
between life and death.
against another human is much more satisfying than
playing against the AI which seems surprisingly lame.
As long as you spot the enemy first, you are virtually
assured of a hit. Of course you have to find a formidable
opponent that has graduated from the academy if you
want any kind of a challenge. For that reason this
game would have been perfectly suited for online play
since it may be difficult to locate another like-minded
gamer in your 'hood.
thing that will keep you going is the unlockables.
There are all kinds of goodies, including aircrafts
to unlock. The crafts not only handle well but they
look great as they soar solidly through the air like
ships on a calm sea. These crafts are highly detailed
and the onscreen gauges respond perfectly to the commands
from the controller. Buildings, lakes, mountains,
oceans and clouds add some visual excitement outside
of the craft but these graphics are just a tad better
than average. The cutscenes are well produced and
the acting is professionally restrained. If there's
any complaint, it may be that the entire presentation
is a bit on the dry side. A few jokes or character
flaws here and there would make things a lot more
you've ever wanted to find out what it would be like
to be master of the skies you can see if you've got
what it takes with Aero Elite. Sure there is some
Top Gun overtones to the game, especially in the generic
hard rock soundtrack, but when you're flying a few
million dollars worth of high tech machinery at three
times the speed of sound there's bound to be some