"Mummy, will I be a MicroProse flight sim when I grow up?" "No, son, I'm afraid you'll only ever be an A-10 Tank Killer game". Unfortunately for Dynamix, we only got around to reviewing this latest flight simulator thang after playing F-15 Strike Eagle II, and it's certainly suffered quite a lot in the comparison.
It might sound harsh, but not only does this fail to push the boundaries of flight sims forwards any, it actually knocks them back a bit. Let me explain. That time and effort has been put into it is all too evidence, but they've made the classic flight sim mistake. Yes, once again they only seem to have realised, far too late in the day, that the amount of depth they've tried to cram into it is totally ruining the gameplay!
I know I seem to be eternally banging on about flight simulators being too slow, but having played games such as F/A-18, F-29, F-19 and F-15II I've been treated to sims which are technically accurate (as accurate as I need them to be, anyway), fast and fun to play. It's a shame that the same can't be said of this one, because the presentation is immaculate, and the missions can be great fun. Knocking out various bridges, convoys and of course tanks is an excellent way to relieve aggression.
A-10's trump card, though, is the fact that (maybe even more effectively than F-15 Strike Eagle II) it manages to create the impression of a real world. Messages are constantly coming through on the radio, informing you of countless movements within the warzone, and you even get a co-pilot giving you 'help'. The whole thing feels alive with action and movement.
Of course, no modern flight sim would be complete without lots of external camera views and the like, and A-10 has enough of them to keep graphics freaks happy. If only they'd put a turbo on the 3D graphics routines (which apparently is what the PC version feels like), I'd be giving it a mark somewhere in the eighties. But they didn't. So I won't.
Yet another addition to the ever-expanding flight sim stable. Unfortunately, the plethora of available sims means that a new one has to be top notch to stand out. This doesn't quite make it. And it's one meg only.