F-15 Strike Eagle 2 (Microprose) Review | ST Format - Everygamegoing

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F-15 Strike Eagle 2
By Microprose
Atari ST

Published in ST Format #26

F-15 Strike Eagle 2

Many people would name MicroProse's F-19 Stealth Fighter as the definitive flight sim for the ST, and indeed a year after its release it's still high in the charts. But all that could change as F-15 Strike Eagle 2 hits those streets. Er, takes off.

As a pilot of the eponymous F-15 Strike Eagle, you begin the game as a lowly 2nd Lieutenant with the lofty aim of becoming a General. There are four difficulty levels from Rookie to Ace that require varying degrees of aeronautical skill. On Rookie level, for instance, you don't need to take off or land - it's done for you.

You rise through the ranks by successfully completing missions. A mission requires you to destroy you targets in the particular area in which you're operating, before returning to base, preferably intact. There are six areas or theatres, the asiest being Libya and the hardest Central Europe. Each is swarming with enemy aircraft, ground installations and other features, which if taken out on a mission bump up your score and possibility of promotion nicely. At your disposal are some defensive decoys (chaff and flares), a bog-standard machine gun and three varieties of fire-and-forget missiles - once the missile is locked onto a target, you can safely assume it's history. A mission is ended either by completing it successfully, crashing (because of a bodged landing or simply from too much damage by the enemy), or bailing out at too low an altitude. Either of the latter two mean your career is over and you must start again.

F-15 Strike Eagle II

Make it back to base and you're given a run-through of all that happened on the mission. Then it's onwards and upwards to the next one - at least until you're toasted by a MiG-29.


If you've played or seen F-19, F-15 2's display might seem familiar - they've very similar in many ways. The 3D graphics, while not quite state of the art, work well and move realistically. The level of graphical detail may be adjusted to suit both sightseers and those who prefer a faster game.

Including a variety of viewpoints was an inspired move - watching the remove camera track your Strike Eagle as it screams past the SAM missile sile you've just nuked is little short of breathtaking. Two grumbles though; it's perfectly possible to make what looks like a safe landing on an aircraft carrier, only to find that you're actually floating in mid-air six feet away from it. And it would have been nice to see a replay of your mission in 3D after a sortie so you could flick between the views at leisure - changing the view when you're landing, for instance, isn't practically feasible.

F-15 Strike Eagle II

The main audio effect is that of your engine and the frequent missile warnings, though there are some welcome speech samples.


F-15 2 is a truly excellent game. Everything about it reeks of quality and time well spent in development. The manual is exhaustive, and covers not only the basic flying instructions, but a tutorial, background information on the various theatres and extensive tricks and tactics. The game itself is not impossibly difficult, even on the higher levels, and beginners should find the autopilot and auto-land features a boon, enabling them to concentrate on the action rather than on the specifics of flight. Landing on an aircraft carrier isn't a task for the faint-hearted! The number of missions included and the possibility of further data disks mean you should be kept busy for a long while.

Beginners may probably prefer the straightforward controls of F-15 2 over other sims. Even if flight sims aren't normally your bag, give it a try anyway. You'll be surprised at just how much fun it is.

Ed Ricketts

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