Flight Unlimited II article by Al Giovetti

 

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By Al Giovetti
Price:
Genre:flight simulator
Release: summer, 1997
Developer: Looking Glass Technologies, www.lglass.com
Lead Artist:
Lead Programmer: Jaemz Fleming
Producer: Constantine Hantzopoulos
Publisher: Eidos
Phone: 617-441-6333
Website: www.eidosinteractive .com
Requirements: Windows 95, Pentium, 120 MHz,


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Flight Unlimited II

History

The original Flight Unlimited shocked the computer world with dynamite graphics and performance in one of the most remarkable non-combat based flight simulator products to date. Flight Unlimited II causes a high level of excitement and anticipation in the fans.

Company Line

Looking Glass Technologies set a new standard in computer aerobatic flight simulation with the critically-acclaimed, best selling Flight Unlimited. Now they are redefining the civilian aviation flight simulator genre with Flight Unlimited II (working title), scheduled for release in mid-1997.

Putting users in one of six distinct civilian aircraft, Flight Unlimited II will take PC pilots over 8,500 square miles of breath-taking, photo-realistic terrain featuring the San Francisco Bay area - complete with all of the actual landmarks, buildings, rivers and roadways, all rendered in superb 3D! This title will be heralded as having the most realistic and accurate flight modeling in the industry.

It will also feature over 45 different airports to explore, including San Francisco International Airport. Flight Unlimited II enables the pilots to plan their own flights using the gameís advanced flight planning tools, or go on more than 25 adventures that will provide flying challenges including: emergency procedures, dangerous weather, and life or death situations;

"Flight Unlimitedís flight modeling and photo-realistic graphics set a new benchmark that all other flight simulators are now judged by," said Paul Neurath, CEO of Looking Glass Technologies. "What Flight Unlimited did for aerobatic flight sims, our new title will do for civilian flight sims."

The release of Flight Unlimited II on CD-ROM for Windows 95 continues Looking Glassí commitment to developing leading-edge technology for all platforms.

Looking Glass Technologies, Inc. is a leading developer of entertainment and simulation software distinguished by its expertise in 3D technologies. Headquartered in Cambridge, MA, the talented team at Looking Glass has created some of the best-known, best-selling titles in the interactive entertainment industry, including the Ultima Underworld series, System Shock, Flight Unlimited and Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri.

Game Play

Due to the detailed graphics you will be able to navigate by dead reconing and visual flight rules (called VFR by pilots). Weather, night flying, and time transitions such as sun rises and sunsets will be seen in the new product. Sun rises and sun sets have been part of combat flight simulators for years, see US Navy Fighters 97 for one example.

Another striking feature in the first Flight Unlimited, which will continue in the sequel, is the ultra accurate flight model. A Cessna 172 really flew and felt like that airplane. You get to fly the Cessna 172, Piper Arrow, Beech Baron, P51D Mustang,

Instumentation was supposed to comply with instrument flight rules (IFR to pilots) with fully interactive ground, tower, and approach controller. When the game came out the instrumentation was not up to the standards set by Microsoft Flight Simulator 98 or Sierra's Pro Pilot. The instrumentation lacks the automatic direction finder or ADF.

Plot

The whole point of Flight Unlimited II is to put you in the seat of a high performance aircraft and to let you experience the sensation of controlling a plane.

Graphics

The 640x480 pixel resolution graphics is where this game is at with over 8,500 square miles of three dimensional polygon terrain with the same resolution as seen in the first Flight Unlimited. The terrain uses four meters per pixel sattelite imagery to map and model all rivers, bridges, lakes, and buildings over 10 feet tall in three dimensions. Sierra Pro Pilot uses a much less detailed 30 meter per pixel terrain mapping routine. This is quite an improvement over the first game which used a 5x7-mile repeating terrain patch.

The terrain will no longer "pop" at you when you get too close, causing your plane to crash, as it did in the prequil. Many people complaned of crashing into mountains when they flew too close. The terrain now stays where it should as you get closer to it.

Animation

The graphic animation supports Direct 3D, 3Dfx, MMX and Rendition chipsets.

Voice Actors

Music Score

Sound Effects

Engine noise pans as you turn your head.

Utilities

Add on terrain packs and other airplain expansion packs will be available shortly after the game is.

Compare to

Multi-player Features

Future

Looking Glass plans on doing a WWI or WWII prop plane combat flight simulator right after they ship Flight Unlimited II.

Cheats, Hints, Walkthrough

Journalists

References

Looking Glass' Flight Unlimited II Web Site
Editors, Boot, volume 2, number 8, April, 1997, pg. 66,
Peter Oliver, Games Domain
Gamesite
Frank Lenk, Boot, volume 3, issue 4, April, 1998, pg.78, 9/10, 90%.

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Letters

  1. From: Holger Tillmann
    Subject: Flight Unlimited II - comment by Al Giovetti. I just finished reading the a.m. comment. There is one point in which Giovetti is wrong and which should be corrected in order to avoid disappointments: The instrumentation of the Flight Unlimited II aircraft is not sufficient even for basic Instrument flight due to the lack of an essential instrument called ADF (Automatic Direction Finder). Best wishes, Holger Tillmann
    Answer: The article is a preview but will soon become a review so thanks for the information. A preview is based upon information given by the company before we took an in depth view of the game.
  2. From: Holger Tillmann
    Al Giovetti:We incorporated your comments in the preview and if you would like to expand your comments into a review (an article about the game after its release) we would be most happy to work with you on this... Thanks... Al
    Holger Tillman: Al, to my great dismay Flight Unlimited II has not arrived to Germany, yet. I read an extensive article about it in a highly professional French FlightSim magazine, and from this I know that no ADF is provided with the program. I can also see that from the the pictures. Flight Simulator I probably IS one of the two best low-cost simulations on the market today. The other one is "Boeing 747-400" precision simulator. That item is expensive (more than 200 bucks), but it is the only realistic IFR simulation featuring glass cockpit and running on PC. I regard Microsoft's Flight Simulator 98 as a game. Greetings, Holger

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