by Al Giovetti
Genre: action flight combat simulator
Publisher: Studio 3DO
Requirements: 486DX, 33 MHz, SVGA Video Card, 6 MB RAM, 15 MB hard disk space, 2X CD ROM, 100% sound blaster compatible sound board, Keyboard, Analog joysticks, Creative Labs Blaster GamePad, Virtual I-O's VIRTUAL i-glasses!
Company line: "We are FedNet. The year is 3037, and we are now in control." With that message your life has changed forever. You are the only crack pilot who can test the most advanced ship ever to join the FedNet fleet. Get ready to put your life into the hands of the boys in R&D.
Sixty (60) tough missions test your metal against hundreds of enemies. Immerse yourself in a vast 3D world. Soar. Explore. Scorch thousands of enemy targets. Battle on the ground, at sea, in the air, and in space-even the sky is no limit for this mighty ship. But don't lose your head, or you'll find the inventive aliens using it as a souvenir ash tray.
Plot: You are the recipient of the normal weak plot assignment, rid the world of the evil baddies. You have been empowered in this task by the FedNet agency, to seek out evil in the worlds of the galaxy. Now get started the rest of humanity are couch potatoes waiting for you to save them. Oh and by the way, you will be flying a Predator Mark IV planetary assault vehicle on these solo suicide sojourns. So buckle up and strap up and move out, recruit.
Game play: Highly responsive flight controls are easy to learn and master. Complete freedom of movement including flying upside-down or leaving the atmosphere at any time. Speed and gameplay can be increased dramatically by having the recommended Pentium system. This product requires a lot of horsepower to run.
Flight dynamics are non existent as are normal physical effects such as gravity. This is compounded by the lack of a decellerator. Very little in the game provides the needed situational awareness.
Missions: Over 60 levels or missions are included with the game on huge real-time rendered 3D worlds. Your mission is to explore and destroy virtually everything that moves.
Graphics: Ultra smooth movement with 640x480 resolution and high frame rate but the speed requires heft horsepower or a down shift into 320x200 pixels. Enemy ships do not appear to take damage. The "stunning photorealistic textures and backgrounds" promised by the game designers is there but it is disorientating for most cyber jocks. Multiple camera angles including 1st person/cockpit view make this look like a flight sim, but it plays like arcade.
Animation: Smooth animation and flight requires a lot of horsepower or low resolution which is hard on the eyes.
Multi-player: Single player game with no muli-player options available.
Marc Dultz, Computer Player, volume 3, number 6, January, 1997, pg. 64, 40%.