“Identical Houses, Lawns, Dinnerware, and F-16’s (Oh That 50’s Charm!)”
This game is for all of you who like your hamburgers medium. Not medium rare,
not medium well, not rare, and certainty not well done. This is for all of you
average Joe’s out there. All of you who like the looks of our Nation’s deadly
flying machines but don’t have the patience nor the inclination to fly one,
or even to attempt to play a hyper-realistic simulation of one.
for all of you who like the sleek, sexy, fuselage… but hate the long, aloof
manuals that usually accompany them. F-16 MultiRole Fighter from NovaLogic
is the latest fruit of the partnership between NovaLogic and aircraft maker
Lockheed Martin. Ironically, the pairing of those two companies was supposedly
done in order for flight sims with daddy’s stamp of approval to be released
for the critical masses. Instead (Here is the irony: Get ready) the union has
produced many an unrealistic, albeit enjoyable, game. Not really any simulations,
just games, good ones.
Appropriate games for average Joe and Jill “Cleaver” and their little patriotic
boy and girl scout kids.
Before mentioning anything else about this game, the graphics must get their
due credit. F-16 MF is a gorgeous game. The texture maps on all of the planes
are very highly detailed, the terrain is attractive and exaggerated in height
so that its more fun to fly low on your ingress to target. Your own plane is
a sight to see. I have not ever seen planes looking this good in a sim before.
The texture mapping is damned near photorealistic.
The planes also feature little touches like the ability to see yourself through
the canopy of the cockpit. Best off all, the inside of the F-16 features the
most amazing 3-D virtual cockpit ever seen in a flight sim. It actually looks
better than some 2-D cockpits in sims like Jane’s F-15. F-16 MF
even reflects the control panels on the canopy. In addition, the game runs at
a very high framerate despite its beauty, seriously embarrassing CPU hogging
sims like the aforementioned F-15, or Longbow 2.
A 3DFX is close to a requirement for this one though.
Once you pick your mouth up off of the floor you might also begin to notice
the gameplay present in F-16 MF. Its fun. Most other sims usually elicit
a somewhat more complex, err… different reaction. In F-16 its just… fun. The
gameplay feels very reminiscent of Mission Studios Jetfighter 3 or FullBurn,
without the narrative depth. Slightly aracadish, accessible, in general a fun
little firefight. Aw heck, this game is really rehash of F-22 Lighting 2,
Novalogic’s first polygonal 3D sim.
The planes don’t move completely unrealistically and generally have a moderately
believable feel to them. The difference between MiG-29 and more complex sims
is simple:. You can jump in to this game, familiarize yourself with a few controls,
and kick afterburner within a few minutes, unlike more complex simulations which
require hours of study and an advanced degree in Aeronautical Engineering.
systems are controlled automatically. The plane automatically creates a shoot
list for you that may be cycled through, you actually never have to use you
radar for targeting or identification, its all done for you. Hell, your wheels
even automatically retract after you take off. The designers of this game realized
that they were making an arcadish “simulation” and designed missions that, assuming
you succeed, would make you a triple ace after 20 minutes of game time.
It really is not hard to kill your enemies; missiles usually work unusually
well (the reverse of which being that they are very hard to evade yourself),
and getting kills with the cannon is almost laughably to easy once you get in
range. The lack of realism really shows through in landings and takeoffs. You
have a very, very easy time placing your F-16 back on terra firma. A lot of
this is due to the fact that you can take off and maintain flight at velocities
usually associated with falling like a brick.
But, whether or not this is a realistic or believable simulation of what it
is actually like to fly an F-16, it is still his an enjoyable romp through them
wild white clouds and the dainty blue sky.
Speaking of clouds; F-16 MF features the thickest cloud level in recorded computer
history, a trait inherited from F-22 Lightning II, F-16’s predecessor.
Actually, the engine featured in F-16 MF and MiG
29 Fulcrum (It’s sister game, released simultaneously) is simply an updated
version of the F-22 L2 engine.
Sound is good. There ain’t nothing spectacular in the audio department but
there is nothing wrong there either. Much like the rest of the game the sound
satisfies but doesn’t warrant a letter home to your dead hamsters and other
The one really superb feature of the game is the included NovaWorld internet
gaming service. Using NovaWorld, internet multiplayer was smooth as silk even
using an older 28.8 modem. It was painless to set up and get into as well.
So, in the overall estimation there isn’t to much to scream in pain about,
and certainly nothing to moan in pleasure about. The game simply elicits a pleasant
grin. Basically it all comes down to this: F-16 MF is a good game for anyone
who has never played a flight sim before but fancies themselves zipping along
at mach 2.5 launching Sidewinders and preserving democracy. On the proverbial
other hand, if you are a flight sim freak, you’d do better to look elsewhere
for you hyper-realistic aerodynamic fix. F-16 Multirole is a solid game with
great graphics, perfect for the Average Joe.