Yes, we can call this “Raptor”.
As the first of Lockheed Martin’s fighter series with Novalogic, F-22 Raptor made a surprisingly smashing impression as I was able to take off and fly around in the most advanced, unclassified fighter in the world. This complete package came readily available with excellent tutorial missions, single player campaigns, and free, fast, user-friendly web-play.
Definitely the most unique
and rewarding experience of the game was the excellent graphics. I was expecting
a bumpy flight (especially after playing Armored Fist
2 by Novalogic), but I was pleasantly surprised with quick screen rates
and absolutely stunning scenery. I believe the graphics made the game. They
added so much to the game-play, and realistic, detailed terrain is imperative
in any good simulation whether tank, helicopter or aircraft. The landscapes
are complete with fog, low-set clouds, snow, water textures, realistic looking
ground units, and mountains that simply speak for themselves.
Most simulations don’t spend that much time with sound or music. F-22 Raptor follows that same path, but it doesn’t ruin the game in any way. Sound effects are mediocre, but, realistically speaking, that’s the same in all rest of the simulations on the market. The designers don’t have bad reason, either. I would rather them spend time making the graphics look fantastic and the game-play good, than wasting time getting the whine of the engine “just right.”
One noticeable and slightly displeasing aspect about the game is its easy
learning curve. Unfortunately the game was almost a little too easy to learn.
Don’t take me wrong, the missions or the actual game are not easy (quite the
contrary), but learning maneuvers, or how to land, for instance, are much easier
than other flight simulations. I can’t say for sure if that’s because “Takeoffs
and landings are a piece of cake.” (Paul Metz, F-22 Chief Test Pilot), because
I’ve never flown an F-22! But you can never be too careful. The point is, if
you want a game that you are in control, every single step of the way, from
turning on the engine to applying wheel brakes and taxing off the runway, F-22
does skimp on the little details that the common public would find boring. You
might be more interested in iF-22 by Interactive
Magic. The game isn’t as fun, but the controls are more complicated and they
seem more realistic (and harder to learn).
Novalogic also made that step
that I’ve been waiting for flight simulations to do for a long time: dynamic
missions. Finally, if you destroy everything in the area, your next mission
will reflect your recent decision to nuke the whole world. Mission goals change
due to the outcome of previous missions and campaigns follow an evolving storyline.
This adds a whole new aspect to flight sims – THINKING! Now, instead of mindlessly
sending missiles at anything moving, you are forced to make decisions on who
to engage, or whether or not it’s worth it to risk you and your wingman’s safety
to destroy extra missions goals. And the great part is, your next flight will
be easier or more difficult, respectively.
Internet game-play is decent. I didn’t find it to be the most engaging thing
I’ve ever done in my life simply because it doesn’t contain that action packed,
close quarters feeling that other games like Quake
or Doom have inherently. It does offer two games of choice: deathmatch and a
game where there are two teams and you can choose to be a fighter or bomber.
If you’re a bomber you need to try and destroy your opposing team’s base, and
if you’re a fighter, you obviously defend your bombers and provide air support.
F-22 Raptor is the best combative flight simulator I have ever played. So far, it beats out all competition. However, I am still waiting for designers to realize fighting Russia and Korea are boring, but refreshing, Wing Commander type storylines filled with characters, drama and expanding plots, combined with combat make that perfect “A+” flight sim. Don’t be fooled, however, I’d put my money on this one, it’s definitely better than all the others.