You’ve always wanted to be Tom Cruise… now here’s your chance. Review

Top Gun: Fire At Will Info

genre

  • N/A

players

  • 1 - 1

Publisher

  • Spectrum HoloByte

Developer

  • N/A

Release Date

  • 12/31/1969
  • Out Now

Platform

  • PC

rating

You’ve always wanted to be Tom Cruise… now here’s your chance.

Remember watching Top Gun way back when and thinking how utterly

cool Maverick and his pals were? Remember dreaming of flying in one of

those killer Tomcats and gunning down the bad guys only to hit the sack

with a beautiful blonde? What a life . . . Well, with Fire at Will

loaded in your drive, you can enter the world of Top Gun and

play as Maverick himself. Strap yourself into the cockpit of an F-14 Tomcat

with Merlin as your co-pilot and take to the skies.

You begin Top Gun just like

the movie: you and Merlin are selected to attend the Top Gun flight school under

the instruction of Hondo (James Tolkan returns in this role). After some intensive

training and combat simulation, you are stationed on an aircraft carrier and are

ready to engage in some real dog-fighting. At this point, the game veers away

from the movie and becomes more of a typical flight simulator: lots of missions

with lots of combat. You must mix it up with everything from MiG-29s in the air,

to structures on the ground, to destroyers in the seas. Fire at Will has

over 40 missions that you must conquer, each one interspersed by video clips that

provide the story line to the game. The constant dialogue during flight adds another

cinematic aspect to the game and elevates it above other flight simulators into

another level: that of a true interactive movie.

At the heart of it all, though, Top Gun is still a flight

simulator, and it has to be judged as one. I have played many flight

simulators in my time, and I rank this as one of the better ones. Though it

is tougher to get kills in this one, and therefore the dogfights are longer

and more involved, it’s high level of realism and great play control make it

enjoyable. You really feel like you are at the throttle of a F-14 when you

play this game. Your cockpit is fully loaded with Heads up Displays and

radar screens and the like to help you out and make the game more exciting.

With Merlin’s coaching and guidance and all sorts of gadgetry at your

fingertips, you are able to fly like Maverick really would, racking up the

kills like a top-notch pilot.

What is really impressive about

Top Gun was how “professional” and well-made game is. The designers of

this game took into account every detail of flight and spent time researching

the various weapons, planes, and ships you encounter during gameplay. Check out

the little encyclopedia of the above that is included on the CD, complete with

voice narration and history of each object. The cinematic sequences that follow

each mission are also top-grade. If you have a fast Pentium and a good video card,

you can put the game into 640×480 at 64,000 colors and the cinema is positively

astounding. You must have a fast computer/video combination to get high frame

rates. Even at 256 colors the video looks great. The acting and dialogue is actually

tolerable (something you don’t often see in a computer game) and I would even

go as far as to say it was good. The real footage and great scenery were also

appreciated.

All told, Top Gun is a game that will be wholly enjoyed by

flight-sim enthusiasts and others alike. It compares well with Wing

Commander III/IV, combining cinema and action seamlessly. In an age where

computer games are often put together way too quickly, without any

attention to compatibility and quality, Spectrum Holobyte has come out with

a rare gem of effort and dedication to the gamer. If you’re looking for a

game that is definitely worth the money or you were one of those die-hard

Top Gun fans, this is the game for you. My only complaint: no Kelly

McGillis.

REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

Rating8
Great Cinema; Good Flight Sim.
Invest in a good system to fully enjoy this one!