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Players will feel at home in the cockpit of these world-class fighters and they can easily jump into authentic combat action. Each aircraft is rendered in exceptional detail and performs just like its real world counterpart. Players can choose from eight US and Russian jets that range from tank-killing A-10 Warthogs and ground-pounding Su-25 Frogfoots to air-superiority fighters like the F-15C Eagle and the Su-27 Flanker.
Intuitive and in-depth training missions will instruct players on the basics and advanced tactics of aerial engagements, navigation and weapons use. You can take part in a customisable single-player campaign or take advantage of a powerful multi-player experience (head-to-head and cooperative play). Meticulously detailed terrain mapping covers a gloriously 3-D rendered landscape.
Platform: Windows NT
The game has some excellent strengths. The graphics can be of jaw-dropping beauty and it's a real pleasure just to watch your aircraft moving over detailed and believable landscapes and clouds. The flyable aircraft themselves have very detailed 3D models and a range of skins as standard. There is a tremendous variety of AI aircraft from AWACS to strike aircraft like the Su-24. There are also detailed ships and tanks etc, so mission building is a delight. The AI is also very well developed and generally engages in sensible tactics, such as turning to out-run missiles at long range etc. The AI can also be surprised if you sneak up on it from behind, which makes a pleasant change from the all-seeing AI implemented in other air combat games. There is lively and helpful online community, which is also a definite plus.
There's a flip side to all this, of course. The game requires a pretty good PC to get the best out of it and the minimum listed specs sound rather optimistic. My copy runs smoothly on a 2.4 GHz P4, 1 GB RAM, Radeon 9700 Pro system, but does get slow-down close to the ground or when there is a lot of smoke effects etc. The graphics are customisable so lower spec machines can trade detail for frame rate, but I suspect it's not going to be an easy ride for any machine below ~ 1.8 GHz. The other issue is that the game has a whole range of minor bugs and odd design decisions, particularly in the interfaces. A first patch is promised for very early 2004 so this may not be a problem, and in any case Ubi have a good record of continually supporting their other flight sim (IL-2). At any rate, there are no show stopping bugs in the out-of-the-box release.
Overall, this game pushes the flight simulator genre to new levels and should have a long shelf life.
This brings me on to the next point. The enemies really are rather intelligent - this game is not Crimson Skies. It will not be possible to load it up, select fly mission and be victorious. More likely you will undergo the same process as me. Notice enemy plane in distance - Hear warning of incoming missile - Right engine fire - Eject - Eject - Eject. There is howevere an excellent set of around 20 tutorial flights taking you through all the flight dynamics, weapons systems and dog fighting techniques required. After about 5 hours of practice, reading the manual and referring to the internet you will be mixing it up with the best of them - and then this game really comes in to its own. Hearing the growl of an uncaged Sidewinder missile as you pull a sheer turn to attempt to get a lock on an aggressive Mig pilot resulted in me almost hearing the anthem from Top Gun. Fantastic.
Now the down side. Accessibility. If you're an inexperienced flight simmer or are not prepared to put the time in you will be disappointed by this. It really is a sim and not a game. Secondly, in the tutorials, there is text which appears at the top right of the screen explaining the game's complexities whilst these are graphically demonstrated on the remainder of the screen. This would have been much better as a voice reading out the text (like in FS2004 tutorials) so that you can concentrate on what's going on in the plane.
To end on a more positive note, here's an example of the attention to detail in this game. If you are shot down in a dog fight and eject, you will see the canopy come off and the ejector seat exit with you on it. This in turn will launch its own parachute which after an appropriate time you will be released from and subsequently release your own parachute - all represented in great graphical detail. You will then gently sink to the ground whilst the ensuing dogfight carries on around you and often you can see you plane hit the ground in the distance. Quite spectacular.
In summary, imagine the graphics and sound of FS2004 but with weapons sytems, intelligent enemies and speed. For me, probably one of the best sims I have played in 20 years.
The specifications of LOMAC are very impressive: 8 beautifull designed planes are a joy to fly; the area is very detailed with (says the manual) 180.000 houses, 500 bridges, 1.700 towns and villages.
I have now about 60 flying hours and had not a single problem with hardware lock-ups or similar: the package installed without any problem and have functioned without problems since.
With my system, I have 25-35 fps with medium settings (which give still impressive graphics).
At the start, I flew all the different planes just like flying a flight simulator (if you wish, you can also fly without combat) to get a feeling for the flight dynamics and all the planes not only fly great and feel realistic, but are also stunning to look at.
After that, I took the A10 for the combat missions and at this time, I am halfway the A10 campaign. In the campaign, the missions are of course more challenging, the further you get in it.
You have the possibility to fly air to air, air to ground, you have warships and you can play online.
To make things not to difficult, you have the option to make different inputs to ease things and I have made: "easy radar" and "labels on".
The game is furthermore very rewarding in medals and promotions, so you know you are doing something for something.
When you like to make your own missions, there is a very good editor for it with extensive possibilities to make things you want them.
I like the sim very much and can recommend it to everyone with flightsim interest in these modern combatplanes and the more, if you also like combatsimming a bit.
well they've got one thing right - its so modern that not all PCs can even run it. Read more
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