Top Secret, Security Level 7. The following information is classified and must not be revealed to unauthorised sources. This review will self destruct in five minutes. And counting...
(This review is to be read in a pseudo-American accent). Hi y'all! How's about a little bit of combat fighter pilot practise? How d'you teel about a little' spin in the lill' ol' F-15 Strike Eagle, the noo sooper flight simulator game, featuring the high-tech, all-weather, air superiority and ground attack fighter, the good ol' Strike Eagle itself? And while we're up an' away in the jet fighter, how's about a littl' ol' raid on Libya, or Tripoli or even the mean ol' Persian Gulf?
Simulation games are hot stuff in the States, and Wild Bill (Microprose head honcho) specialises in sooperior games. These are not games for boys, these are games for MEN an' no messing. So watch out Limey's, Wild Bill an' his jet plane on their way!
(This review has been interrupted for reasons of security. The remainder will be read in a BBC announcer tone of voice).
There is truly nobody to match Microprose when it comes to commitment to simulation games. The man who brought the Americans Conflict of Vietnam and F-15 Strikes again.
F15 Strike Eagle is certainly one of the most complex around. The detail is precise, even down to processing of each fighter pilot's special passcode at the beginning. Without the correct code it is impossible to gain access to all the weapons aboard the aircraft. And what a lot of weapons there are! Shells for the destruction of heat-seeking missiles from enemy bases. Bombs to destroy the aforementioned enemies. Medium, long-range, heat seeking missiles. Radar blocks for all sorts of nasty bits.
And those are just the weapons. There are extras. Before you get to bomb anything, you've got to learn to fly the wretched thing.
And that's not an easy task. There's climbing and diving, banking and turning, windspeed, altitude and acceleration to be considered. Just to keep you going in a straight line.
So it's very sophisticated, very complex. There are various attack missions you can go on and different problems in each.
Each is based on the real thing e.g. bombing Lybia (gulp).
There's no doubt that F-15 Strike Eagle is an intricate, highly detailed and very superior simulator. But any game that comes with a 40-page instruction manual is not going to be easy to get into. Although I willingly give full marks to Microprose for a supreme attempt at producing the definitive simulation. I feel that in the case of F-15 Strike Eagle, some gameplay has lost out to technical detail. Simulation or shoot-em-up, the point behind computer games is ultimately entertainment. Microprose places a lot of emphasis on its games teaching the player something. With F- 15, it's taken that principle a bit too far... Added to the difficulty of controlling the darned thing, there's the problem of the graphics. Having been blinded by science, Microprose seems to have skimped on the graphics, they're really not so hot.
It's a shame that such programming detail game is let down by such simple graphics.
Author: Sid Meier
Reviewer: Tamara Howard
Technically detailed, but not necessarily fun to play. The Emphasis is firmly on simulation not gameplay or graphics.