Top Gun Combat Zone
Genre Simulation -> Flight
Today's Rank 0
Date N/A
Publisher Titus
Date 2003-03-28
Publisher N/A
North America Retail Box ArtTop Gun was a very popular movie of its day for many reasons (male camaraderie and Tom Cruise's looks being two), but Top Gun the game features straight up aerial dog-fighting and ground targeting, with little sense of character, and none of the film's music or one-liners--nothing really but the logo. Still, it looks good and plays well, which is all that matters for most gamers. The game takes place over four real-world locations: Southeast Asia, the Russian Arctic, the Persian Gulf (no country specified), and the United States itself. The missions--30 in total--don't add up to anything story-wise, and mainly focus on targeting, weapon management, and lots and lots of jet-to-jet fighting. There's also multiplayer and an Instant Action mode, where you can play for score. Weapon management is paramount, as you only have a small load-out of missiles. You have unlimited ammo in your cannon, but it's difficult to destroy most targets with that. There are a wide range of flyable aircraft, beginning with the F-14 Tomcat and moving on to better made, more complicated, and more mission-specific craft like the Osprey, Harrier, and F-4 Phantom. All aircraft but the Tomcat are locked at the start of the game, which forces you to conquer the single-player missions to get the rest--pretty annoying given that the campaign isn't much more interesting than the Instant Action missions. But it all looks really good. The different environments--a sea of snow in the Arctic, the brown dune-seas of the Gulf, majestic purple mountains, and even realistic looking cities--all look far less bland than they sound; atmospheric effects like clouds and sunsets are breathtaking, and everything explodes very nicely. As a console system flight sim Top Gun is decent, as an action game it's above average, but it's certainly not the homage to the film that buyers might expect. If jets are your thing, though, you can't go wrong. --Bob Andrews
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