Commodore User1st July 1989
Published in Commodore User #71
Flying in the face of the stiff competition of Falcon Mission Disk 1, F-16 makes a long awaited appearance, and happily is no sitting duck.
The basic premise is the same as Mirrorsoft's F-16 simulation. Take an F-16, load it up with weapons, take it up, and use it to best possible effect to complete designated missions. Unlike Falcon however, you aren't restricted to a small selection of set missions. Much more in the vein of simulators such as Gunship, you choose a field of combat from a selection of five options, such as tank-busting and bombing runs. The computer then generates a mission for you, and one thing you can be sure of is that no two missions will be the same.
So, the 'game', and I use the term merely to describe a piece of software used as entertainment; be warned, this is no toy, has a lot more variety to it than Falcon. What else is different? What about the handling?
Both Falcon and F-16 claim to be accurate simulations, yet the handling of the craft is incredibly different. In F-16, when you bank the plane, it turns in a way which is totally different to the 'bank-and-pull' method employed in Falcon. With this behind you, the craft is much easier to manoeuvre, thereby giving you a much easier time in combat, which in turn make it a lot more fun for the inexperienced pilot.
You can also do a lot more planning toward a mission. Before each flight, you are shown a computerised map that presents you with more information than you could ever require. With this map, you can mark computer waypoints, find the enemy, and even draw a Def Leppard logo!
However, with all these good points, there are bad points. I, for one, didn't find it half as challenging, or even as entertaining as Falcon. The strength and AI of the enemy isn't half as good in F-16, and you do feel like you are playing against a computer.
The graphics aren't anywhere near as good as Falcon. The landscapes are sparse, with an electricity pylon and a mound of dirt here and there. The update is slow, and the use of colour is loud and unconvincing.
F-16 is a very complex title that will no doubt prove rewarding in time. The only problem being that it isn't involving enough. Remember, to get anything out of a game, you have to be able to get into it.