|Playstation > PlayStation Game Cheats > PlayStation Reviews > Staff Review|
If you want to experience the realistic thrill of what it feels like to pilot an aircraft then the PC has a catalogue of titles that would easily quench your thirst. In fact some of these simulations are so accurate that they allow for a take-off at Heathrow airport UK, before setting the system to auto pilot once cruising high above the cumulous clouds at 28,000 feet... and then go to bed. On waking in the morning a quick check of the monitor will reveal the craft crossing the photo-realistic terrain of Angola preparing for it's arrival at Namibia airport.
Sadly the present Playstation is not yet capable of matching these feats but development teams are getting ever nearer. None more than Namco, whose third in the Ace Combat series is by far the more realistic flying experience you will possibly ever get crammed onto a disc for a 32-bit console.
Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere is an arcade shooter where the player chooses from a mighty impressive line up of fighter planes and prepares to enter the adrenaline-fuelled world of air combat.
The story goes that early in the new millennium the entire government system collapses and the world falls under the control of two corporations, Neucom Inc (Nuke-em?) and General Resource Ltd. They both lock horns and through a selection of missions the player must subdue this threatening conflict.
So break out the sick bag, fasten your harness, adjust your flight suit, log in with air traffic control... and don't forget to check your parachute.
Sound and Vision:
Having warned not to expect visuals and complexities that compare with the more favorable PC titles I must say that the quality and realism of the graphics in this game are nothing short of remarkable. In fact the number of times I crashed my plane because I wanted an ever closer look at the vast city-scapes is nobody's business.
Let's start at the beginning. Unlike the Japanese two disc version of Ace Combat 3 the animated intro and RPG style plot is conspicuous by it's absence. In return we get... absolutely nothing.
Allowing the disc to roll into 'Demo mode' offers improving signals that we may be onto a classic here. These lengthy trailers flick through many of the stunning replays that follow each successful mission. The amount of effort and detail put into providing these segments is commendable. Sit back and watch from a helicopters perspective as a stealth bomber cuts through the narrow canyon, with it's jet engines ripping up a trail of frothy water barely two meters below. Or how about a spot of low fling over a brightly lit city at night, picking off a strategically placed missile base, bombarding a couple of machine gun bunkers or firing on a line of patrolling tanks. But this still doesn't paint the total picture. Better is yet to come.
Also missing from the English speaking NTSC and PAL code is the intricate storyline and multiple choice mission routes. What you now get is a small-scale model used to act out the task in hand during the mission briefing and is basically what you hope to see on the radar screen when the 'real' combat begins. Each aircraft or vessel is color-coded leaving no chance of error. Red arrows are your definite targets. White arrows represent secondary enemies, which may be taken down to improve your mission rating. Yellow markers are used to highlight neutral's and blue arrows are from your squadron, so leave these well alone. Should a small white moving dot be shown moving in your general direction... get the hell out of there because it's an incoming missile.
After switching off the rather bland background music and boosting up the accurate sound effects it's time for a bit of action. There is very little time wasted with taking-off or landing maneuvers as the player always takes control of the craft as it cruises in mid-flight heading towards the mission area. What you see out of the cockpit depends on a number of variables; height, weather, time of day and region.
When flying above 32,000 feet miles ahead can be viewed because of the clear deep blue sky. In this environment enemy craft first appear as a speck on the horizon gaining magnitude as they approach. When they finally thunder past the effect is awesome as a booming noise accompanies the briefest glimpse of their awesome structure... then they are gone... only leaving behind a trail of white jet fumes.
By reducing height the thick blanket of cloud that shrouds the landscape can be entered. This offers a strangely disorienting effect, especially if an attack suddenly begins. Weather conditions now come into play with some frightening rainfall and snowstorm effects making visual navigation hazardous. Thankfully all vital information remains permanently visible on your on-screen HUD.
When flying below a few thousand feet the view clears but solid terrain is now bought into play and accurate control is required to avoid an unwanted collision with the landscape. Snow topped mountains, barren desserts, meandering rivers, open seas, huge dams, simmering volcanoes, bustling cityscapes, high rise towers, wide span bridges, concrete flyovers... just a little of the architecture and natural beauty on show. All of which can be viewed from two perspectives, inside the cockpit or up and behind the craft. The inside view offers the more realistic effect giving the impression that you are really flying.
Click HERE To read more of this Review...
please note that this article should not be reproduced in any form without the permission of Absolute Playstation