Game Over Online ~ F16 Multirole Fighter

GameOver Game Reviews - F16 Multirole Fighter (c) Novalogic, Reviewed by - Umax

Game & Publisher F16 Multirole Fighter (c) Novalogic
System Requirements P166, 16MB RAM, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 88%
Date Published Thursday, September 24th, 1998 at 09:54 AM

Divider Left By: Umax Divider Right

I have to be honest. I haven't been to anxious to play F-16 Multirole fighter (or Mig29, its sister game for that matter). The initial press screenshots I saw appeared unrealistic, and overdone. The textures looked to me like they were drawn by a child. Boy was I wrong. When I first loaded the game up, I was greeted by a pretty standard combat flight sim menu. I started a training mission for myself and wow! The graphics were really very good. I'm not sure if it was the resolution in which the initial screenshots were taken or what, but the textures and graphics seemed to have taken an overall quantam leap. The aircraft no longer looked like they were flattened out, and unrealistically modeled. In fact, the aircraft were very realistic looking all around. The terrain is pretty standard fare, squares of textures repeated over distances to give the illusion of varying ground types, which looked great from the air and not bad up close. Water was one thing that was very nicely done. I haven't seen too many games in which the waves are actually rendered in motion, as they were in F16: MRF. Clouds seemed extraodinarily thick, and constantly overcast. Despite the overcast cloud layer, the scene was very bright and sunny. (?) All the standard flight sim effects were there, smoke trails, some nice afterburner effects, wing vorteces, vapour tails, sun flares, explosions with bits and pieces flying everywhere. All in all it was one big blast fest of fun.

Unfortunately, this game in NO way lives up to the realism standards of older classics like Falcon 3.0 and the like. I hate to say this about a flight sim, but the flight model was really a joke. The designers didn't even model stalls, which for those of you who don't know is what happens when the aircraft flies so slowly that the wings can no longer produce lift. The nose drops and the plane will dive until it regains flying speed and is pulled out by the pilot/player. If you want a demonstration, load up any game like Flight Sim, or Flight Unlimited and just throttle back, and pull up. You'll see. The designers did, however, attempt to model the flat spin, which again, was terribly modeled. I found it possible to enter a flat spin, at 300ft above the ground, flying at 16kts!! At 16kts almost any plane wont even take off, it should have stalled LONG before that. Not only the speed, but the altitude modeling was rather humorous. I can understand the game being intended for a beginner market, or even a more arcade oriented market, but please folks, don't just let the basics of flight physics dangle like that. Either make the plane stall, or don't let the player get to that point. I know this sounds awfully anal, but really, these are in EVER flight sim, even Incoming had these things modeled better. Putting aside the ridiculous flight dynamics, gameplay itself was really very enjoyable. Also, because of these simplified flight characteristics, 98% of the players focus can be dedicated to the destruction of the target, something which more complex games often fail at: action.

Multiplayer in F16 is probably going to be its biggest attribute. The NOVAWORLD environment allows for flawless multiplayer action. It is smooth as silk on almost any connection (yes, you stone age dialup people can enjoy this one.) and because of its more arcadish feel, you again don't need to make sure that you angle of attack doesn't exceed that at which the bernoulli effect on the wings fails to remain active and therefore you plane becomes a smoking hole in the ground. You can concentrate on your target, that damn yankee who thinks he's the best pilot since Chuck.

Sound was nothing to laugh at in F16: MRF. It was very well done. I one more then 4 occasions found myself cranking up the volume and just turning on and off afterburner to hear the loud thud. It gave a most realistic atmosphere to the game. The music in the game was non obtrusive, and made menu selection a breeze. ;) In fact, the only sound quandry I had was the computer voice in the cockpit that wouldn't shut up about pulling up. I know damn well what direction the nose of my plane is pointed in, and I don't need some cocky computer voice telling me how to fly. :-)

Overall, people who are drooling over the upcoming Falcon 4.0 might want to avoid this game because of its overly simplified flight model. If, however, you are in the mood for some great single and multiplayer action, some great graphics (especially with a voodoo board), and some great arcade style action, then hop in and suit up. F16: MRF is probably the best game to get new flight sim fanatics into the genre with. It won't tax their minds with useless statistics like wing loading in a high G turn, but its not quit as easy to fly as Incoming or its contemporaries.


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