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Your last wingman just deserted you in the worst possible way — falling from the sky in a flaming ball of fire. He joins the other two who went valiantly before him — who knows if he was able to punch out successfully — you don't have time to worry about it. You're really on your own now. One bandit coming up on your six — wait, there were two — where is that other MiG? The Korean landscape tilts wildly below as you try to maneuver out of harms way but, again, you don't have time to notice. If you've never done so before, now is the time to let the adrenaline and those hundreds of hours spent in the simulator and cockpit kick in — quite simply, your life depends on it!
Falcon 4.0 is designed to create scenarios just like the one above and provides the opportunity to experience thousands more, restricted only by the number of hours you fly and the number of opponents you choose to meet. The ultimate goal for the serious player will be gaining enough experience to brave the human factor by taking his or her skills on-line. As one of several multi-player modes, the Campaign mode offers the chance to go one-on-one or fly as a member of a four-man team against as many as three other color-coded flight teams (16 players in total).
The game features four major arenas of gameplay, each designed to hone skills in a particular phase of flying your F-16. In Instant Action mode, you can gain the immediate experience of dangerous and thrilling air combat with no preliminaries, such as mission planning, required. The sole objective in this mode is to down as many enemy aircraft and destroy as many ground targets as possible before dying a heroes death.
The second area of Falcon 4.0 focuses on challenging dogfights. Here, you'll pair off against opponents, ranging from one to literally hundreds, either human or computer-controlled. Dogfights can be one-on-one or you can operate as part of a team. Tactical Engagement, the third option, provides the opportunity to design and build both air and ground missions and is ideal for honing skills and developing an understanding for the preparation required to compete in Campaign mode successfully. During this mode, both computer-controlled pre-designed missions, as well as those created by other players, can be loaded and experienced.
The Falcon 4.0 crowning achievement is the Campaign mode with three scenarios located on the Korean peninsula. Featuring a real-time environment in which dynamic battles and significant war-related actions are happening elsewhere as you fly your missions, this phase runs the gamut of military force engagements through ground, sea and air actions. As a U. S. fighter pilot, you pick your squadron and missions from daily lists generated by headquarters, experience changing objectives and face foreign enemies from Korea, China, Japan, North Korea and Russia.
Falcon 4.0's F-16 simulation emulates the latest technologies (c.1998) found in the state-of-the-art fighter and replicates every possible capability of the jet. A few of the many features include realistic physics, real flight capabilities ranging from take-off to precision landings, flame-outs, turns, altitude concerns, evasive maneuvers, navigation and timing. Air-to-air weapons include the 20mm Cannon, AIM-9 Sidewinder, AIM-120 AMRAAM and the AIM-7 Sparrow. Air-to-ground capabilities include Continuously Computed Release Point and Continuously Computed Impact Point bombs, 20mm Cannon, rockets, AGM-65 Maverick Missiles, laser-guided bombs and High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles.
The game's nearly 600-page wire-bound manual contains an enormous amount of information regarding the F-16 as well as 31 comprehensive step-by-step training missions, coupled with an innovative "freeze mode" that allows users to follow the training at a personal pace. Additionally, full access to a Logbook used to monitor your progress, keep track of points earned and various other statistics is provided along with an Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation program that records every detail of a mission for playback and study.
A Tactical Reference is available to help the user learn threat warning signals, radar imaging, enemy aircraft identification as well as all weapons, ground and naval units likely to be encountered during gameplay. Rounding out the package is a 40-page Cadet's Guide that focuses on the Instant Action mode and a Communications Handbook geared toward multi-player use in the other three phases. A fold-out map of Korea ships with the game and serves as a ready reference tool complementing the 786,000 square kilometers of terrain replicated via tiled 3D graphics. ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide