Eagle One Harrier Attack
No gettin' around it: Harrier jumpjets are slick flying machines. They dance in midair, can park on your roof--all that hover high jinks we saw in True Lies. So you'd think a Harrier game would be a sure thing, right? Sorry, but Eagle One: Harrier Attack buys the farm big time. Let's start with the visuals. First generation PlayStation titles looked better than this thing. Terrain pops up in a tiled patchwork barely 300 feet in front of your jet, and you're nearly always peering into a disorienting soupy fog. It makes for an even worse two-player experience (you get a vs. mode as well as a few cooperative missions), since the fog's twice as bad in the cramped split screen. Eagle One's in desperate need of polish, too. You can fly a few different aircraft (including a helicopter and an A-10), but the engines all make the same sound and their HUD displays are identical. You never really get a sense of speed or altitude from the game; when you're sitting on the runway, for instance, it looks like you're 50 feet off the ground. You get 25 missions in all, but only a handful--the ones that take advantage of the Harrier's nimbleness--are any good. One, for instance has you hovering next to a damaged Harrier so its pilot can wingwalk to your cockpit. Clever, sure, but the game needs a lot more thrills like that to get me excited.
Crispin dislikes Eagle One more than I do, but I agree it needs work. The fog is most annoying, I can't stand that stupid effect. There's nothing worse than a short field of view. Still, I can forgive it somewhat in tight of the decent explosions and fire effects. Sounds trite but that's the best part of a combat sim as far as I'm concerned. Second on my list of negatives is the clunky and tess-than-intuitive control. Average is the best word to describe Eagle One.
This game screams "first-generation rush job" to me. The graphics are fugly. The controls weren't that great. It's hard to hit those ugly, pixelated blobs they call "ground targets" without sitting perfectly still, which makes you a hovering sitting duck. And when you die, you have to start all over again (which isn't normally a deal for this type of game...but it's torture to have to replay Eagle One's stages over and over). This is too annoying to recommend.
Who thinks stuff like this will sell? At best, this game is for casual gamers who don't play flight sims often and want to mess around with the idea a little bit. At worst, the game is rushed and shouldn't have been released for another couple of months. Draw-in distance is like something from a first-generation game, and the graphics, control and sound just aren't polished. The two-player stuff needs major work, too. It'd be best to avoid this one.
Download Eagle One Harrier Attack
Although it may sound like a flight sim, Eagle One: Harrier Attack is nothing of the sort. This Infogrames-published and developed title is very action-oriented, with video game-ish missions (like rescuing people from active volcanoes). You'll get to fly five different aircraft, including the F-16 Falcon, A-10 Warthog and Raven Stealth Jet (oh yeah, and the Harrier Jumpjet). Eagle One is for one or two players and is due out this fall.