F/A-18E Super Hornet
|a game by||Digital Integration|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 1 vote|
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Ever since the undisputed classic that was Tornado, Digital Integration have produced excellent flight sims that have enhanced their reputation further.
Their subsequent simulations - Apache Longbow, Hind and F-16 - have all been rated highly in the pages of this very magazine. Seeming to realise that the market for obsessive loners is still pretty big, F/A-18E Super Hornet is doing its best to keep them away from the kitchen knives and off the streets by reintroducing the full-on campaign engine - spurred, no doubt, by the furore surrounding DID's F-22: Total Air War.
Super Hornet simulates the latest military executive toy to enter service in the US. (The F-22, in case you're wondering, is still in the test stages and not due to be operational until around 2005. Just in time for the coming apocalypse in fact.)
Featuring ever more complicated radar systems (DI are simulating more than 15 types), more weapons than a John Woo retrospective and the usual boasts of state-of-the-art graphics and flight modelling, the real pull lies with the 'Command' campaign engine.
Unlike Total Air War, you actually get full control over the war, commanding four squadrons of aircraft, planning strikes, selecting targets and deciding on tactics - in short, everything you need to force your opponent to surrender. It doesn't sound as complete a war as DID's baby, but it does seem that you'll have more control over the individual components taking part.
Another intriguing feature of F/A - 18E Super Hornet is the Interactive Carrier Deck. It's no less than a fully operational flight deck, with planes constantly taking off and landing, working elevators, those blokes with the Day-G wands performing conceptual dance routines, and you, slap-bang in the middle.
Add to that all the usual flight sim requirements - radio communications, wingmen controls, active cockpits, training modes (with full tutorials), network and Internet options (with rumours that DI's forthcoming Harrier simulation will be crosscompatible) and you can't help but get excited, especially when you consider that the only rival is a far inferior Interactive Magic effort and an already-ageing F/A-18 Korea. Air supremacy, here they come.