Tornado: Limited Edition
If you are already familiar with Digital Integration's Tornado, ignore this paragraph. If not, welcome to Planet Earth, and I hope you enjoy your visit. Tornado is a full blown, all singing, all dancing simulator of the raf's two-seat strike and air defence aircraft. The operative word here is simulator. This is not a game - groundbreaking graphics and digitised speech have been eschewed in favour of a startlingly realistic flight model and a brilliant mission planner, coupled with graphics which are quite acceptable (and very smooth) and a strong campaign mode. To put it simply, Tornado is the most accurate simulation of modern air warfare that you are likely to find without joining up. At the moment.
Every silver lining has a cloud, though, and here the cloud is called workload. As the Tornado is a two seater, the pilot and navigator share the burden. You, however, are a single player, so you have to fly and think both at once. It also helps if you can use a keyboard, joystick and mouse simultaneously, while occupying both seats and watching two sets of instruments. There will come a time when you approach your target at 200 feet, line up perfectly, commit your bombs at the release point and... fire your cannon ahead because you haven't selected the right weapon package from the back seat. Despite this, there is no facility to link computers for a two player one aircraft set-up, like Strike Eagle 3, although the usual head to head function is included. That minor gripe aside, there is really nothing to criticise.
In its latest form. Tornado incorporates an extra warzone containing a campaign and a series of single missions. Entitled Desert Storm and set in (you guessed it) the Gulf War, this latest upgrade is available as an add-on for existing users and, for a brief period, as a limited edition bundle for new buyers. What you get for your money is 30 per cent more missions, a beefed up and smarter enemy and an aeroplane painted desert pink. In fact, Digital Integration has taken the trouble to recolour all of the vehicles and aircraft, a neat touch which many other publishers could benefit from imitating. Although the test copy wasn't finished, Digital Integration says that the front end screens will be sort of deserty as well. There will be a supplement to the already excellent manual, giving a historical overview of the Desert Storm campaign (for the benefit of our alien visitors), and any glitches, hiccups and other bugs existing in the program will hopefully be sorted out. Working on the basis that if it ain't broke, you don't fix it, the actual simulation and gameplay (for want of a better word) are unchanged. That means the same career progression, the same mission planner and the same structural failures because you've forgotten to retract the flaps or sweep the wings or something.
Tornado Desert Storm is an excellent addition to an already accomplished simulation. The atmosphere is excellent, and the less than state-of-the-art graphics can be easily forgiven by the smooth scrolling and bags of extra features offered by the package. If you only ever buy one real simulator, make it this one. If you want a game, though, go buy something else.
Download Tornado: Limited Edition
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP