breaks over a lone carrier somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.
Crewmembers frantically scramble to ready the ships arsenal of fighters. The unthinkable has happened--the United States of
America is under attack.
Every hardcore flight sim fan is familiar with the Jetfighter series. I remember when Jetfighter hit the market (back
when 486s were HOT). It was just about
the coolest thing I had ever seen--like playing Top Gun. Well, its back, and it's better then ever. Don't get me wrong, Jetfighter IV isn't Falcon
4.0--and whether you think that's a good thing or a bad thing will pretty much determine
how you feel about the game. Though both games are visual stunners, Jetfighter IV is not
the ultrarealistic sim that Falcon was. Even so, it has a much better flight model than
most arcade sims, and best of all it's got fun breakneck gameplay. So grab your Top Gun
soundtrack, joystick, and a comfy chair, because Jetfighter IV will keep you at the
computer for a while.
Jetfighter IV: Fortress America a Russian Coalition has launched an attack against the
United States. All communications and spy satellites are down, and they are about to park
a SuperCarrier off the West Coast. All you
have to do send them packing--and make sure there's something to come home to when youre
Being the best of the best means you have access to some of the most renowned killing
machines around. You can pilot the F-14
Tomcat, F/A-18 Hornet, or the F-22 Raptor. After
choosing your aircraft you'll need to select a healthy amount of destructive hardware. Since you need to defend against land, sea, and
air attack you'll find a wide range of ordnance from which to choose. Be sure you read up on the mission objectives
before you outfit your fighter. Of course,
if you dont like to read you can just sit back and relax, because all of the
missions have audio briefings that fill you in about the mission at hand.
player missions are well laid out and will definitely test your skills as a pilot. Things start out easy enough. For starters you'll be given some free flight time
and some practice targets to take out, but soon enough you'll be bombing bases and leading
strikes against patrolling MiG-44s. Watch
out, though. The computer AI has come a LONG
way since the early days. Getting shot down
on the early versions of Jetfighter was a rarity. More
often then not I was killed because I was trying to buzz skyscrapers or land on top of a
building. Not anymore. Whenever hostiles are encountered they come out
guns (and missiles) blazing.
The geographic area that you fly over is truly immense; you'll be fighting over
40,000 square miles of photo-textured terrain. This
is why the game comes with two disks. The
first contains the game and everything you need to play and requires just over 600mb of
drive space. The second disk adds almost
700mb of more detailed terrain. In fact, If
you live along the West Coast you might be able to fly over your favorite shopping center
and protect it from Russian attack. The
terrain is extremely realistic, you can be certain of that. After all, it's taken from 150
Gigabytes of government satellite images--and who knows more about US terrain then the
And what better
complements stunning visuals than killer audio? In
Jetfighter IV, the screaming, thunderous force of a F-14 being hurled through the air from
an aircraft carrier is like music to these ears. Explosions,
gunfire, exploding bombs and missiles ring out as the battle for America rages. Even the cockpit is alive with audio. Wingmen chatter on the radio and your craft will
beep and blare as enemy pilots attempt to lock on and bring your fighting days to a close.
keep things lively, you can abandon the campaign mode and use the mission generator for
unlimited action without fooling around with missions that you may not care for. And of course there's no better way to keep
boredom at bay then by blowing your friends out of the sky in multiplayer. Unfortunately, at the time of this review I was
never able to find anyone else playing online. Using
the in game browser never turned up any servers, though you
can play over the Internet or via LAN with up to 16 players.
course, games this beautiful require some hefty peripherals to get the most out of them. You'll need a fast computer and a tuff video card
to get the most out of the game, and for a truly pimpin' experience I'd recommend a nice
set of surround speakers, a big monitor, and a good force-feedback joystick really. Of course you don't need these, but if you do
Jetfighter IV will take advantage of them.
Jetfighter IV is a fun, good-lookin' flight sim that may not be for hardcore
simmers, but has something for just about everyone else. High system requirements
and a puzzling lack of online support keep this out of five-star territory, if you're
looking for an action-packed jet sim that straddles the line between arcadey and
ultrarealistic, this one's for you.