Birds of Prey (Second Review)

Title: 		Birds of Prey (Second Review)
Game Type:	Flight Sim
Company		Argonaut
Players:	1
Compatibility:	All (Platinum Edition re-release)
Submission:	BillWays

Birds of Prey is a flight sim with quite a large choice of aircraft to
fly, either NATO or Soviet based. (Side A, or side B). The platinum
edition being the one I have, is basically just a bug fix to run on AGA

Once loaded, you're given the choice to enter your name as a new pilot, or
select a previously saved game, once this is done, you can set the
difficulty (Rookie, Pilot, Squadron Leader or Wing Commander), and
Graphics levels.

Birds of Prey has one of the best manuals I have seen for a flight sim,
well laid out and easy to understand, study it to make the most of the
game. It does go overboard a bit with explaining the principles of
flight, but I found this informative.

There may be only a limited area to fly around in compared to other sims,
but the game more than makes up for this in its ease of play.

Different mission types - enough to keep everyone happy, and as the game
progresses these become more important. The game is basically played as a
campaign, so keeping an eye on the battle progress report will help you
decide which type of mission to fly.

As planes are shot down, radar and SAM sites taken out and Airfields
destroyed they all affect the outcome of the campaign. To replenish
destroyed equipment and locations takes the time and resources of
factories and cities. So checking the battle progress report after each
sortie, you will be able to decide how to keep the enemy on the run.

The type of missions vary enormously, with Interception, Air Superiority,
and Bombing and Supply missions to name but a few. Select Close Support
for some Tank Plinking, allways fun on a quiet Sunday!

For a bit of fun (If your campaign is going well). Try the Test Pilot
option in the X-15. You get dropped from the underwing of a B-52 and the
object is to push the aircraft to the limits. It's a quick trip up, and a
long trip back down, (the autopilot can't be used with this option).
You'll get your astronaut's wings for this one. The trip back down can take
forever; free-falling until there is some atmosphere to go around the
stubby wings of the Test aircraft. Not the best part of the game, but
everyone will try it at least once.

Two flight modes Realistic, for those of you who like to see the wings
tear off in high-G turns, and Easy for those that want to get away with
just about any manoeuvre. I particularly liked selecting Easy flight,
going on a ground attack mission with an F117, and flying to the target at
an altitude of 30 feet !!!  In what is mostly flat terrain, this makes it
harder for enemy radar to spot you, but even with the easy flight model
selected, you best keep an eye on the altitude!

Graphically, Birds of Prey isn't going to win any awards, selecting
different terrain types just results in a change of colour for the
scenery, and turning mountains on and off (Now wouldn't that be handy for
Airbus pilots!) is an option that's needed for those who like to set a
Waypoint and go for coffee.

For close-up dog-fighting fans, this game is a must. With realistic
flight selected, it can be pretty hairy putting the likes of a Harrier up
against a Soviet Mig-29. You can spot an enemy aircraft from a long way
off, just a single pixel, but you can see it. Dogfighting needs a good
control of aileron and rudders to get the angle on your opponent. The
enemy fighters follow the same flight rules as you, so no mysterious
direction changes in this one. The dot your chasing stays just that until
around 3km away, when it becomes apparent that your prey is another
aircraft, but my eyesight is this bad anyway, so its natural for me!

Although not as detailed as other flight sims, Birds of Prey is a must for
all fans of the genre.

Category list.

Alphabetical list.