Title Falcon: Operation Firefight (Mission Disk 2) Game Type Flight Sim Players 1 Company Spectrum Holobyte Compatibility All (AGA needs degraders) Requires original game Submission Angus Manwaring Profiled Reviewer Review The final visit to Spectrum Holobyte's Falcon flightsim arrived for the Amiga with Operation Firefight; the second Mission Disk. Like the original and the earlier Mission Disk, Firefight placed you in the cockpit of the General Dynamics F16 Fighting Falcon, a plane not only spectacular in its Air Superiority capability but also extremely effective in Ground Attack; a true multirole combat aircraft. Like it's predecessors, Operation Firefight reflects this flexibility in it's mission structure. The 3D engine, as you might expect from a Mission Disk is very much the same as the original game, although Martin Kenwright (F-29, Epic, TFX) present on the earlier Falcon outings is no longer credited here. The same improvements that came with Counterstrike are also included here, though making the game that much more of a professional product than the first release. As for object complexity or improved framerates I can't discern much difference, suffice to say that while the ground detail isn't overwhelming, the game runs at an impressive speed on a plain A500. Although Counterstrike featured plenty of Ground Attack missions, Firefight feels somehow more ground based to me. I think it's the fact that it doesn't feature a aircraft capable of posing a serious threat to the F16. Counterstrike had the luscious MiG 29 Fulcrum fighter you see, and while there's a variety of air targets available in Firefight; the MiG 21 fighter, dating from the 1950's, the MiG 27, a Surface Attack variant of the less than dazzling MiG 23, and the rather attractive Mil Mi 24 Hind helicopter gunship, there's nothing there that you shouldn't be able to defeat in your Falcon. That doesn't mean the game isn't challenging though, in some of the missions you'll be strained to breaking point trying to protect a ground installation from three incoming jets; highly exciting stuff, and possibly Falcon's finest hour, but as far as one-on-one Air Combat goes you've got no excuses, okay? In retrospect this approach is probably a good thing, because while I've always thought Falcon's real strength against it's competitors lay in it's Air Combat, I suppose they've covered that ground fairly well, and better here to offer us some new and different challenges. Something I do object to though is that if you select the Air Combat Maneuvers mode, where you follow an enemy aircraft through a selectable flight maneuver to better hone your combat skills, in Firefight the enemy you find yourself chasing, at over 300 knots, is none other than the Hind helicopter Gunship, which seems rather daft, considering the 2 jets that were available. There is some new equipment available not previously on show, including the AIM-120 missle; a medium range weapon which can prove something of an equalizer when confronting multiple enemies, an internal ECM system that no longer means using one of your valuable weapon pylons, and the AGM-88 (HARM) missile that "rides" down the radar of an enemy Surface to Air Missile site that is attempting to track you - that'll teach them. So, where does that leave the game? In my view slightly behind Counterstrike in the overall greatness stakes, if only because of that game's inclusion of the MiG 29 and the resulting aerial satisfaction that it made possible. Firefight's use of the Hind as your ACM sparring partner was rather silly and to make things worse there is no link-up option available here. Despite those grievances, Firefight is still a worthy son of Falcon, and the new challenges available here make it well worth getting for the flight-sim fan, if not quite an essential purchase.