The upgraded/updated 1.5 version of A-10 Tank Killer is a forerunner of the highly successful flight simulation genre. As such, the original game featured good graphics (circa 1991) which at the time needed at least VGA mode to obtain the best results. With the updated version, anything less than SVGA spoils the intended obtainable result. The game is built around the somewhat ungainly and relatively cheap fighter, the A-10, designated "Warthog" affectionately by her pilots. Initially, the game presented a satisfying yet strangely "outside" look at the usefulness of the A-10 with its somewhat contrived European WWIII fictional scenarios. Fortunately for the makers of A-10 Tank Killer, the early 1990's saw the flame up of the Persian Gulf War, a military action that was built for the A-10. Indeed, the A-10's detractors (mainly the pilots of the technologically superior jetfighters) could only eat their hearts out as the slower A-10 kicked collective butt (namely tanks and artillery weaponry). No flying machine provides quite the impact of the art of ground attacks as an A-10 which hugs the ground in an "in your face" type action.
Dynamix's 1.5 version of A-10 Tank Killer captures the feel of the A-10 very nicely and the updated version (which used the Red Baron flight model) received significant enhancements to the original package. One noticeable quality of the game is the ease in which the player is able to get airborne and into the action quickly. Weapon load outs, planning missions and briefings are necessary aspects to carrying out successful missions, but for the flyer out there who wants to jump in the cockpit and start mashing enemy targets immediately, the game's improved intuitive point and click interface provides quick access to the skies. The music and sound effects in the updated version are a great stride ahead of the original.
A-10 Tank Killer, version 1.5, contains twenty-one missions, the original fourteen from the European WWIII theater and seven from the Desert Storm action. In all candor, the seven Gulf War add-on scenarios in the enhanced version gives the game much greater appeal in the overall scheme of things. Weaponry has been included that focuses on real-life desert combat targets such as cluster-bombs, missiles for taking out the pesky and erratic Scud launchers and tanks, laser guided bombs and more lethal weapons in the arsenal. This is not to say that the Gulf War scenarios are easy -- you'll have to learn the technique of using friendly SAM's for protection at certain times.
As an early entrant in the flight simulation genre, A-10 Tank Killer fares quite well when held up to other early efforts. Outdated by today's standards (circa 1998), the graphics appear blocky and choppy at times but the visual shortcomings do not denigrate the overall feel of having the "Warthog" destroy target after target.
Graphics: Somewhat blocky but very good for the early part of this decade (90's). SVGA mode in the updated game (version 1.5) enhances the experience greatly.
Sound: Improved from the original release. Engine sounds, weapons fire, targeting sounds are all well done.
Enjoyment: Despite the dated material and scenarios, the game is a blast for those old enough to remember the Gulf War. Taking out those Scud launchers and tanks never felt so good.
Replay Value: Plenty to deal with (21 missions) in the replay arena, but as so often happens in mission-oriented games, the main replay value is simply enhancing your performance through repeatedly playing scenarios.
Updated version of Dynamix' oldie flight sim A-10 Tank Killer from 1989. This one was released after their huge success with Red Baron two years later and features additional missions including a Desert Storm scenario, overall improved graphics and sounds. But essentially it is very much the same game. Unlike the old version, this remake doesn't require a slow-down utility... or sort of as there are still lots of problems on modern machines such as messages disappearing too fast or some unusal behaviour on take-off. But you can fly without going 60000 mph or making 50 left-turns when pulling the stick left for a second on a fast Pentium. A must-have for all fans of World War sims.
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