Aerial dogfighting, just your flying skill and tactics pitted against your opponent, soaring through the clouds and fighting it out thousands of feet above the ground. What a nutter. There is little romance about it when you stop and think. A few swift turns and a burst of cannon-fire and your guts spiral earthward in separate pieces. That was your life, mate.
Dogfight is a flight sim centered on straight air combat. There are six theaters of war from WWI through Korea to modern day Syria, and each period has a pair of suitable planes to fly. You can configure the amount of ground detail, sound and difficulty before picking a crate and taking to the skies intent in a one-on-one dogfight.
If you want a more serious approach there are a series of missions for each theater with objectives and resources to allocate. Played this way Dogfight is a more traditional flightsim.
The view from the cockpit is in vector graphics and pretty good ones too, the planes are highly detailed and everything moves at a respectable speed. The static screens are excellent. If you choose to look behind the pilot you get a lovely view of your chaps head. Each plane has a different cockpit, which can get confusing as you need to learn a new layout each time you pick a different kite. There are loads of external views and you can also look around from your seat.
Control is by joystick with the usual array of keyboard commands to wrestle with. Although it is not a real heavy-duty flight sim, there are a fair number of controls to find your way around. There are some great touches too, if you fly into the sun you are blinded. The sound effects are a suitable set of engine and weapon noises.
Scramble you fellows
Dogfight's main claim to fame is that you can match any plane against any of the others in a What If situation. Shooting down the old string bags from WWI with a modern jet is surprisingly difficult. They can tun on a sixpence and your infrared missiles are useless.
If you have never played a realistic flight sim before you could be in for a frustrating time. Fights can easily turn into an endless bout of circling as you try to turn inside your opponent. Enemy planes try their best to keep out of your gun sight and sneak up behind you. At best they are fast moving dots. This is no quick and easy blast. You need to learn air combat maneuvers, use your instruments and look about the cockpit if you are to have any chance.
The variety of different planes and missions makes Dogfight a worthy proposal for aficionados of the genre. Flying the jets and the propeller aircraft are quite different.
Dogfight can feel a little cold, with no pilot names or clear objectives, the straight one-to-one fights have a rather detached feeling about them. The fights start with the planes in fairly close proximity in open sky and quickly turn into a spiralling duel in which you are constantly looking over your shoulder and turning as quickly as you possibly can. It can all get terribly annoying.
The dogfighting angle with lots of planes is a great idea, the execution stops short of brilliance. The Missions section adds more life into things and the What If bit is a laugh. It is not a game for the short tempered. Getting to be a good dogfighter requires determination and dedication. If you have these skills you are in for a serious amount of aerial punch-ups.
Flight simulations have been covered from every single angle since the birth of computer games, and most of them have been released by Microprose. Dogfight is a step in a new direction for the company that prides itself on the most accurate simulations around - an arcade sim! No, not an arcade game, an arcade sim.
Essentially, they have just taken out all the difficult flight controls of their usual titles, and shoved a little more emphasis on action. Rather than sit through a million mission briefings, spending all that time choosing armaments and then actually trying to find the enemy, Dogfight sticks you in the middle of battle in any of six historical scenarios using any of 14 different planes from a Sopwith Camel to a Sea Harrier.
You can choose to go one-on-one with an equivalent plane, take on up to five different computer controlled aircraft at once or take part in 12 different mission backdrops. It all sounds quite packed, yet it scores badly. Why? Basically the most important option is missing. How on earth can you have a game called Dogfight and not include a two-player option? The PC version allows for two players, using linked machines, so why not the Amiga?
So, what do you have? A standard flight sim with more combat than most. The controls are strangely sluggish on all machines (regardless of plane types, although the older fighters tend to handle better). The game is slowed down even further by the fact that when you change views, it has to load them in. For a game that is supposed to be action based, you sure do have to sit about a lot!
Without the two-player option, there is not much game left. The real problem is that it falls between two stools. It is far too slow to be the fast paced action blaster it claims to be and it lacks enough depth to please simulation fans.
Dog Fight 80 years of Aerial Warfare. A very cool game, which you can play both with computer opponents or with your friends, through splitted screen. You can choose between many aeroplanes in style of first or 2nd World War, etc. Fine graphics, enjoyable gameplay, worth to try!
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