Top Gun: Fire at Will! is a flight game based on the 1986 film and brought to you on two CD-ROM's containing lots of full-motion video and flight-inspired music.
This is a single-player game, initially at least, in which the player takes the role of Maverick (the lead character played by Tom Cruise in the movie). The game begins with a long full-motion-video sequence from the film which cleverly includes footage featuring James Tolkan, who played one of Maverick's commanding officers in the film and who plays your firm-but-fair flight guru Hondo in this game. After 10 comprehensive training missions at the Top Gun Academy at Flighttown, USA, you are sent to Cuba, then Libya, and finally Korea, always with the ultimate goal of 'saving the free world.'
It's important to note that this is a game designed more for accessibility and enjoyment, and not as a realistic, 'by-the-book' flight sim. Purists may point out that the contemporary Su-27 Flanker offers a more realistic combat flight model. Others may propound that it's politically incorrect to even think of global war these days. Nevertheless, this game has something for everyone.
The logical progression of the story from mission to mission is impressive and enjoyable. The game offers enough technical detail to satisfy the aircraft enthusiast but features an ease of play to ensure that anyone can feel comfortable getting into the character. With the abundance of video and sound accenting the experience, this is a game that most people will want to play and keep playing. Will Maverick get the girl? Will Merlin ever grow up? What is the mystery concerning Maverick's father? In all, the game isn't quite as two-dimensional as the film that inspired it.
In fact, this is a game that tends to grow on you. Even when you repeat missions, the wisecracks from the rear seat and the taunts over the R/T from your opponents are different each time. As corny as this may sound, you may actually develop a real feeling of camaraderie with your virtual teammates. You almost miss them when they get shot down (and not just because the loss means that you've got to replay the whole mission!). There are also plenty of short, one-time missions available that are external to the adventure itself, which also add to the game's replay value.
In all, the game succeeds at one of the most important goals a video game can have - it makes the player feel like he is in the story and part of the action. Once this is accomplished, the player is lead to consider any quirkiness or idiosyncrasies with affection instead of dismissing them as defects.
Graphics: Best on 133 Mhz processors and higher, to keep performance high with good graphics
Sound: Voices well used
Enjoyment: A comprehensive feel to the adventure
Replay Value: The game would probably be playable on a higher level of difficulty next time.
Top Gun: Fire at Will is a flight simulator based on the movie of the same name. You take the role of Maverick and must pilot your F-14 Tomcat with your RIO Merlin in the backseat through a series of missions that begin with the Top Gun School in San Diego and continue with conflict zones in Cuba, Korea and Libya.
Full motion video cutscenes with live actors play between many of the game's fifty or so missions, with James Tolkan being the only actor to return from the original movie.
People who downloaded Top Gun: Fire at Will have also downloaded:
Top Gun: Combat Zones, U.S. Navy Fighters Gold, Top Gun Danger Zone, Jane's USAF, Super EF 2000 (a.k.a. Super EuroFighter 2000), Wings over Europe: Cold War Gone Hot, Strike Commander (CD-ROM Edition), Jane's Fighters Anthology
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