Mercs: The Dogs Of War!
Only one campaign was included (“Burning Sands”), where Pirani invades Dhimar, and with the help of the US Armed Forces, Dhimar is defended. The campaign is indeed dynamic, again not to the level of Falcon, but dynamic nonetheless. The Campaign also came with a twist: the ability of the player to fly as a mercenary in the defense of Dhimar. Money had to be earned to purchase upgrades and weapons; I’m not sure how popular a feature this was. Very few skins were made for the mercs; I suppose some conclusions can be drawn from that.
Multiplay was included as well, but did not work for many people, if at all. Also, frame rates were relatively poor, at least on my ATI card (a known bug); improvements to the graphics engine since the original release have made an enormous difference.
SF is all about moddability, and the SF Community was alive and well, well before the release of even the Wal-Mart version. So it was no surprise that the very first mods came out for SF almost the same day it was released! About the first mod was Larry Schnell’s “Fly all MiGs”. This allowed all the stock Red aircraft to become player flyable. Making any aircraft in SF player flyable is extremely easy — it takes only a few minutes of copy and paste (for a cockpit, for example), and .ini file editing (in trusty Notepad) for an AI aircraft to be fully player flyable. The downside is that the cockpit will be for a US aircraft, but at least you get to fly a MiG.
This worked great in offline single missions, but what about flying for the Red Team in a Campaign? Enter Lee Sullivan’s “Red Wings”, the first player flyable campaign for the Red side.
Flying for the Red Side!