Part 3 – Mission Building
Falcon 4.0: Allied Force is a rich, deeply faceted experience with a high fidelity jet combat flight simulator at its core. Its many features all compliment and enhance one another so the time spent to familiarize yourself with them will be greatly rewarded. There’s so much here, it’s possible you might overlook something:
- To assist you in learning all the skills you need to fly and fight in the F-16 Viper, such as navigation, radar use, and landing, it has mission tutorials, instant action, and dogfight mode.
- There’s the Tactical Reference, a library packed with detailed specifications and features of most of the aircraft, weapons, and vehicles in the simulation.
- Then there’s the ACMI, Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation system, a VCR in the sky with which you can record everything that goes on around your aircraft and then replay and review the action from many different perspectives. Great for analyzing why your gear collapsed in your last landing!
- Multiplayer gives you access to join with friends co-op or force on force missions.
- The soul of F4:AF to many is it’s dynamic campaign, eighteen campaigns in two different theatres.
- And of course, the huge 716 page manual to help you make sense of it all.
Did I overlook something? Ah, indeed I have. F4:AF also has the Tactical Engagement section which contains its full-featured Mission Builder. This is truly a “world within a world”, an area that gives you the chance not just to be a player, but to enter the realm of the war gamers, the generals and mission planners, the strategy makers. Like much of F4:AF, things are scaleable depending on your time and desire for complexity. You can create everything from simple training missions that take minutes to make and to run, to complicated mini-campaigns with multiple targets and air packages on both sides, ground units and air defenses that will take much longer to make and perhaps several days to fight to its conclusion.
The purpose of this review is to give you a glimpse of this powerful Mission Builder and what my impressions of it are. We’ll create a couple of sorties, one very simple, and then build some complexity into it, fly each one so we can see what went right, and what went wrong. My focus here will be on the Single Player aspect, but much of what you see is applicable to multiplayer as well, and we will covering MP in a later installment.
Learning is a big part of F4:AF as a whole, and the Mission Builder is no exception. Now, I must admit, there are certainly a whole lot of folks out there who are better at mission building than I am. And that manual has a whole section devoted to how to use the Mission Builder in detail. I have no pretense of teaching you all how to do this, and there will be things that maybe don’t make sense and things I omitted and that’s all right. You can always read up on it, and there are other sources of information on just which button to click or what Victory Conditions is all about. Again, this is a very deep and powerful tool, so it takes time to learn all it is capable of.
Come along with me now as we enter this world and we’ll learn a few things, review a few things, and have a little fun too. The door is right over here.