and Pratt & Whitney
proudly present, the F-22 Raptor Air Superiority Fighter!
In cooperating cutting edge avionics, weapon systems and stealth technology, the F-22 promises to be the air dominance fighter for the 21st century. The Westinghouse AN/APG-77 radar with it's one hundred-twenty degree field of view enables the Raptor to acquire and track multiple targets beyond visual range. It's on-board computer system can identify and classify targets at a rate of seven hundred million instructions per second, the equivalent of four super computers.
Providing power for the F-22 are two Pratt & Whitney F119 turbofan engines. Rated at thirty-five thousand pounds of thrust each, the engines allow the Raptor to supercruise at MACH 1.58 without the use of afterburners, greatly reducing the F-22's heat signature. The F119's engines also feature a two-dimensional thrust vectoring system giving the Raptor superior agility in combat.
In it's air superiority role, the Raptor carries two AIM-9X SIDEWINDER's and six AIM-120C AMRAAM's. For deep strike missions, four AMRAAM's can be replaced with two one thousand pound Joint Direct Attack munitions. The JDAM is a GPS guided "smart bomb" which can strike at target without active laser allowing the F-22 to remain undetected.
Designed with stealth as a primary goal, the F-22's titanium and composit superstructure is both lightweight and strong. With the addition of radar absorbing materials, the frontal radar cross section is over one hundred times smaller than that of the F-15C.
The rules of war have changed, the battles of tomorrow will be won not by those with the largest armies, but by those who can attack without being seen. The only armor will be the cloak of invisibility. Achieving air superiority will be the task of the only aircraft capable of striking at the heart of the enemy. It is a warplane light years ahead in it's design, a supersonic killing machine.The F-22 RAPTOR!
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Now that I got the Raptor's honored intel out of the way, it is time for the actual review.
The people at NOVALOGIC are known of making a lot of great war games. As an owner of multiple Novalogic titles in the past, one thing in common with all of them is Novalogic's own handprint which can be seen and feel in-game. Basically this means you know what you're getting for your buck. A game which is a military simulator in lighter category, but still contains a balance of realism and fun at the same time. A simplified, but always well made and written voice-over tutorials to help all new players settling in easier. Also I have to mention having those small showcases with short educational facts are nice goodies.Flying & navigating
I find this game to be very enjoyable despite it's easy flight modeling. As far as I understand this is not far from truth, because in real life this particular warplane just like the new F-35 (which is under development right now) uses a lot of computer assistance to make flying and navigation for the pilot a lot more pleasant and easier. In practice this means your aircraft will try to maintain the angle you're heading regardless of your AoA (angle of attack) or how much thrust you use. This means you don't have to worry about sinking, because unlike with other warplanes depending on the load you're carrying, they all require constant manual rudder / pitch adjusting in order to maintain level flight. Avionics & weapon systems
As you might already get an idea here, this plane is incredibly smart, it is even smarter than you! You can even go grab a drink and have a smile while the autopilot do the landing for you. You don't have to measure distances or do manual target identification either, you can just cycle through your targets on the radar easily with a press of a button while the plane's computer gives you the intel of enemy type / AoA they're heading. After you find a target, next thing you do is select your armament, wait a bit for the target reticle to turn red and fire! You always have an advantage over the enemy because of your advanced avionics, stealth and long range missiles. The F-22's missiles are all literally "fire-and-forget" type, so none of them require further guidance after you launch them. If this fighter is so advanced, is there any actual challenge at all?
Unfortunately all Novalogic's flying series seems to share the same stupid AI which can be annoying and buggy sometimes. I played the original F-22 Lightning II back in 1996 and F-22 Raptor (1998), and the way AI controls the planes in this game is identical. A lot of time the enemy planes act like they're braindead. Chances for the AI to even try doing anything is 50/50. Most of the time when they're flying towards you and you engage them first, they just sit there and wait for your missile to hit them instead of making any evasive maneuvers. Also, the AI doesn't have any ground collision at all, and sometimes you can actually see them cheat by flying through mountains or go underground making them impossible to shoot down, especially if it's a mission goal target you might have to restart the mission because of that. Also the way missiles act is not very good. The missile trajectories are all wrong because they don't try to predict where the target is heading, instead they're aiming directly on the target itself. This leads for the missile to miss the target alot if it's being fired from a bad angle. As an example if the enemy is moving horizontally and the missile cannot get behind the target anywhere between 8 'o clock - 4 'o clock it can never hit the target. Even if the target is moving same direction as you but with high altitude it wont hit. A lot of times some missions are challenging only because the enemy is coming from a bad angle for your missiles to hit, so you need to cut in front of their flight path and re-position yourself before you can actually engage them. This can be frustrating if it's a mission where you need to escort some allied planes from being shot down as it can require some tricky planning.
When it comes to dedication and maintaining some standard, I think Novalogic does it's job well. Despite L3's small bugs, it's still a very rewarding and entertaining game to play. If you always wanted to pilot an F-22, this is the game for you to start with.