Written by  :  Pin Fox (3)
Written on  :  Aug 02, 2018
Rating  :  4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars
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Summary

A totally underrated yet Not-Yet-Done F-16 sim.

The Good

Back To Baghdad (B2B) is a military F-16C sim made by MSI in 1996 as a 'Hard-core' alternative to the selection of flight sims that were around at the time and it was ahead of its time seeing as Falcon 4.0 wasn't released until a year later. As the name implies, B2B takes place in an alternate story where the Gulf War was won, but somehow Saddam is back in power. So you go "Back To Baghdad" to take him out.

B2B models the F-16C's avionics and flight model really well. Somewhat comparable to, say, Falcon 4.0's FM as it also models drag and weight depending on what your F-16 is carrying. The avionics are also modeled really well, again being ahead of Falcon 4.0 a year before its prime-time.

Graphically it's dated, yes, but at the time this was IMPRESSIVE to see in DOS, especially in the year Quake was released, as B2B had a large map to fly in and rendered the deserts of Baghdad as much as the Pentium could handle. All this in software mode WAY before 3dFX cards were the norm.

The Bad

However, as good as the gameplay of learning B2B's modeling of the Falcon is, it seems like MSI took the game out of the oven too soon. The game never really had much support (MSI was contracted out to a real military firm in 1997), so most bugs still exist in the game. A 1.03 patch was released but all it did was add 2 more missions and update the radar system modeling a bit. Missions are hard in B2B, like REALLY HARD at times, expecting you to do most of the missions yourself and only yourself (plus all the missions in B2B are not dynamic like Falcon 3.0, there was talk about a mission editor but it never came to the light of day). You do have wingmen but mostly they just follow you like a lost puppy and only fire upon enemies when they feel it's just to do so. You also cannot command them like in Falcon 3.0. It is strange that MSI never added commands to wingmen in B2B.

The manual that came with the game was good but it wasn't as large as Falcon 3.0's manual, as it only went into the basics rather than go into the nitty gritty. MSI did release a revised and extended version of the manual that came with B2B that was a hefty 200 pages, but it was released when the game was then overshadowed by the then new Falcon 4.0.

The Bottom Line

Back To Baghdad is definitely not a game you can jump in and play, it was marketed for the hard-core flight sim market for a reason. You need to know what the basics are to military flight sims in general to get a grasp of what B2B has to offer.

If you enjoyed Falcon 3.0, 4.0 or BMS and want to try out an obscure, rough yet underrated flight sim, B2B is definitely something to check out.