Description official descriptions
You're flying the F-16 "Fighting Falcon", a U.S. Air Force fighter, over the skies of Korea. The learning curve is VERY steep and will take time to learn, let alone master. There is a way to "jump in and fly" so the game can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of experience. The simulated plane is an F-16C Block 50/52 version.
Falcon 4.0 comes with a dynamic campaign, which is a full blown strategy game within the simulator itself. As the virtual war develops, the campaign engine moves ground, naval and airborne troops around the battlefield and generates missions for the player.
- 猎鹰4.0 - Simplified Chinese spelling
Credits (Windows version)
212 People (181 developers, 31 thanks) · View all
|Music / Sound|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 82% (based on 29 ratings)
Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 34 ratings with 2 reviews)
Incredibly high quality game, and after patching to 1.08 very stable. This game looks fantastic and plays like real life, it is truly a virtual world of air combat. Imagine flying into a valley on route to your target an seeing a tank battle that is been properly fought by the AI, finding enemy air patrols all tasked by a theatre level AI! The player is only a tiny part of the combat that is underway across the Korean peninsula. The mod support for this game is phenomenal - its even more hardcore with SuperPak, BMS, FreeFalcon etc
Too complicated, this game sometimes requires several key strokes to change a radar mode (as in real life) etc. You don't casually play this game it'll be the ONLY game you play due to its steep learning curve. The many patchs and mods are hard to keep up with for "casual" players.
The Bottom Line
This is more than a game this is even more than a sim! Its a complete war! This is the holy grail of flight sims and unlikely to ever be surpassed. An entire war is modelled in Korea with ground/air/sea forces all under (intelligent) AI control. This game is not easy to learn - expect a month to learn how to do a basic mission! But if you want the ulimate realism you'll be in heaven.
Windows · by taly01 (6) · 2005
This is an intimidating, hardcore flight simulator; the fact that this is only the second review in seven years testifies to its esoteric appeal. It came out at the tail-end of a wave of simulators based around the brand-new F-22, and marked the beginning of a slump in new PC flight simulators, in part because the PC market was transitioning away from the kind of complex, adult games of yore - flight simulators and role-playing games being the PC's traditional strengths, certainly back in the 1980s - towards simpler genres, notably first person shooters. Nothing wrong with that, because everything changes, but Falcon 4.0 seems slightly old-fashioned nowadays, with its thick manual and detailed model of a radar system. This is forgivable, in that Falcon 4.0 is the distant sequel of a classic old Atari ST/Amiga game which, in its turn, was also benchmark for realism.
Its strengths are twofold, threefold. Firstly, the simulation of an F16 - in particular its avionics equipment - seems extremely accurate, and at the very convincingly complicated. Secondly, it uses a 'dynamic campaign', in that you fly over a real-time battlefield, as in DiD's earlier 'EF2000'. Rather than playing a series of unconnected missions, you take off, bomb targets, perform a combat air patrol, return to base... and the military campaign (North Korea invades South Korea) continues in the background. If you bomb a bridge, it stays bombed until it is repaired. This alone extends the game's playability, as you have a real sense of being in the thick of a war; many times, I found myself returning to my base at Pusan, to find a wave of enemy bombers carrying out their own mission against it. Armed only with a few cannon shells, I engaged them in a last-ditch defence, to the extend of trying to distract them off-course by flying in their path, and it worked! Generally.
Thirdly, the game has managed to sustain a small and passionate informal development community since its full-time producers went belly-up. There are many patches to (a) improve the graphics, (b) make the game even more realistic, (c) fix bugs, and there were a lot of bugs.
It's hard to criticism the game for being accurate to the point of unplayability, because you can turn a lot of the OTT switches and procedures off; Falcon 4.0 is after all a game, an entertainment. As with many of DiD's flight simulators, the manual is thick and filled with information which seems interesting, but doesn't really help you play the game; the nitty-gritty of performing combat air patrols and so forth has to be experimented with before you realise that you can completely ignore the stated mission, and just go off and drop napalm on North Korean targets. Indeed, you often have to do this to have any chance of winning the war. As in real life, it's sometimes impossible to dodge incoming missiles and so forth, not because of a bug, but just because that's how it is in real life; the fact that you play a 'wandering spirit' rather than a single pilot excuses this to an extent, but it's still aggravating. Without patching, Korea looks very smoggy, which may be correct but is a bit depressing to look at.
The Bottom Line
Falcon 4.0 didn't really fulfil its commercial potential; although I am not clear on the details, it seems that the companies which produced it folded, and the game was passed around and eventually further work was stopped, a similar fate to that which befell the sequel to Microprose' 'M1 Tank Platoon 2'. Microprose have a long history of this kind of game, going back to 'Mig Alley' and 'Gunship' on the Apple II, and it's a shame they are no more (in the simulation field, only Britain's Digital Integration and Psion have survived longer, and they are both in semi-hibernation). Falcon 4.0 requires a substantial initial time investment, but it hasn't really dated all that much - the engine was scalable, and it came out in the Windows 95 / 3d graphics card era - and with some of the patches it's a perfectly serviceable modern flight sim, with a complex radar system. Whether it works with XP, I have no idea.
Windows · by Ashley Pomeroy (225) · 2005
Development and post-release
Falcon 4.0 was first announced as being in development on September 1994. The game faced multiple development delays and revisions courtesy of the 3D cards revolution, corporate problems and Windows 95, so that it never entered true beta stage until early 1998. The major delays for the game, however, came when Leon Rosenshein was brought in on late 1995 as lead designer. Leon, who had worked for the U.S. government, basically took the project back to the drawing board with lots of ambitious design decisions, effectively scrapping all the early works. After the acquisition of Microprose by Hasbro, the new management team set the deadline to December 1998. Gilman Louie and some other developers of Falcon 3.0 were hired to assist and the game was eventually released, riddled with bugs. Several patches were released but on the 7th of December, 1999, Hasbro laid off the Falcon 4.0 team.
In April 2000, the game's source code leaked to the public, and a project called EFalcon started. Another team, Ibeta, was making realism patches for the game using hex editing. These two weren't compatible until they were combined in a project called SuperPAK.
In May 2001, G2 Interactive purchased the rights for the Falcon series and developed Falcon 4.0: Allied Force, which was released in June 2005 and is a further refinement of Falcon 4.0's engine, which - as with Operation Flashpoint - was developed over a period of several years with an eye to further expansion down the line. Along with the Quake engine, which apparently still has some tendrils hidden away in Half-Life 2, this must make the Falcon 4.0 engine one of the longest-lived game engines of all time.
There was a Squadron Leader's Edition released at the same time. It uses a 3-ring loose-leaf cover instead of a box.
- Computer Gaming World
- November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #11 Top Vaporware Title in Computer Game History
- PC Player (Germany)
- Issue 01/2000 - Best Flight Simulation in 1999
- PC Powerplay (Germany)
- Issue 07/2006 - #4 Best Packaging (together with Falcon 3.0)
- Power Play
- Issue 02/1999 – Best Flight Simulation in 1998
Related Sites +
Basically, this site has a massive amount of F4 stuff. The Home page is not too exciting, but spend a few minutes looking around. This guy has written a killer app. for managing your F4 patches....don't pass this one up.
Falcon 4.0 Unified Team - Home of the SuperPAK Series.
Here you can download the latest SuperPak Patch. This improves Falcon 4.0 to the Best and more realistic military flight simulator ever seem. This Patch is in constant evolution.
Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history!
Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Spectre.
Macintosh added by Corn Popper.
Game added June 17th, 2000. Last modified November 23rd, 2023.