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Written by  :  Longwalker (768)
Written on  :  Apr 04, 2002
Rating  :  3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars

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Summary

A good sim with bad graphics.

The Good

The best feature of ATF is the selection of aircraft you can fly and the weapons you can use. Be it American, British, French, Russian or even Chinese, if they have a fighter/bomber or gun/bomb, you can fly it or fire it. Not every plane, of course, is included. Most notably the SU-25 Frogfoot and EF 2000 are among the absent (Although I believe that the "NATO Fighters" expansion pack remedies this, at least to a degree). Although if memory serves, this is the most recent, if not The Only fight sim to have a F-104 Starfighter or a B-52 ready to fly right out of the box.

The physics are reasonably solid, though they are not as realistic as some of the more current offerings (But they are very good for a 1995-96 game, nevertheless). Also of note is the AI, which is not brilliant by any means, but also isn't as dumb as a sack of bricks either.

The Bad

The biggest flaw present is the in-flight graphics engine, which is a pretty awful one at that. The low resolution graphics present in 320x240 make the terrain and aircraft look like they were built out of "Lego" blocks, and if you go much higher than that you will need a machine built at least three or four years after the game was released for it to run smoothly.

Another problem is with the sound and music. The sound itself is fine, except it seems to play back at 11,025Khz, which, even for that time period, is rather low. The music seems to be more a matter of taste than anything else, but I for one found the "World/Ambient" mix of digital music a tad annoying. Also since it seems that there are no more than three or five songs that will play in any given situation, so it's also very repetitive (Annoying + Repetitive = Headache).

The Bottom Line

ATF is a very good flight sim that you would be wise to purchase, but I would also recommend you have at least a 400Mhz or better machine and that you squelch the in-game "music" and shove in your favorite Pink Floyd CD instead (I recommend "Dark Side of the Moon" for this game, BTW).