Take to the skies with this realistic flight simulator
Lock On: Flaming Cliffs 2 is an add-on pack for the flight simulator game Lock On:Modern Air Combat (LOMAC).
The original game is getting on for eight years old, but Flaming Cliffs 2 gives it a significant new lease of life. You'll need a copy of LOMAC installed, but you can buy this for just £12 at the same time you don't have it already.
There are eight aircraft included: two American and six Russian. The A-10A Warthog ground attack and F-15 fighter make up the American side. The Russian ground attack aircraft are the Su-25 Frogfoot and the Su-25T Improved Frogfoot. The fighters are the MiG-29A, MiG-29C, Su-27 and Su-33.
The MiG-29C and Su-25T are completely new aircraft with some important differences. The avionics in the latter have been greatly improved so the Head-up Display (HUD) now has lots of useful information compared to the rather basic crosshairs in the Su-25. It also has some new weapons and a TV-based targeting system.
A new Western Caucasus region for missions is also included - anyone who has played the same maker's DCS: Black Shark will find this region familiar. An exciting prospect is that multiplayer games are compatible between the two flight simulators.
The starting screens have been completely redesigned and share a common design with Black Shark while Flaming Cliffs 2's graphics are very good and much improved over LOMAC.
One very useful feature to come over from Black Shark is 'mouse look'. It cannot be used to click on switches in the cockpit but it is a very effective way of looking around the aircraft, especially on approach to landing.
The flight models (the way the aircraft behave in flight) have been greatly improved for the Su-25 and Su-25T. If you have uneven stores on the flight, for instance after firing a missile, the aircraft responds by rolling towards the heavier wing. It's one of those extra challanges that makes the game more fun.
Landings also have a high degree of realism and vary between aircraft. Fighters such as the F15 are straightforward to land with their good manouveability and plenty of power to correct a low approach. The overloaded Su-25T is a lot more challenging, not least for the fact that the speed is in kilometres-per-hour and height in metres.
Ultimately this is a very engaging game that offers many of hours of gameplay
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