Exhibit: Sabre Ace
First impressions (1998)
It's all too rare that I get to fly a MiG... so I was looking forward to blasting around in a MiG-15. However as I found, you have to prove your mettle before you get the good toys!
Going through training reminded me of hauling a Cessna 172 around the circuit. The engine sounds change with RPM and are very helpful in staying above the stall around the circuit. Stalls seem to be sedate and easily recoverable which is good news for newcomers to the flight sim genre.
Formation flying features heavily in Sabre Ace, which was great news to me. For those with limited time you can skip the transit sections of each mission and plunge straight into the action.
I really enjoy the challenge of Formation landings, and in Sabre Ace the runways are wide enough (this is often a problem in sims). The main trick is to avoid an overshoot on finals. Throttle back early.
Dogfighting was frustrating at first, but isn't that the case with any new sim? After an hour or so of practice I started to get my eye in. Then the adrenaline kicked in. This sim probably had the most accurate modelling of size-distance-rate of closure in it's time.
The action was fast and fluid except for areas contaning FLAK. Strangely it wasn't the graphics which were bogging down the system but the sound samples!
My sources tell me that this performance hit is unavoidable. Even on my Celeron-466 the frame rate staggered when these sounds were playing. You could possibly avoid the problem by playing with the sound off... but who wants to do that?
It's a shame because this sim is a great introduction to the military flight sim genre. It's a lot of fun without being too complex.