It demands your full attention... it detects you are not giving full attention... turns around and bites you hard!
I've lost track of the new and exciting ways I found to auger in:
The flight model gives you the impression of handling a nimble and heavy airframe. The computers do their best to fly the plane where you point it, but can't rescue you from gross errors of judgement like my low loops!
From a hard-core point of view I like this... it forces you to correct sloppy habits and get into the checklist mentality.. getting into a "landing state of mind"" when landing... not dwelling on the fantastic dogfight you just had / didn't have.
This indeed is the essence of creating an immersive sim!
The constant narration from the pilot will be much appreciated by beginners, but the option of toggling it off would be nice!
Your wingmen seem pretty competent at their jobs, but you never see them once they have taken off! After a couple of weeks I tried to rein them in and alter the default flight plans. It was still damn hard to get a tally on them... maybe this is realistic? After all the aircraft and ground objects are all rather small at a mile and the Super Hornet likes to cruise along at 550 knots, so your chance of a close encounter with another Hornet is pretty low. And while we're there... how about that wingman communication menu!
(Please please DI, implement a drop down wingman command menu activated by the ~ key with numbers for the sub-menus and commands.)
Getting visual contact is not too hard... just fly towards the radar designator on the HUD. The enemy pilots fly like demons most of the time, pulling maximum G break turns which require you to really think about your airspeed and chip away at the turns to get a firing solution.
This plane is no lawn dart!
Forget about the "put enemy at the top of your HUD and PULL" tactics which may take down most foes if you're in an F-16. This baby has the muscle but you need to supply the brains.
Missile locks are no guarantee of a hit and you quickly learn to wait for the "SHOOT" cue to flash. Luckily the enemy missiles suffer the same limitations and rarely was I hit by an AAM or SAM. Mind you I used copious quanties of chaff, flares, break turns and flying L O W to increase my chances.
I would like to have seen more random enemy behaviour, like seen in MiG Alley, where enemy pilots do the odd stupid thing, or bail out from sheer panic. Maybe they did and I just didn't get to see the fun?
I was too busy doing my own stupid things!
Realistic maybe but...
I'm waiting with bated breath for the mission editor promised for release sometime in 2000. I'd like to create some easier missions... and lot's more daylight missions!
So in conclusion, an immersive and hard core sim which works for the most part very well and demands your utmost attention.
To those sim fans who've been waiting for the next Tornado (1993), I say don't wait, get Super Hornet now and fly it low and fast like a Tornado !