A sunny day at the Airshow in "sunny Eastbourne" was the setting for our hands on preview of Top Gun Combat Zones, and we got to speak with Digital Integration's Martin Green about their exciting new title.
Combat Zones is the teams first console based flight simulator, and follows on from a long line of well respected flight sims. Their past experience of flight models and what makes the games playable seems to have been used to full advantage, as they appear to have everything spot on perfect.
Gameplay is a cross between Arcade and Flight Simulator, and this was specifically chosen so that the controls wouldn't be too complex, which is often a complaint of many gamers about tedious "flaps up - undercarriage up" style simulators.
Missions involve everything from following trucks to a prison camp in the gulf, to taking out missile carriers. This mission based structure allows you to unlock further planes and settings, and when you've completed the game you'll be rewarded with free-flight mode, which gives you all the aircraft on all the locations.
Extra bonus points are rewarded for First Blood, for flying close to the ground and between tower blocks - of which they are plenty of well placed objects on all of the maps, such as buildings, oil rigs, and bridges - You'll also get rewarded with a better score if you can shoot down the enemy by using multiple shots or from a long distance, so practice really will make perfect.
The landscapes are impressively large with 50km maps, each of which have around 80,000 polygons, and despite not being set on any real locations, they do feel very realistic.
Further tweaks are being made before the release, including the replay modes which will feature more camera angles all of which will be more film style, although the game already looks great how it is now, so it'll be interesting to see just what improvements are possible.
Top Gun Combat Zones is due for release on the PS2 by Virgin this November, and GamesPaper will be bringing more news and a full review over the next couple of months.