Combat flight simulators have littered us in recent years, but
the scenario wasn’t much different during the last years of the 80s and
beginning of the 90s. Productions like LHX: Attack Chopper (which Brent Iverson
developed who also developed Yeager), SU-25 and F-29 Retaliator stormed the
market. Most of them had 256 colors VGA graphics, just like Chuck Yeager’s
But Yeager’s Air Combat really stood out from the crowd.
Sure it was sponsored by a celebrity, but the fact that Iverson actually used
Yeager as an advisor made all the difference. The planes are even with today’s
standards behaving very realistic.
The core of the game is dog fighting and they are unbelievable
realistic, fun, addictive and sometimes hard. There are three campaigns that
you can participate in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Each campaign comes
with a number of different planes such as the P-51 Mustang, the Sabre and the
Sure the modeling of the planes leaves much to be desired. However
it’s not as bad as in many other games from this time. There are some
details, such as different colors and also markings.
The missions in the campaigns are mostly about dog fighting,
however the timeline of the campaigns doesn’t work as in present flight
simulators. You can select a number of missions on each campaign without having
to complete a mission to gain new. So you can start with the absolute hardest
mission if that’s what you want.
As all missions are against the computer AI it can sometimes
feel a bit predictable. If you play the game for a couple of games you almost
know what the computer will do before it acts, at least if you choose the easier
difficulty levels. On the other hand when playing on the hard level you really
have to think and take it easy.
When things start to go down the drain Yeager himself will pop
up and tell you what to do. It’s a nice feature and adds some personality
to the game, even though his tips are pretty meaningless.
Chuck is also integrated in the menu system of the game where
he tells you what to do. Before and after each mission he presents numbers and
statistics and closes with a famous quote, for example ”It’s the
man not the machine” (actually a pretty good quote).
This game would have been better if there was a built in multiplayer
mode. However it’s not vital for the game itself. A more important part
that could have been improved is the campaign missions. Sometimes it would have
been nice if there were some unexpected events during the campaigns to add some
A very nice feature is that you can create missions of your
own. You simply go through a wizard selecting the plan you want, the opposition,
the setting and so on. It’s a nice uncomplicated way of getting some action
Chuck Yeager’s Air Combat is quite a special game, since it’s hard
to explain the feelings you get when playing it. You can almost feel like you
are there, in the air combat, smell the petrol, feel the fear and speed and
the excitement when you manage to hit your opponent. All of those experiences
makes the game addictive and one of the best flight simulators out there, even
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