reviews\ Dec 3, 2001 at 7:00 pm

AirForce Delta Storm - XB - Review

“At the end of the 20th century, the analysis of the human genome was completed, leading to great advances for mankind … Life spans lengthened, and for a brief time the Earth was like a Garden of Eden.”

But when the extended span of human life couples with a population explosion and upsets nature’s balance, something has to give. In this case, it was the Earth’s resources. And when there is a short supply of anything, there is bound to be trouble. And it begins in one country, which is hit hardest by the resource shortage. A revolutionary government takes over and gives rise to the “United Front,” an organization dedicated to equal division of all the Earth’s resources. Other nations who lack resources join the cause and an army (known as the “United Forces”) is co-joined. The United Forces march on the resource-rich nations. Inevitably, those nations with the resources form an alliance to protect themselves, and the war moves from a verbal to physical realm.

“Now, in the year 20X1, on the Alexxy Peninsula, the struggle between the two sides has taken a new turn …”

Thus is the premise for AirForce Delta Storm, an Xbox release by Konami. Essentially this is an arcade-style flight simulator, featuring numerous missions, solid graphics and steady game play. The game does feature some anomalies, though. Take, for example, the wide range of aircraft, which can be used in the game – like the Berkut, the Corsair II, the Harrier II, a MiG-27, F/A-18C Hornet, and F-15E Strike Eagle (to name but a few of the fighters which can be launched). Great planes, but hey, isn’t this the future? Shouldn’t there be a new breed of fighter jets?

The game begins with players embarked on a mission that should be like shooting fish in a barrel. United Forces landing forces are converging on the Lodey Coast. The mission is simple: launch, lock on a target and blow them out of the water. Hmmm, since when do fish shoot back?

The game play is strictly arcade style. It lacks the realism of a PC flight/combat sim, and the plane aerodynamics can be rather silly at times. Some of the effects could have been tweaked to look more realistic, and to take advantage of the Xbox’s incredible video abilities. In that first mission, some of the smoke plumes, instead of looking realistic, seem more like something viewed on a PlayStation1 system. Rather than smooth, they are blocky. Of course, there are graphical portions of the game that are very good, like the Heads-Up Display, and some of the environments.

The sound features some solid music, and radio back chatter but is merely average.

Controls are kept very simple and are easy to use. Factor in about a 20-minute learning/navigating period, and you should be flying your chosen jet like a pro. But don’t think that you will have an easy time of it from there on. This game has three levels to challenge most gameplayers.

AirForce Delta Storm has the typical flight/combat sim storyline. It features a variety of battle scenarios, including air-to-air and air-to-surface. It is a challenging program, but lacks a fresh storyline and relies too much on the arcade elements.

It is rated for Everyone.

Gameplay: 7.5
Strictly arcade style, this game does not do a solid job of emulating the aerodynamics and simple flight principles. In terms of arcade-style play, this game is solid.

Graphics: 7.5
There are some setbacks, but the planes are well rendered, as are some of the environments.

Sound: 7
The audio elements are solid, but offer nothing that is beyond average.

Difficulty: 7
The controls are very manageable, and the game does feature difficulty levels to challenge most players.

Concept: 6
This is an arcade game working with a tired script.

Multiplayer: N/A

Overall: 7
The world of PC combat flight sims has been remarkable over the past several years, and with the advent of the graphical capabilities of the Xbox, one would have thought that this console system could challenge in terms of game play. Perhaps it will, but not with AirForce Delta Storm. It is a good arcade game. The flight elements may lack realism, but there is plenty of action to entertain fans of this arcade genre.


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