Live to fly, fly well to live – those might very well be the
bywords of jetfighter pilots the world over. But when the skies are filled with
deadly foes, those words can take on an added meaning.
Jetfighter 5: Homeland Protector, the pending PC release from
Global Star Software (it has an October release date) place players squarely on
the front aerial like of defense against some of the top aircraft in the world.
But not to worry – the player has some pretty good hardware to use as well.
Global Star invited GameZone to strap in for an early build of
the game, and while this program still has some work left before the release,
enough was there to get a solid feel for the program.
First, it must be noted, that if there was a manual with this
game, it was not accessible through the downloaded material. Therefore it was
necessary to guess at the controls. However, much to its credit, Global Star has
really made this combat flight sim accessible to players. The control elements
(a Saitek Cyborg evo stick) were all joystick contained and very simple to use.
To backtrack, the storyline of Jetfighter 5 has the United
States under attack from a Sino-Russian coalition fronted by a SuperCarrier that
is launching MiG-42s, MiG-44s and a newer plane known as the S-37. However the
U.S. forces are prepared to counter with the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the Joint
Strike Fighter and the F-22 Raptor.
The goal is simple: stop the enemy from getting a foothold on
the West Coast.
Game features include more than 40,000 square miles of
photo-textured terrain, four times the territory of Jetfighter 3 and more than
180 different objects that can be destroyed during the course of the aerial
battle. But don’t think this is simply a game where you are using the
three-dimensional unobstructed zone of the wild blue yonder. Jetfighter 5 allows
players to take the action down almost to the deck, as you pass beneath bridges,
or dodge power line towers. Real cities, such as San Francisco and Oakland make
appearances in this game.
The preview download was a multiplayer test, but hooking up with
people online was a hit-or-miss situation, mostly miss. But the game did have 5
scenarios available, and in each there was the option to set the number of
enemies faced and how many waves they would attack in, as well as the number of
Once the Raptor was picked up as the plane, it was time to arm
it for battle. In addition to its gun, players can also choose the type of
missile to put on the fighter – which includes sidewinders, mavericks, the
AIM-120 Amraam and MK-82 Bomb. You can pick and arm your plane for the
particular battle you are participating in.
There were no take-offs or landings required. Once a scenario
was picked, the action was loaded and players were in the cockpit of these
deadly aerial fighters, screaming along, looking for a fight.
The radar allowed the identification of enemy forces. Camera
angles allow players to look around the cockpit and the hat on the joystick
enable a panoramic view from the pilot’s seat. It was also easy to toggle
between the pilot’s vantage point and an exterior angle to watch the plane.
Graphically the exterior shots revealed the detailing in the
plane. This game was much more fun to look at from outside than in, though when
it comes to the fighting, you had better be looking through the Heads-Up
The missiles leave the rail and the passage is marked by a
satisfying vapor trail.
The music in load scenes was very well done, and the sound
effects, particularly the roar of the jets, added to the realism.
If anything detracted from that, it would be the ease of the
control elements – but that is definitely not a bad thing.
This game has challenge, but that challenge lays in the combat
and the enemies encountered in the skies, not in trying to learn how to fly the
The version viewed was an early build, but from that glimpse it
would appear Jetfighter 5 is taking off for combat-laden action over all-too