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Highway to the Danger Zone.

By Troy Roberts     January 23, 2002

AIR FORCE DELTA STORM is the newest arcade style flight simulator from Konami, and the first for the Microsoft Xbox. Closely compared to Namco's ACE COMBAT 4: SHATTERED SKIES for the Playstation 2, DELTA STORM offers over 50 challenging missions and over 70 different warplanes. But what else does it offer, and is it better than ACE COMBAT 4?

In essence, you are a mercenary for hire. You start off with a rather crappy plane, but as you progress through the game you gain more money for each mission that you complete. And when the money adds up, you can buy some really sweet aircraft.

Konami has done a really good job developing the graphics engine for AIR FORCE DELTA STORM. The planes themselves are incredibly detailed, and the scenery is extremely beautiful, especially when the sun is setting or rising, just below the clouds. The graphics are good enough to make you actually believe you are really there. You can almost "feel" a missile that was fired at you fly by. But, really, other than the graphics, the game feels like an extreme letdown.

For one, I can't say the controls are all that precise. While the controls are designed for anyone to pick them up and play (unlike some flight sims where you need to look at a manual before you turn your plane to starboard), they just don't have a good feel to them. This results in unexpected crashes where it looks like the ground is 50 feet below you, but in reality is far enough away for you to touch. And what the heck is with not being able to crash? When you hit the ground, or are shot down, you just go to a black screen with the words "Game Over." Well, I guess it's better than the new MICROSOFT FLIGHT SIMULATOR where you just bounce off of stuff. But, honestly, I don't think that just because of 9/11 that we should take all plane crashes out of games. People know what really happens when a plane crashes. You don't get a "Game Over" screen. AIR FORCE DELTA STORM has a decent soundtrack, although I'd much rather be listening to the TOP GUN soundtrack (okay, okay... yes, "Danger Zone" can get annoying, but it's a great flying song).

And where are the multiplayer modes? I was expecting AIR FORCE DELTA STORM to be filled with multiplayer situations - at least enable you to dogfight against a friend. Unfortunately, nothing of the sort is included. AIR FORCE DELTA STORM is an average game that performs well below my standards. I was expecting really good things from this game. If you want a good flight simulator, go out and buy ACE COMBAT 4.


Grade: C+

Platform: Xbox

ESBR Rating: E

Genre: Flight Simulator

Players: 1

Save: Yes

Developer: Konami

Publisher: Konami

Suggested Retail Price: $49.99




Graphics: A-

Sound: B-

Gameplay: C

Replay: C

Fun Factor: C

Reviewer's Wild Card: C+

Overall Grade: C+


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