Top Gun; The PS3 Attitude Preview
PS3 Attitude were coaxed out of our ivory traffic control tower to get hands-on with this forthcoming PSN title. So, exactly what does this new dogfighting game have to offer?
Brought to you by doublesix, the people who crafted the fun undead-em-up Burn Zombie Burn, Top Gun is a free-flying air combat shooter.
The game features a Campaign mode that sees you enrol in the Top Gun Academy as Maverick with their Radar Intercept Officer Goose to go up against the best for Top Gun honours. Approximately 30% of the campaign mode is spent in training, with the following 70% running missions in the Indian Ocean.
Flying over the Indian Ocean, you get to shoot down enemy fighter jets, defend and attack bases and engage in large-scale dogfight battles. Top Gun also features five multiplayer modes, allowing up to sixteen players to go up against the best and battle it out on-line. In addition to the on-line and campaign game types, you will also find Horde mode; throwing relentless waves of enemies at you to test your dogfighting capabilities.
We were impressed with some of the little touches we saw in our hands-on preview. The music, for example, is true to the original film, although the more astute of you will realise that these are cover versions; the original music would have cost a fortune to licence. We liked the way that the background score changed with the level of present danger, and the sound effects and commentary from your wingman not only add to the game, but become useful anchors to explain what is happening off-screen.
Paramount Digital Entertainment, who are publishing the title, has tapped the film’s screenwriter, Jack Epps, Jr., to expand beyond the film’s plot and create all-new story elements and dialogue with the film’s iconic characters, including Goose, Iceman, Jester, Viper, Merlin, Slider, Wolfman and more.
The game has an arcade feel that you would associate with a 21st Century Afterburner, rather than that of a flight simulator or one of the more ‘serious’ games in this genre. The controls, therefore, are easy to master and completely accessible. You don’t die instantly when hit by rockets, and your armour recovers over time. You also have infinite guns that don’t overheat, and plentiful supplies of rockets. Don’t think that this is a simple game to play though – we tried the Horde mode in ‘Easy’ and by the third wave of enemies were finding the game threw up a suitable challenge.
You’ll also find a special ‘CFI’ feature when playing that allows you to pull crazy, gut wrenching tricks in mid-air to really gain an advantage on your opponents. It is similar to the loose physics ‘OFF’ mode found in Ubisoft’s H.A.W.X. and adds an extra element to the gameplay.
Top Gun is, simply put, a lot of fun. It may not be as deep as the H.A.W.X. or Ace Combat titles available, but then you’re looking at a game that costs the same as your average round of drinks. And we’ll happily raise a glass to that.
Whilst the licence doesn’t stretch to the actors associated with the original film – it seems you have to be Top Gear and not Top Gun to score Tom Cruise these days – doublesix have put together a fun and enjoyable PSN title that will cost in the region of £9.99/$14.99 (to be confirmed). The title is currently being cleared for release, so expect an official date any day.