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Is Falcon 4.0 For You?

by Christopher "Bones" Bonner

It seems that combat sims fall into two distinct categories: Ultra Hard (SSI's Su27 Flanker) or Ultra Easy (Janeís Fighters Anthology). The Middle area has remained gray, with some simulations allowing some customization to fit the player skill level and available time.

Non-combat sim pilots thinking about trying a combat jet fighter simulation for the first time, have no doubt heard the hype surrounding Falcon 4.0 and its high levels of realism in the areas of flight, avionics, and war modeling. This translates into intimidation in a hard and difficult to master flight simulation, for those that just want to shoot something out of the sky and have fun doing it. I feel your pain. (Pointing my thumb, biting my bottom lip, tightening my jaw.)

This article is for you. I am hyping the other side of Falcon 4.0: it's kinder gentler side.. In hopes of showing you that this sim is a lot of fun and can fit your playing style regardless of what skill level you are.

I consider myself a hard-core flight sim driver: I like my flight simulations complete and very realistic. This often means the simulation is very difficult and challenging.

Enter Falcon 4.0. F4 will set new standards in this area of hard-core simulations. Simply put, F4 set at itís highest levels of realism will require a huge time commitment to learn and years to master. This is fact! The hard-core flight sim community will have its prayers answered with this awesome simulation of the Second Korean War featuring the F-16C Block 52.

But what about you, a non hard-core flight fan? You guys/girls want a simulation that is complete and that follows Newton's Laws of Physics. And probably you want the experience that only a top notch sim like F4 can offer: a realistic military combat environment. And you deserve that much. After all, you weekend players outnumber us hard-core guys by at least 5 to 1. So will Falcon 4.0 appeal to you?

The answer is "Hell, yeah! It will appeal to you guys!" In fact, in some ways it will be even more appealing than the average light to mid core simulation, simply because it offers a realistic environment, in spades!

Falcon will fit anyone interested in flight simulations. This means the people that are into great sims like Microsoft's Flight Simulator, Flight Unlimited, Novalogic's Flight Simulations, and Janeís lighter combat simulations (like USNF and ATF). How so? Because F4 allows you to customize virtually every option in the sim, from Flight Model to Vehicle Magnification.

My Inspiration for Writing This.

The reason I am writing this article is because of an actual occurrence while testing the sim. "The Boys", my squadron (The 808th) and I have been flying Falcon on MAX REALISM. We have been giving F4 a work over, amazed by it's realism.

So one day as I was doing my Falcon thing, My Dad asked me what it was that I had on screen. I told him it was Falcon 4.0, a new F-16 sim. My Dad, remembering the Falcon title from both my Amiga and Falcon 3.0 days, said, "Let me try that thing!"

Click to continue . . .



A little background on my Dad: He is a Flight Sim nut, enjoys flying big heavies like the 747-400

  • He is into civil aviation
  • Ex Air-Force (Lucky Weasel!! @ age 23 met Chuck Yeager)
  • P-51 fav Prop Plane
  • F-15 Eagle is fav Jet fighter
  • Loves to watch Wings!
  • Loves Airshows

Without any changes, I let him have at it. This first thing he asked me was "What do I do to lock him up?" My Dad was ready to open some whip-ass from the get-go!. As I explained the Radar and complex HOTAS finger exercise, the jet was hit!! I laughed as he caught a SA-9 and damn near jumped out of his seat at the impact!


Realizing that my dad was too green to handle the sim at this level, I made my dad a pilot file and set the options to fit his newbie style:

  • Flight Model : SimplifiedAvionics : Easy
  • Weapons : ExaggeratedPadlocking : Enhanced Magnification : 3
  • Enemy AI : Rookie

Without reading the Manual, and with some assistance from me, he had full authority over the simple control set. He was able to employ the systems and the jet effectively. With theses simple keys assigned to buttons on the Thrustmaster gear my Dad was ready to go. He was able to down some bandits and kill some ground targets, all in a very short amount of time.

Falcon in Flight

Keys needed were:

  • Lock Target
  • Next Target
  • Previous Target
  • Select Weapon AA/AG
  • Fire Weapon
  • Views

Go to Part II


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Last Updated November 12th, 1998

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