Lock on Platinum PC Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 7.9
Graphics 8.4
Sound 7.0
Value 8.2
Developer: Eagle Dynamics
Review Date:
October 2010
James Wright



If you are after a realistic flight simulator than you have come to the right place with Lock On Platinum. Developed by Eagle Dynamics, Lock On Platinum is one of the most realistic flight simulators on the PC and it helps that this company has a track record of creating high quality flight simulator games. Although the gameplay is pretty much perfect, the graphics of this title is visually quite stunning as you become a professional jet fighter.

As opposed to some of Eagle Dynamics previous releases, Lock On Platinum features a variety of aircrafts that the player can virtually test fly that include planes such as the F-15C Eagle or my favourite, the MiG-29A Fulcrum. Best of all, these aircrafts all handle differently but in order to be truly submerged into this title, a PC flight stick is recommended as opposed to the keyboard and mouse. This is the biggest shortfall of the game... it's not quite the same without a flight stick.

As mentioned, the game contains a variety of different aircrafts (8 to be precise) which includes Russian and American planes. For the purists, the LOP contains the following, A-10A Warthog, F-15C Eagle, Su-27, Flanker B, Mig-29 Fulcrum A, Mig-29 Fulcrum C, Su-25 Frogfoot, Su-33 Flanker D and the German Mig-29 Fulcrum A. So what kind of flight simulator is this?

Depending on what country you are located, the game revolves around 20 missions, each with its select missions and goals. Best of all, this game actually contains a story that does make this game more than just a stock standard flight simulator because it does help immerse you into the game and give you some control. Speaking of controls, controls work exceptionally well with our Saitek Flightstick. We did try to use the mouse and keyboard but no... it doesn't work very well. Ok, it works but the experience is just du

In essence, the game is a fighting game or dog fighting game as you fight a variety of enemies in the sky, the ground and even naval forces. Where the game does shine is through the dogfights against enemies and if the difficulty gets in the way, the game contains a scalable difficulty. Another cool aspect of the game is that there are over 50 different types of AI controlled planes and not all of these are enemies. Flying close to non enemy planes really gives you a great sense of accuracy and it really makes you appreciate the development of this realistic title. And then you have the non flight variety of enemies which can cause you some grief but nothing is more satisfying than flying close and bombing them to kingdom come.

Once you have finished the single-player mode or if you're after something a little different, than why not try the mission editor. The mission editor allows you to create your own missions and needless to say, it can become quite addictive as you attempt to create your own perfect environments. Just be warned, it's not the easiest thing to do but at least the developers have tried to do something different. As mentioned, the difficulty or realism of the game can be scaled and by turning it to maximum, the game becomes a true simulator as opposed to an arcade simulator.

For multiplayer fans, the game is compatible with DCS: Black Shark in both head to head and cooperative play. Playing against other LOP owners is very satisfying, especially in cooperative play because just like Top Gun, this is what the experience feels like. Unfortunately when we tried to play, we did not find too many contenders and had to wait a little. Hopefully this will improve with the release of the game. So whether you're a owner of LOP or DSC: Black Shark, it's time to get rough.

Graphically, LOP is a very detailed game and does require a relatively high end PC to run it successfully. Load times can also be an issue. Both the interior and exteriors of the planes are extremely detailed and then when you match the outside with reflective surfaces, realism takes a new meaning. The terrain is photorealistic but unfortunately as with most flight simulators, the closer you get to the ground, the more flat it becomes. None the less, it's a very nice looking game from start to finish with some great weather effects and lighting (day and night missions).

In the end, Lock On Platinum is a very realistic game that contains a rather steep learning curve. If you have never played a simulator before, the realism may turn you off but if you are after a very realistic and engaging flight simulator, than this is the game. The attention to detail is amazing and even the subtleties  are there from the slight differences between the US and Russian planes.


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