XI
you are not logged in
Review

Review: Top Gun

You can't be my wingman. Ever.

I’ve never actually watched Top Gun but I know of all the quotes and memorable moments in the film, so the novelty of this game isn’t entirely lost on me. However, I have played many dogfighting games and other flying games, so I know where this game stands among the greats. Although the flying is fun, it’s sadly a sub-par dogfighting game that makes me want to watch the film to see just how it compares.

Top Gun isn’t the worst game out there but it’s nowhere as near as polished as it could be, to the extent that it feels unfinished. An example of this is that you’re left waiting for the texture pop-in to happen for a good few minutes. Then, you wait a few minutes more, until you have to finally accept that this is how the game actually looks. There’s literally no detailed textures on anything other than the jets themselves; the ground is a single texture, the few buildings that are dotted around look like grey boxes, and the environment feels like a big, empty space. Even the explosions look like something from a PSP mini.

Thankfully, the gameplay is fun. For a while, at least. There’s a good choice of six jets, each with different stats and three different types of missiles: short, medium and long range. Flying the jets is a blast, although the controls take a little while to settle into. The aiming system is relatively easy, with the game requiring you to lock on to a target and fire your missiles. Firing your guns is completely different; you have to aim at a small reticule in front of the enemy, due to the fact the enemy is travelling at high speed. You’re also able to command your wingman to defend, attack or stay, and you can fire flares to avoid missiles.

During the missions, you’ll have to take out a mixture of enemy planes and ground targets, which is fun at first, but simply shooting enemy planes becomes dull and repetitive. There are other parts in the missions that break up this bland gameplay, such as going under the radar and following a route of waypoints, or finding jammers that are blocking your missiles. Then, suddenly you’re back in the midst of a battle, and once you’ve disposed of the enemies you’ll most likely hear “Wait, I’ve got another on my radar”. This happens in nearly every mission, and there is little variety apart from the different environments.

The plot follows Maverick and co. as they do some training missions (in which you’ll use dummy missiles, but somehow still take damage) and then progress onto actual missions. It often feels like there are large chunks of the plot missing, and if you’ve never seen the movie, you’ll have a hard time piecing together what has happened. There’s a prologue mission, three Top Gun training missions that fit in with the plot, and then several real missions, which make a total of… a few hours.

Then there’s the voice acting; another thing that feels unfinished and undeniably the worst thing about the game. You’re introduced to the oncoming battle with a cutscene, where the planes tremble as they fly along next to each other. A few lines of dialogue are passed between the pilots, wingmen and the people back at base. These are extremely boring, with repetitive dialogue that sounds like it has been pasted together, giving off a robot-like effect. Then later in the game, you’ll see the same piece of dialogue used again to patch together a different cutscene.

The characters show little emotion, and you don’t feel as though you are connecting with them on any level. Merlin is the worst (and the most common); he just doesn’t feel real. Often, you’ll hear him say things three or four times in a row, which you’ll tire of faster than you can say “They look like ants from up here – dead ants”. Four times. Maverick doesn’t even have any form of voice acting – although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, judging by the other pieces of voice work. Thankfully, the music always suits the frantic and fast paced action.

The multiplayer is fun, when it works. It’s basically the same dogfighting mechanic as the campaign, but with less enemies. The only thing it lacks is a wingman to command, but unfortunately, the flares have carried over. If you can master the flares in multiplayer, it becomes very hard for someone to hit you with a missile, and this can become infuriating when the enemy is flying around like a moth at a light and you can’t hit them with your mounted guns.

Pros:

  • Flying the jet is a blast… at first
  • Maverick has no voice acting

Cons:

  • The texture pop-in still hasn’t happened after a week
  • Maverick has no voice acting
  • Quickly becomes repetitive and bland
  • Plot? What plot?
  • Dreadful, repetitive voice acting
  • “They look like ants from up here – dead ants”
  • Unfinished

Only after writing 900 words about Top Gun do I realise my disappointment. The good points soon turn into repetitive bad points and the game is not complete. I was enjoying an average game until I got further into it, and now it has sunk in that Top Gun is just a bad example of a dogfighting game. I’m sure diehard Top Gun fans could get something out of this – if the voice acting and poor plot doesn’t ruin for them. The game didn’t even make me want to quote Top Gun once in this review. It’s just not good, even if you feel the need… the need for speed.

4/10

Read more: #
33 Comments
  1. 3shirts
    Member
    Since: Aug 2008

    If only they’d included a homoerotic minigame of some oiled men playing volleyball. THAT is Top Gun

    Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 11:05.
    • Klart
      Member
      Since: Jun 2010

      You’d like that, wouldn’t you?

      Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 11:24.
    • moshi
      Member
      Since: Jun 2009

      Fingers crossed it may be DLC

      Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 11:27.
    • Danza Di Fuoco E Ghiaccio
      Member
      Since: Aug 2009

      Oh god….. why

      Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 11:45.
    • Amphlett
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      Maybe if during the volleyball they have a playful grapple to fight the ball off of each other…

      Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 14:06.
  2. Bilbo_bobbins
    Member
    Since: Jun 2009

    I just can’t get over the fact you haven’t seen Top Gun??? Takes my breath awaaaaaaaay ! Dun Dun……dun dun

    Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 11:35.
    • smokeybeef
      Member
      Since: Feb 2009

      I know. While reading the review I kept thinking…”But how hasn’t he seen Top Gun?”

      It’s not even a good film; it’s just one you have to see at least once. “plaaaaying with the boys”

      On another note, judging by what you’ve said in the review and described the game as, I’d have given it a 3.

      Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 11:44.
      • mynameisblair
        hisnameisblair
        Since: May 2009

        I expected to score it higher before I wrote the review, but it just all came together after writing it.
        Also: I will watch it one day..

        Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 12:04.
      • sideshow
        Member
        Since: Jun 2009

        I’m dying to see this snowboarding movie purely because of it’s trailer’s soundtrack:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byQycWxnzok

        Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 12:33.
    • moshi
      Member
      Since: Jun 2009

      Shall we club together to get him a cheap copy of ebay

      Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 11:58.
      • 3shirts
        Member
        Since: Aug 2008

        I have it on DVD, you are welcome to it! PM me your address in the forum, seriously.

        Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 12:10.
      • mynameisblair
        hisnameisblair
        Since: May 2009

        Haha, well I’m just moving out in a few days so we’ll see after that, eh? ;)

        Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 12:36.
      • bunimomike
        Member
        Since: Jul 2009

        Wow, way to avoid 3shirts’ kindness. Drastic action, eh? :-)

        Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 13:35.
  3. cam the man
    Member
    Since: May 2009

    With Hawx 2 just out I think I’ll give this a miss.
    Good review though.

    Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 12:00.
  4. Squalje
    Member
    Since: Jan 2010

    Thanks for the review. I was trying to decide whether to get this or not but I think I will stay clear now.

    Ps. You should take up 3shirts offer and watch Top Gun!

    Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 12:16.
  5. Spotter5
    Member
    Since: Forever

    I’ve never seen Top Gun either… Nor for that matter, The Godfather series.

    Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 12:38.
    • Amphlett
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      I’m rapidly closing on 39 and only watched The Godfather (part one) a couple of weeks ago. I might try out part two in the next 38 years, and probably leave no time at all in my life for what I understand is a terrible part three.

      Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 14:09.
  6. gordon_strange
    Member
    Since: Nov 2009

    do the planes fly like warhawks? that is my bench mark for all flying games

    Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 12:53.
    • mynameisblair
      hisnameisblair
      Since: May 2009

      No, it’s one stick for the plane and one stick for the camera, which annoyed me at first as I’m used to Warhawk, but after I settled in, it was okay.

      Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 13:08.
      • gordon_strange
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        cool, well thanks for the advice, but based on the review, i shall pass!

        Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 17:47.
  7. Ducer15
    Member
    Since: Jun 2009

    Is is bad that I saw Top Gun at the cinema, or does it just make me old?

    Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 12:55.
    • Kovacs
      Member
      Since: Dec 2009

      Depends. Did you have a shirt on at the time? Handlebar moustache?

      Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 14:17.
      • Ducer15
        Member
        Since: Jun 2009

        Nope. Also the film was in colour and was a talkie!

        Comment posted on 17/09/2010 at 13:02.
  8. wick15
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    Good review, it disappoints me as well. They ruined the films quotes with the terrible voice acting.
    P.S I’m the master of the flares :P

    Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 13:24.
  9. BlackWidowShirt
    Banned
    Since: Apr 2010

    This comment is hidden.

    Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 15:45.
    • mynameisblair
      hisnameisblair
      Since: May 2009

      I couldn’t care less whether it’s weird or not, this game disappointed me and that’s it.

      Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 16:14.
    • DJ-Katy
      Member
      Since: Apr 2009

      *must… resist…*

      Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 16:16.
    • BlackWidowShirt
      Banned
      Since: Apr 2010

      This comment is hidden.

      Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 20:09.
      • bunimomike
        Member
        Since: Jul 2009

        What constitutes a proper PSN game?

        Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 20:32.
  10. gazzagb
    Master of speling mitakse
    Since: Feb 2009

    Seems that your review is in-line with all the other ones I’ve already read.
    The metacritic score speaks for itself really.

    Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 16:42.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Latest Comments