Not-so-exciting gameplay, not-so-absorbing missions, and not-so-hot graphics...
Virgin Interactive Entertainment, in an attempt to merge the realism of a flight sim with the excitement of an arcade flying shooter, have brought us Agile Warrior F-111X. I am sorry to say wait! But I'm not sorry to say that this game falls far short of being exciting, immerseful, or any of that other positive game jargon you frequently come across in gaming rags. Put simply, when I was playing this game, my knuckles weren't white because I was clenching my fists with excitement - they were white because I was pulling my hair out in handfuls.
Okay, that was pretty harsh. On a more positive note, the game actually does offer some mildly entertaining (with emphasis on "mildly") arcade action. You fly through missions, blasting away every tank, MiG, cargo plane, guy, or whatever else you want removed from the screen. Blasting is performed with a variety of weapons, picked up in the form of floating icons, that range from rockets, to seekers, to napalm, to let's-be-exceedingly-rash nukes. The terrain is pretty darn monotonous; however, gunning down a swooping F-16 and proceeding to impale its poor ejected paratrooper on a rocket may prove slightly amusing to some.
Now, time to get harsh again. I was really pulling my hair out over how disappointing the graphics were. Even flying around in lo-res, they seemed a bit choppy and unwieldy. But here's the real clincher: The game supports a number of 3-D accelerators, so - being the fair, accurate, but strict reviewer that I am - rather than chuck the game out the window after an hour or so of playing, I decided to test it out with one of the higher-rated chip sets we have lying around the office. I opted for the Rendition Verite, a really good accelerator, and boy, what results! Suddenly, my cruddy pixelated game was endowed with graphical enhancements that would at best receive the SuperNintendo stamp of approval. I thought that at any moment, a two-dimensional Yoshi would suddenly appear in the sights of my F-111X.
I don't want to cast the Rendition card in a bad light - I think it's excellent. It's Agile Warrior that's the problem. What can you say about a title like this? Every element in the game can be described by tacking a "not-so" in front of it: not-so-exciting gameplay, not-so-absorbing missions, and not-so-hot graphics. So here's the result: a not-so-hot review.