Following the extremes of the Cold War, the former Soviet Union struggles to regain its failing economy and seizes an area of vast mineral resources on the Barents Sea, inviting a military response from NATO. United States President Bob White realises the delicacy of the matter and sends a specialised peacekeeping force aboard the USS Freedom to counter the threat on the North Sea. International politics comes to a standstill and northern Europe is threatened as the two blocs stand on the verge of yet another armed conflict...
The game offers you the chance to play a Russian campaign as flight Lieutenant Colonel Alexei Sokolov or a US campaign as flight Lieutenant Tom Jenkins. Both campaigns offer you the chance to get your hands on some serious hardware and take you right where the action is!
Leaving international politics aside for a minute, this game is one of the most exhaustive and realistic simulations ever spawned. It allows you to navigate your way through base camp, attend de-briefing sessions, sip a cup of coffee with your wingmen and fly a series of missions which will groom you for a permanent role among the high-ranking military bureaucracy of your respective country. As always, you would be well advised to play through some training missions before taking to the sky in the single player campaign.
The game will instruct you in the most basic aerial techniques, should you ever find yourself at sea (no pun intended); you will also be educated in rudimentary aerial combat, waypoint navigation and emergency/cautionary procedures in the cockpit. "Jet Fighter: Full Burn" also gives you the option of customizing your own aircraft on a first-person basis through the game's 3D interface; you can actually go to the hangar of your base and equip yourself with fuel, Maverick missiles, chaff or whatever else your personal engineer may suggest. Different missions require an entirely different set of weaponry and you should take the time to figure out the difference between an ATG, an S-R ATA and an L-R ATA.
During flight, you may come across innumerable difficulties and the training program will help you initiate ground landing on carrier vessels, simulate ground attack and help you understand the vital readouts on your heads-up display (HUD) and multifunction displays (MFD).
The game is immensely entertaining and insightful, giving you a driver's eyeview on the action and a crash course in aerial combat. It's also exhaustive, entertaining and challenging - in other words, everything you'd expect from a good flight sim!This article was first published on 25 Apr 2001.