It’s the 1980s again; wide shoulder pads, big hair, loads of makeup and that’s just the men! Yes, some of us remember that period of excess only too vividly. That was a time when you could spend money! Of course who could forget one of the biggest movies of that period.. yes folks! I am talking about TOP GUN (in case you were thinking of something else).
I personally hated TOP GUN the movie. It was typical of that period of excess and shallowness, the theme tune is one of the lamest tunes of the 80’s and I cannot get all misty eyed over it. In fact I agree with Sid from SLEEP WITH ME regarding the true meaning of TOP GUN, the best explanation of the film ever! OK fair enough, the bits without TOM CRUISE in are fine (the flying sequences that is) apart from the annoying radio chatter, and the fact that they are hinting at TOP GUN 2 has highlighted the genre again.
So we come to the game TOP GUN: HARD LOCK by 505 GAMES. Well to start with there are no shower/locker room levels in this game, or in fact anything to do with riding motorbikes against horses (which might have been fun). Instead it’s good old fashioned flying and air to air combat. I say old fashioned because that’s the kind of feeling I felt when playing TOP GUN: HARD LOCK, more of an early noughties game than something of today,.
The controls can be very irritating at times. I found I couldn’t make my mind up whether I wanted to use a controller, or my CYBORG joystick. Neither gave me a satisfying feeling, mainly because the joystick didn’t feel comfortable with all the different commands the game demanded. The game is obviously developed with the controller in mind, so I eventually stuck to that.
TOP GUN: HARD LOCK is a standard flight simulator and not the best around. The fact that there was no in-cockpit camera view to start with was off putting and the constant in-game control prompts kept breaking my concentration. The action is simple. Just lock onto an enemy, press X and the computer takes over. Then you just have to keep on the bad guys tail until you can shoot him down. Which is great for the first few times, but then it soon becomes tedious when you realize that it’s exactly the same for all opponents.
Now if you are after a real shoot ‘em up dog fight flying game, then please look elsewhere. TOP GUN: HARD LOCK isn’t really bad, it’s just dated and not very inspiring. The missions are the same as you would find in any similar game. You know the stuff… avoiding radar, bombing missions and protecting other aircraft. So really TOP GUN: HARD LOCK hasn’t much to offer I am afraid. It’s all been done before, and in a majority of cases, better. With 15 levels to plod through, it’s not exactly an afternoons’ gaming and the action is quite intense if somewhat repetitive. I mean just how many MIG’s can you shoot down in one session without getting bored. The graphics are very nice with realistic aircraft and nice environments, so it’s not all bad and it all looks nice and grainy.
There is an on-line element with up to 16 players, but unfortunately I couldn’t find many gamers on line. There are quite a few options like Team Deathmatch, Carrier Strike and Aircraft Escort, so the game is not short of content.
TOP GUN: HARD LOCK isn’t a bad game, it’s just nothing new. The game play is no different than half a dozen other flight games out there. OK it’s not boring action wise, I just found it repetitive and the controls somewhat frustrating. It’s a fun action packed game at its core, just don’t expect too much from it. I give TOP GUN: HARD LOCK 7 out of 10 as it’s not a dreadful game, just not very original.
- Top Gun: Hard Lock>
- Developer: Headstrong Games
- Publisher: 505 Games
- Genre: Flight/Action
- Release date: April 6, 2012
- Xbox 360
- Playstation 3