After all but exhausting the US fleet of fighter/bomber aircraft, a growing trend arose in the 90’s of creating simulations of opposing and allied aircraft. SSI’s excellent SU-27 Flanker showed everyone that it could be done, but several other games before and after Flanker have emphasized the same idea.
One of the best and most underrated allied aircraft simulations was Tornado from DI (Digital Integration), a simulation of the RAF flown British Tornado low-level tactical fighter/bomber, and also just as notable, TFX from Ocean and DID (Digital Image Design). TFX is a simulation of three aircraft: the US F-117A Stealth Fighter, US Lockheed F-22 Superstar, and the Eurofighter 2000.
The Eurofighter Typhoon was a revolutionary design concept adopted by the British, Italian, German and Spanish military intelligence to have a tactical advantage against any enemy aircraft, particularly any Russian ones. The Eurofighter is the high tech sports car of modern air to air combat, with an altitude level speed of Mach 2 and an air to air combat radius of 500 nautical miles. Last deployed in an active combat zone over Libya to enforce a no-fly zone, the Typhoon has yet to be drawn in a live fight.
Although already featured in TFX, DID took a second swing at the Eurofighter with EF2000, and here they’ve focused all their attention on one aircraft to produce one of the best sims of 1995. Ultra realistic at its core, visually rewarding and so well programmed that it runs on a 120 MHz Pentium CPU without any performance hiccups, EF2000 really is the sum of its parts. The terrain and high altitude clouds top as the best the industry could offer back then, and the 3D modelling is also top notch. Akin to Quake, what EF2000 does best is scream out loud and clear that 3D is here, and you could do some awesome stuff with it.
The ability to either jump in and shoot down hostiles without a second thought (for a novice), or the ability to feed the hunger of a hardcore flight simulation enthusiast makes EF2000 enjoyable for novices and veterans of simulated air combat alike, but only hardened enthusiasts will get the most out of the sim. The manual is pretty hefty and the controls aren’t a breeze to get comfortable with.
The campaign is set during a fictitious Russian invasion of Northern Europe, and you proceed through a gauntlet of randomly generated missions which can be set to adjust to your own flying skills – it’s pretty neat, and it’s never the same. Alongside the campaign you also have a broad range of quick missions, tutorials and a random mission generator, both standard features of mid 90’s flight sims.
EF2000 is the perfect balance of total modern air combat atmosphere, visuals, and sounds that can only be compared to the likes of US Navy Fighters Gold & Silent Thunder Alpha in overall feel of the environment, and the realism of EF2000 simulating the flight model of the actual Eurofighter 2000 almost as well as SSI’s Su-27 simulates the flight model of the actual Su-27 Flanker!. If you’re and don’t mind the rather dreary and pretty dark visuals then I strongly suggest you go for it!
System Requirements: 80486 DX2 66MHz CPU, 8 MB RAM, 12 MB HDD, DOS 5.0
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