I’ve got to mention how Jane’s
gets you into the USAF mood. When the game boots up, you are treated to an excellent montage of film footage depicting the exploits of the aircraft in the sim and then at the splash screen, you hear slightly corny Air Force recruiting type music which really sets the mood well. The splash screen is where you will choose a type of gameplay. Quick Mission allows for fast customized action, while Training is for, um, er... training. Single Mission is for flying any of the stand alone single missions, and Campaign is several missions all occurring in the same theater of operations. Multiplay is used in network action. Pilot Records allows you to see your history, while Mission Recorder lets you visually review your mission performance. Reference gives you information on planes and weapons, while you can use Web for access to online action.
I have never flown a real combat aircraft, but USAF comes as close as possible to what it must be like without simulating the annoying things such as the extremely complex systems in modern combat aircraft. You can control the actions of your wingmen with keyboard commands, while switching to other planes to continue the mission is available if necessary. An amazing array of views is available to get that perfect view of any situation, including a virtual scrollable cockpit and a “Padlock” view.
I might get flamed for writing this, but extreme accuracy in aircraft systems interferes with my enjoyment of the flight sim experience, so system accuracy buffs may be disappointed. A bit of a gripe here, as I do enjoy a flight model which is accurate in simulating stalls/spins, which USAF is lacking. Well, two gripes -- the second being that speed isn’t correctly simulated at low levels. Ok, ok, just one more: The so-called “voice recognition” program included doesn’t work well enough to be used in combat -- SHUCKS!