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Lock On: Modern Air Combat Features

Lock On: Modern Air Combat allows you to command a total of 8 different aircraft, including using their weapons systems. There are 25 Russian computer controlled aircraft and 6 helicopters, and 21 NATO controlled planes alongside 8 helicopters. 26 armoured vehicles feature in LOMAC, as well as 18 different ships and 29 civilian vehicles (which include cars, trucks and trains). Air defence systems also feature in the game, comprised of 7 NATO air defence systems and 10 Russian operated systems. Whilst the list of aircraft you can actually use is fairly small, there are lots of learning curves to piloting and mastering the weapons systems of each one, which will keep you occupied for a long time.

There are a multitude of modern weapon systems, ranging from air-to-ground missiles to surface-to air missiles. There are also 35 different kinds of air bombs, 12 electronic countermeasures, air-to-ground missiles and rockets too. There’s certainly no shortage of weapons in LOMAC.

The landscape is based on the Crimean peninsula and the mountains around the Caucus region. The area consists of 100,000 square feet km, in 3D with a diagonal dimension of 920km. Within this vast area there are over 300,000 buildings, a 16,000km road network, a 2,400km railway network, 850 rivers spanning 13,700km and 45 million individual trees.

In the game there are a total of 15 countries, each of which may be a part of the conflict during the game. These countries are Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Turkey, the USA, the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Spain and Israel. Ranks and medals can be earnt by each pilot.

The user interface is in a cockpit style, with each menu screen resembling a cockpits control panel. You can see an example of this on the main menu screen, which appears after the game completes loading. There is a navigation bar on the left side of the main menu screen, which has 9 different buttons allowing the player to seamlessly switch to different areas of the game. This navigation bar appears in all of the menus throughout the game to assist the player throughout the game. On the right side of the screen you will see 6 separate panels with aircraft in, representing the aircraft available to you to fly. Clicking on any one of the aircraft will automatically put you into that plane’s cockpit, equipping it with all of the weapons needed for the specific mission and a number of targets will spawn (which you can view by pressing Shift + F10).

You can use the mission editor to edit existing missions and create new ones. This is very customisable, allowing you to set the date and time, the season, the weather and you can create different routes as well as inserting targets for defence systems, ships and tanks. You can choose the type of mission and the weapons system you deem best for that mission.

After that you will see a briefing screen which lists all of the tasks you have created in the mission editor. The player can add a description to that mission. Once the mission is over a debriefing screen will appear, giving you the chance to look through the events that occurred during the mission. These events include the damage you inflicted and took on from the enemy, how many enemies you destroyed, the number of crashes and many more statistics.

The mission recording feature is a very nice touch as it allows you to record a mission for later viewing. You can evaluate your performance, or even share the event with your friends. Everything you do is recorded into a file which can then be played back and even edited to show different perspectives. This tool is immensely useful for training or creating action packed movies for sharing on YouTube, for example. Shoot a scene, export it as an .avi or .mwv file and share with the world!

Multiplayer features in Lock On, other both LAN and the internet. You can play in a cooperative mode with other users against the computer controlled enemy, or you can go head to head against other players. At the beginning of the multiplayer session you can choose which coalition you want to be, afterwards you can choose your aircraft. Communication with the other players is easy with the on screen chat, making coordinating easy.

There is an options/settings menu which lets players alter the settings to suit them and their computer. For example, if your graphics and processor can handle it, you can increase the rendering of the graphics for more realistic textures. This puts more load on the system, so if your PC isn’t up to it you can use lesser settings to improve frame rate and usability. You’ll see 5 options, which are cockpit, graphics, audio, input and difficulty.

Never played an aircraft simulator before? No problem. There is a comprehensive training module which teaches you the very basics of how to virtually fly an aircraft, alongside specific skills and tasks. The player picks a lesson that has already been recorded, with text and voice over information, which they can then jump into at any time and take control for themselves.

Ultimately you’ll find an encyclopaedia which lets you look through all of the information regarding the aircraft, air defence systems, missiles, tanks, cars, etc. that are included in Lock On. You can then study these in a separate window to learn more.

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