Bogie on my tail!
This is one of the later entries in the long running Jane's series and one of the last before the brand was retired but like its brethren, such as Nato Fighters and Longbow, this is a pretty fine example of the combat flight simulator. It's mostly familiar stuff, so if you have played anything in the genre, from Falcon 3.0 to F-29 Retaliator, then you should find everything you know and want in such a game, but even if you're new to this kind of thing, you shouldn't have a hard time picking this up. As you could probably guess from the title, you're given control of a shiny new F/A-18 combat plane and thrown into a messy Russian civil war. The main focus here is on a very involving and quite complex campaign which sees you taking part in the usual array of dangerous missions, but which branches as a result of your actions. You also have a mission editor so you can come up with your own personal challenges, while the whole thing is presented in a mostly realistic fashion, but which never feels overwhelming. Even after a good number of years, this holds up well in the simulator market. The flight model remains impressive, with excellent physics and handling, and with the visuals being equally good, thanks to the level of detail, sense of speed and well designed scenery and models. The controls are pretty complex but not overly so, and the game gets the mix of authenticity and entertainment just right, while the weapons are very satisfying to use and with the missions giving a genuine sense of excitement. As far as combat flight sims go, this is an oldie but a definite goodie.