Just when you thought you were out of the Danger Zone, it’s time to go back in. Top Gun is back with its guns blazing, but can it hang with other top flight sims? For the remainder of this review, we promise not to overuse the term “Danger Zone”.
In this sequel to the Must Have original, Maverick and the crew are back to kick some Commie butt. Well, we’re assuming this is what’s happening, because the game is light on dialogue and story. However, this isn’t a bad thing. All you have to worry about is completing the handful of missions at breakneck speed while thumping some 80’s style tunes.
Your ego’s writing checks your body can’t cash!
Before you head out, you’ll have to choose between three different jets. At your disposal are the F-14, F-16, and F-18. Top Gun 2 also features special offensive & defensive aircraft abilities that can be upgraded through earning money by completing missions. For example, the F-18 can fire flares to disrupt enemy rockets. The special aircraft abilities add welcomed depth to the gameplay.
Also new to the series are the end-level boss fights. The bosses are over the top and ridiculous airships that deserve a spot in the next Star Wars trilogy. Absurdity aside, they are kind of awesome.
But even with the added upgrade system and abilities, the gameplay still feels a bit flat. Just like the original, your trusty missile system is something you’ll rely heavily on because it’s just too hard to kill anything with the Vulcan cannons.
You’ve lost that lovin’ feeling.
You’ll use the accelerometer to steer your vessel through the game’s environments, and the controls could use a few tweaks. You may sometimes find yourself having to tilt the screen out of view to move your ship out of harm’s way. You can recalibrate the controls in the pause menu, but hopefully we’ll soon see an update that adds a sensitivity slider for more accurate control.
As for the visuals in Top Gun 2, they’re a mixed bag. Certain environments looks great, and others are so muddy that it’s hard to tell what’s going on. The baddies are hard to decipher and you’ll often wonder where incoming fire is originating. The game excels at creating a sense of speed and excitement, which makes up for most of the visual hiccups.
Despite a few flaws, Top Gun 2 is fun, challenging, and packed with 80’s nostalgia. Like the movie, the soundtrack features “Danger Zone”, and Goose is still quite dead. We’re not floored like we were by the first game, but this is still a worthwhile sequel.