key review info
- Game: Top Gun
- Platform: Playstation 3
- Gamepad support: N/a
- Reviewed on:
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Top Gun is a game that I am very conflicted about. I cannot seem to figure out whether the producers intended it as a kind of hidden parody or not. It is quite a strange offering where the quality of the presentation is in a stark contrast with the fun and engaging gameplay.
Now, Top Gun, in my opinion, was a really bad movie, with dumb dialogue, two-dimensional characters and boring action scenes. It was very successful, maybe because of these things, being so cheesy that you would watch it either because you are into this kind of thing or because it was so bad that it was good.
That is why I think that Doublesix actually did justice to the source material. The more cynical gamer will have quite a laugh during the cutscenes that occur in between missions. The acting is terrible and it is worth mentioning that Maverick does not have a voice, so it is up to your co-pilot to reply for you prompting some ludicrously funny situations.
Iceman is really amusing because no matter what happens during the game, he will always talk about how dangerous his rival is. Are the Russians attacking, is his plane not working, is there no more soda in the vending machine? It is always Maverick's fault because he is wreckless and a danger to the fleet.
The most epic failure/win from the whole script is the reference to the infamous "I want some butts!" scene for the movie. I dropped my controller laughing and I am starting to thing that is not such a bad thing after all.
The graphics are not really that good, looking like a flashback from the PlayStation 2 era simply up-scaled to 1080p. It is not gameplay hindering or anything, but it adds to the feeling of cheapness that Top Gun has in terms of presentation.
Furthermore, all the music you will ever hear in this title is Kenny Loggins' Danger Zone, one of the famous songs that made up the soundtrack of Top Gun. Those hoping for an ironic Take My Breath Away while they are shooting down enemy pilots will be disappointed. What is really bad is that Danger Zone is on an infinite loop, meaning that after a play session, you'll randomly start humming the chorus of the track all throughout the rest of your day.
All the cheesiness is fortunately counterbalanced by the great fun that the gameplay is. This is a very well done arcade flight action title that manages to do movement and combat good enough to make me want to return to it and have some more fights with the evil Russian pilots
I actually like this more than HAWX or the demo to HAWX 2. The aircraft models have more weight, feel more solid and, most importantly, Top Gun does not have that strange feeling of the world moving around you rather than your plane moving around the world that comes up in some flight games, including HAWX. This is one of the faults that really bugs me in high-budget games and to see it fixed in a 15 dollars game is really impressive.
The game can be enjoyed both in single and multiplayer. The solo mode consists of a story campaign and a horde mode. The campaign is surprisingly consistent, as it last around six hours (more than many high profile full priced releases these days) and does not overstay its welcome. The horde mode is exactly what it sounds, tasking the player to eliminate an infinite amount of enemies without being destroyed.
The objectives are varied enough for the price point of the title. They range from simply having to destroy everything on your radar to flying at a low altitude from waypoint to waypoint to avoid the enemies' detection. The eleven missions are comprised of various combinations of these objectives and are quite fun. Coupled with the solid controls, Top Gun will really make up for a fun afternoon or two.
What also works well is the arcade focus. You never have to worry about ammo, fuel or landing/taking-off and, given the context, it is a very good thing, as it makes Top Gun good for pick-up-and-play sessions.
There are six types of aircraft, three American models and three Russian counterparts, each with its own selection of skins. Essentially, the difference is in the handling and damage dealt with the attached machine gun. Moreover, at the beginning of each mission, players will have to choose from three kinds of missiles. They are short range, medium range and long range. All of them have their uses, even if the last two come in smaller amounts. You never really run out of missiles, but you have to wait a bit for them to reload after each attack.
There is also a multiplayer component for up to 16 virtual pilots that seems quite capable, as it has quite a few modes, like Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Top Gun, Bombing Run and other like these. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to connect to any game out there despite the fact that I tried everyday in the last week. After getting through all the single player, this look like it could really be fun against human opponents.
Many will probably be turned off by the cheap presentation values. Shoddy graphics and voice acting, cheesy dialogue and the fact that the soundtrack seems to consist of the same song over and over again really do a lot to hurt Top Gun. Those who are patient enough will discover that Doublesix has really managed to create a fun little arcade combat flight title, that in many way defeats its high-budget competitors.
Everything about the gameplay is really solid, from the handling to the satisfying kills. For the 15 dollar price point I would say it was worth it, despite all the flaws, but I would advise potential buyers to wait for the demo just to be sure.