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Lock On: Modern Air Combat has been one of the most anticipated simulations in flight sim history--and for good reason. Not only has there been a dearth of serious combat flight sims in recent years, but Lock On has a stellar pedigree (the Flanker series), a highly esteemed development team, and a stable of aircraft designed to thrill any sim fanatic.
Lock On's design is extremely promising. It includes the A-10A, F-15C, Su-27, Su-25, Su-33, and three variations of the MiG-29. Each aircraft is simulated with stunning attention to detail and accuracy, resulting in each plane having a very distinct "personality." One of the key strengths of Lock On is that the planes are so different and so detailed that you can spend many hours just learning to fly and fight effectively in a single jet. For example, the A-10 Warthog ground assault aircraft, a plane for which simmers have been clamoring for years, sports relatively simple avionics compared to a modern air superiority jet (for instance, the F-15 or MiG-29). But anyone who expects to climb into Lock On's Warthog cockpit, load up with Maverick guided missiles, find some enemy tanks, and simply push a button or two and watch the missiles mop up the tanks, is in for a major surprise.
Mavericks here aren't magic missiles as they have been portrayed in most simulations. In Lock On, you have to learn what a real A-10 pilot has to learn about weapons deployment with the AGM-65 Maverick. Specifically, you have to learn about how the missile "sees" the ground, the differences in how the TV version and the IR version discerns a target from its background, how to fly to maximize the range at which you can identify and lock on to a target, and more. And that's just the Mavericks. You'll need to do the same for the unguided rockets and the awe-inspiring cannon--all while learning the details of the flight avionics in the A-10 cockpit and how the Warthog handles under various conditions.