Hello again! This is Ollie Barder from doublesix. Since I spoke here last, the studio has been really busy with Top Gun – a new air combat game for the PlayStation Network based on the classic 80’s film. Needless to say it’s been a lot of fun making this, as screeching across a blue sky in a F-14 Tomcat never gets old.
For those curious as to how we’ve tackled the game we went down a more arcade focused route for air combat, more so than other games in the genre. So instead of having to micromanage finite ammunition, stalling and the vagaries of an overly complex flight model, we’ve streamlined all that down and removed as many restrictions as we possibly could. The reasoning behind this was so that the player would be able to focus on just enjoying the combat and shooting down planes with either guns or missiles. This means things like your health replenishes over time and your guns won’t ever overheat. We wanted to give people the freedom to fly through a blue sky and basically get to feel like a fighter ace.
Following on from that, we were really keen to get the atmosphere and tone of the film into the game and make all of that nicely functional too. From using the same HUD elements as you see in the film (such as the missile lock), to your co-pilot spouting one liners each time you down an enemy – it’s all there to tie into the game’s functional feedback. In fact, we had Jack Epps, Jr., the original screenwriter for the Top Gun movie, write the script for the game to maintain the feel and attitude of the Top Gun property. Naturally, the game features the wonderfully nostalgic “Danger Zone” too as well the Top Gun theme.
The final element that we thought that would make all this gel was the addition of Controlled Flight Instability (or just CFI), as this acts as both a target camera and modifier to the flight model so you can pull much quicker turns mid-air. This came from that annoying habit of players in multiplayer doing loops to avoid being shot, CFI basically means the enemy has nowhere to hide now.
From 11 campaign missions, a horde mode and 16 player online multiplayer (with 5 modes) there’s quite a fair amount of content for a digital download game. You may also play as any one of six different jets: the US Navy’s F-14, F-16, or F/A-18 or the enemy’s MiG-29, MiG-31, or Su-27 We even support a custom button mapping for Saitek’s Aviator flightstick too. We all hope that people enjoy the game as much as we have had making it and always remember, you can be our wingman any day.
Top Gun will be available from PlayStation Store on Wednesday 8 September