The original Falcon was a massive hit, a blockbuster simulator which had unparalleled technological advances for the time. Each successor tends to be years in the making and appears with a new twist. This time around it’s the promise of specific dual core coding.
So what can we expect? Well according to Lead Pursuit, the developers of “Falcon 4: Allied Force”, performance gains of up to 30 per cent. A massive step forward compared to the minuscule increases seen when running current titles on dual core processors.
Of course, these boosts all come down to programming and F4:AA distinguishes itself by enabling different aspects of the game (such as AI routines, landscape generation and physics) to be allocated to different processors. This eases the drain on CPU cycles and consequently boosts frame rates.
As for the game itself, it promises to deliver a completely revamped graphics engine which supports real-time terrain lighting, dynamically-shaded 3D volumetric clouds and fog and new high resolution textures. Likewise, the multiplayer engine (a buggy problem with its predecessor, Falcon 4) is re-written to work over a centralised server for Internet and LAN games.
In addition, the Dynamic Campaign Engine (DCE) is a built in war simulator which reacts to any event occurring in any part of the arena of combat and affects the war’s direction. Essentially meaning, how you perform in your mission directly, and proportionality, determines what happens elsewhere.
“Thousands of hours of work” have also been spent on ramping up the computer AI and the results mean players can now co-operate with other aircraft when carrying out ground attacks, while a new Air Traffic Control intelligently manages the flights in and out of bases. Finally, the Balkans is added to the theatre of operations where three time periods will stretch from the mid 1990s to 2010.
In atypical Falcon-style there is not long to wait for Allied Force, it lands in retail outlets (courtesy of Atari) in just four days.