Red Jets PC Review

First things first, don’t buy Red Jets, ’cause it’s a bit naff really. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a much better effort than the absolute joke of a game that was Crazy Frog Racer (published by the same guys as this ‘un), but then that’s like saying breaking a finger is better than having a leg sawn off. Harsh, I know, but sadly true. In case you were wondering, it’s a game that puts you in the frost-bitten boots of a Russian pilot during the cold war. A novel idea you say? Not really, no.

The thing about Red Jets is that it’s all so boring. The fact that the instruction manual provides more entertainment than the game itself (I’m not joking here, it was actually quite an interesting read) is not a good sign. This may be a budget game, but that’s no excuse for producing something that’s as monotonous as it has turned out to be, with mission after mission of flying around for a bit, being surprised that some enemies have turned up, shooting them down with some missiles, running out of missiles and being forced to use machine guns, having a missile fired at you, launching all manner of chaffs and flares to evade it and then getting shot down, forcing you to repeat the whole thing again and again until you finally manage to complete the mission. It’s just a shame that you know the next one will be exactly the same.

Now, all that may sound exciting, but it really isn’t. Air-to-Air combat involves little more than pointing your plane towards your target, selecting what missiles you want to use, waiting a few seconds for a lock, and then firing. Boom. Never fails. Unfortunately, it hardly ever seems to fail when an enemy does the same to you, resulting in one of the most annoying game experiences ever. If you’ve bothered to play a mission for more than a couple of minutes, you’ll more than likely find yourself the target of a rather pissed off US pilot’s missile lock, resulting in pretty much certain death. You’re given countermeasures to protect yourself with, but they hardly ever seem to work, no matter what kind of crazy Top Gun manoeuvres you try and pull off. In fact, pretty much the only successful defence, save from emptying your entire stock of chaffs and flares, is speeding up time. Indeed, the included time-scaling option, most probably included when the developers realised how boring and slow the game was normally, seems to make missiles magically disappear. You can just imagine it now, the frantic panic of a Russian fighter pilot as he can almost smell the burning anger of a heat-seeking missile trying to ram itself up his arse. “Bugger me, mate”, he says to his co-pilot in that authentic Russian accent, “I’m in a bit o’ pickle here. I got a missile on me tail, you’d better get t’uther side of planet else you’re brown bread. I’m just goin t’up the speed o’ time and see if that helps.” Or something like that. Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that speeding up time sometimes makes them disappear. A bit odd really, especially as Graffiti keep on harping on about the realism of the game, and how they want to make it as authentic as possible. I don’t think they invented time machines till the mid 90s lads…

Speaking about realism, Graffiti also made a big point of the game’s impressive visuals and ‘painstakingly rendered cockpit’, as well as the intense dogfighting and brutal combat. What a load of crap. The cockpit looks like it was thrown together in about a day, the visuals look incredibly grainy and devoid of any kind of detail, and the dogfighting is pretty much non-existent. Actually, from afar, the sea looks alright, especially with the Sun’s reflection on its surface, but other than that it’s all rubbish and all the same. Every mission either takes place above a full map of mountainous greeny-white land, or half a map of greeny-white land and half of bluey-green sea. That’s it, for each and every one of the twenty missions in the game. Granted, a couple are flown at night to add a bit of variety, but you can’t deny the fact that it’s a pretty poor showing. Coupled with the fact that all the missions are the same anyway, it doesn’t add up to create a desirable game in any sense of the word. The developers have included four (four!) different planes to choose from, but any kind of pleasing variations they could have offered are quashed by the fact that pretty much the only noticeable difference between them is the amount of weapons they can carry. Other than that, they all handle pretty much the same, aside from some small speed differences, and they’re just rubbing salt into this big, gaping, infected wound of a game by including the same god-damned cockpit in all of them. Hardly inspiring stuff.

But wait! Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. I forgot about the multiplayer! Could that be so good as to render the single player aspect null and void? Quite simply, I very much doubt it. It’s only available over a LAN connection, and I’ll be damned if anyone else I know or have ever heard of will ever sink so low as to buy a copy of this game, let alone bother to install it and actually play it. So, I haven’t actually tried the multiplayer, due to the reasons above, and I hopefully never will, because quite frankly I’d rather buy a dog and feed myself to him.

So, the basic gist of this review (warning sounds more accurate) is hopefully pretty obvious. Don’t buy Red Jets. Just don’t. Even if you’ve got an urge to see how bad it is for yourself, just knock your head against the wall a few times. Give the money to charity, or buy a nice cake, just don’t buy this game. It’s not very good.

Do yourself a favour and buy Total Air War instead.

2.0 out of 10