Monday, April 14, 2008

The Purist...

So DB (and Pebble) sent me a link to a little video featuring my favourite plane, a trailer for yet another game bearing Tom Clancy's once great and currently totally sold out name, and though visually striking, it got me thinking once again about the topic of realism in aviation media. Just what in the hell is wrong with it anyway? Is it now some kind of disease or something to be avoided? And why exactly do console flying 'sims' exist? It seems like their sole purpose is to give people the hollow illusion of grandeur... and to completely and utterly annoy me.

Have a look:

Okay, overlooking the fact that they got the Rafale's engine nozzles completely wrong, have any of these guys ever BEEN in a plane? Or I dunno, maybe seen one fly at an air show? Here's a couple of inconvenient truths for the makers of this 'trailer trash':

1. Surface to air missiles have a burn time of just a few seconds. The reason pilots fear them so much? You can't see them coming!
2. The 25 - 100lb warhead they carry does NOT create a fireball the size of a city block when detonated. Sorry.
3. You can't see the hud data on the outside of a helmet mounted display.
4. The Rafale doesn't even HAVE a compatible HMD system. That hogwash is currently the domain of the world's ugliest aircraft: Chuckles the Strike Fighter (F-35).
5. If the guys on the ground are in such trouble, why are the pilots walking casually to the plane?
6. Americans, in a Rafale? Hahahaha! Like THAT'S ever going to happen.
7. GBU-12 Paveways don't have rocket motors.
8. He pulls vertical to avoid the missile yet in the next shot it impacts terrain? Are there mountains in the sky in this game?
9. He passes by his target on the MFD before releasing his bomb that's not supposed to have a rocket motor? Ok, so the not-bomb now has to turn around 180 degrees to hit the target? Good luck with that.
10. H.A.W.X. is a really really really stupid name.

I guess this means I can't make fun of Ace Combat 6's stupidity anymore eh, since there's a new bottom to the pile. Oh wait, I can. AC6 can suck it too.

Ok, now this would all be just fine if their written propaganda amounted to something like this: "It has the flight dynamics of a dumptruck and the realism of pong, but it's pretty to look at and you can blow shit up."

But that's not the case of course, their accompanying hype drones on and on about the realism and systems modeling, yadda yadda. Newsflash guys... It's a console and you're flying with a d-pad, so you can just stop with that nonsense. End of story.

Realism is not a dirty word. When used properly it creates this little thing called 'believability'. It also leads to improvements in knowledge and skill. But oh wait, console users, I forgot... They want to LOOK cool, and FEEL cool. They apparently aren't too fussed about actually acquiring the knowledge and skills required in BEING cool.

Oh and lastly, how dare they use a Habu quote at the start of that rubbish.

Grrr. Rant over. Felt good, as always. ;)



Mugar17 said...

though the game isn't realistic, I'm sure the gameplay will be fun. I still want this game, weather if it's realistic or not. If the game is fun, it does its' job well.

Lotus / Ramasurinen said...

Fair enough, but realism and fun are not mutually exclusive and I have yet to see a console developer who understands that. PC game developers, thankfully, still sort of understand it, some of them at least.

Not to mention they're touting HAWX's realism as a primary selling point in their written propaganda. Umm. You simply can't have a realistic flight sim on a console. Given the nature of the controls it's just not possible.

Jet1954 said...

Boy let me tell you, when my wife sees me sitting in front of the TV smokin' bad guys, she's going to call me "Jester" and tell me that she needs the...gulp! "ALERT 5!!!" YESSS! I ROOOCCCKKK!!!

...or not :P

Lotus / Ramasurinen said...


Sundowner said...

Sitting ? No? Sit down.


RUN!!! ;P

And BTW... the Paveway can have a rocket motor - then it's called AGM-123 'Skipper' ;)

topdollar said...

"Soon, flying at Mach 3 becomes a right, not a privilege."

Lmao. That just got me cracking up. And how does that Habu quote in the beginning even fit? But I will still prolly buy it and throw up. It would be cool if they didnt say it was this overly-used word "realistic"

d0ugi3 said...

"Teh grafix cmpleetly pwns xD"
bt teh relism "sux" ... 8[

Looks kinda' good. As long as it has joystick compatabilty for PC I shall be getting one.

Name is cheesy though, like "Hamsterz'" "Dogz'" and "Catz'" for DS ....makes me wanna puke.

Jack said...

Yeah.... no. That does not look very good at all. If I want a good combat flight sim, I'll stick to Lock On Modern Air Combat.

Lotus / Ramasurinen said...

I'll admit I'm an elitist bastard, but it's nice to know I'm not alone in my views on this.

Consoles, ick.

Smokey said...

Wow what a rant. I sure enjoyed that (not the video). That rant made my dad. I couldn't agree more.

Vlad said...

Well as long as H.A.W.X. has a Rafale included with it and the French designer does not release his Rafale, it will have at least 1 costumer. ;)

Though, Good point on the Americans not being 'capable' of flying it.

However, I disagree with your interpretation of propaganda as being so horrible and ONLY included in this video. For example, even the FSX Trailer didn't have a single scene featuring the GameSpy "little issue." (Would be comical if in the middle of the Trailer, a message from GameSpy shows up saying:"You have been disconnected because you're already logged on from another computer!")

Propaganda is everywhere! And ignoring it MAY be the only way through. And as the amount of people with internet and computer access grows, more and more and MORE propaganda will arise. It's one of those sad truths. Feels a bit like a paradox. ;)

Smokey said...

Btw that should be "day" not "dad" in my post above lol.

But Lotus have you ever considered going around the world being an expert adviser on this topic? And the rants would would certainly waken people if it were on news stations from CBC to BBC to everywhere else.

Lotus / Ramasurinen said...

Vlad, American pilots would be perfectly capable of flying the Rafale, provided they learned some French, but they wouldn't want to out of pride I'd think.

As for propaganda, yes it's everywhere, and I've made plenty of it myself. The difference is that in the Texan trailer for example, I didn't show *anything* that the plane wasn't perfectly capable of, and in fact I didn't show many of the things it can do (bad lotus!).

My beef is when a company like this obviously hypes the product to be far more realistic than it is or ever could be. And when it comes to aviation realism I'm a complete asshole. You either make it realistic, or you make it a total farce with no pretense of realism whatsoever. I don't buy any sort of middle ground in that. You do it right or you don't bother.

As for ACES, well their biggest propaganda was stating the game would run on a 1ghz processor, though to be fair that was MS's doing not theirs. ;) And I guess the fact that multiplayer barely works, or outright fails, is covered under the ESRB disclaimer of "Game experience may change during online play". I suppose 'failure' is technically a subset of 'change'. ;)

Smokey, yeah I'd love to do that. I can just imagine all the lovely names I'd be called hehe.

d0ugi3 said...

lotus/ramasurinen said:

Consoles, ick

1 word, 'Wiiiiiiiiiii'

pfft, come on who isn't into doing expert yoga classes on a plastic board.....

Only bad thing about the bgger is the Anti-Aliasing is ABSOLUTELy FRICKEN HORRENDOUS! Like playing the game squares while shooting out smaller squares on Ace Combat!

Lotus / Ramasurinen said...

Jack, you're absolutely right. Lomac is a proper simulator. Basically I want to make sure these console idiots understand that flying around in AC6 or this HAWX rubbish does not make them anything close to a real pilot. I don't know why it bugs me but it does hehe.

Spend a couple thousand hours in FSX and Lomac or Falcon 4 though and you'd have a pretty solid understanding of flight and air combat and would be able to put that knowledge to work fast after some real world training.

Vlad said...

Actually, I've just gotten a change of heart! According to an article, there will be multiplayer available, and it will NOT use GameSpy as their server provider. Which I think is more of a plus then the reality concept being a minus. MSFS will hold the Trophy for the reality, and hopefully for the actual truth of flying but HAWX may be a very big contender and can compete with it's (hopefully) well graphics and it's GameSpy "uninfiltrated" multiplayer system.


Jack said...

The funny thing is that from playing FSX and LOMAC. On my first flying lesson, everyone was impressed with my knowledge , and things went much quicker and smoother then most peoples first flying lessons. :P.

kingsnake11 said...

Hi Mike
enjoyed your little rant. A couple of points though. indeed, you can stick a rocket engine on any of the paveways, however, they have to be launched above 18K agl. I guess the rafale doesn't have chaff, flare dispensors nor ews or jammer eh? That's french engineering for you :-). Also, what the designers have also forgotten is that when you have a few tons of ordnance hanging from your airplane, you aren't going to do a lot of aerobatic manoeuvres; unless you want to lose a lot of speed or rip a wing off. With a load like depicted, I suspect the aircraft would automatically be g limited. I could go on and on....

Anyway, I am not surprised that eye-candy is far more important than realism for the "new" generation of computer nerds. I look at my kid and his friends and the thought of something with the depth of Falcon4 is just too much for them.

I see that you've played lock-on. while the graphics and eye candy were great, it's game play was filled with eroneous information, especially on the performance of the soviet aircraft, systems, and weapons. Nonetheless, it is a cut above any of the "console" games.

Falcon4 and janes f-18 are the only two sims that even come close to what modern aerial warfare is like. Having said that, even these simulations ( they are not games ) suffer from some severe problems too.

Regardless, I can only retch at the trailer.....