A flight sim
based around the war in the Pacific
, developed by Origin Systems
and released for the PC (on floppies) in 1993
. Pacific Strike was not an entirely serious propeller-head simulation. It used an enhanced version of the Strike Commander
technology, allowing for gouraud shading
and texture mapping
on the planes and the landscape (or seascape
as was often the case). Between each mission, there were the obligatory dialogue scenes between the characters. These are made more unintentionally humourous in Pacific Strike because many of the characters are clearly modeled on famous Hollywood
actors (such as Sean Connery
as the admiral).
The game opens with your character, and his goofy wingman Jester, scrambling during the strike on Pearl Harbour, and progresses around the Pacific theatre over the course of the war. Your success or failure in each mission shapes the course that the campaign follows, culminating in the drop of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Although the flight model isn't hugely accurate, the game is a lot of fun and the AI pilots put up a decent fight (unless you turn on accelerated time, in which case they have a tendancy to crash into the ground).
Bombing, torpedoing and dog-fighting missions are all present. Usually you can bail out before crashing, resulting in a repremand but no possibility of capture or drowning. There are a variety of planes available, with more advanced ones coming into service as the war progresses. The skill (as well as a good joystick) required to pull off some of the missions makes the game very satifying at times.
Pacific Strike, being one of the last wave of DOS games, has its fair share of technical quirks. It is highly sensitive to memory management software, and there is no chance of running it through Windows. The game itself has some issues apart from the bugs, with slightly over-zealous racism against the Japanese, and limited replayability. However it is a good example of PC games at the time, poised to become a more mainstream platform and making unapologetic use of the latest CPUs.