Revisiting F-15 Strike Eagle II

It’s been awhile but we’re back with another retrogaming classic. This time we’re taking a look at F-15 Strike Eagle II from way back in the heady days of 1989. But why not review Strike Eagle I, you say? Answer: Because we didn’t play it and so we have more to say about Strike Eagle II. Now the hugely popular F-15 Strike Eagle I had already broken some boundaries in flight/combat simulation and had Sid Meier as it’s principle designer. Indeed, this bolstered his reputation after which he’d go on to design the hugely popular and addictive (for 1991) Civilization a few years later.

Now, it’s easy to see at first glance that Strike Eagle II has some advanced graphics for 1989. Where Strike eagle I was an 8-bit DOS game, Strike Eagle II was next gen with 16-bits. That’s right math geniuses,  that’s double the number  of bits! 16 of them! This was a huge game changer (literally) and afforded graphics that were a little less flat and 2 dimensional to something with a lot more depth. Check out the game play video below and you can see that this is apparent simply by looking at the gradient of the horizon. Still, this was 1989 and you couldn’t expect much more from the graphics (as advanced as they were for the time) than blocky enemy crafts and very little detail if any, if you came close to them.

F-15 Strike Eagle II was similar in gameplay and approach to F-15 Strike Eagle I in that you had missions to complete and enemies to shoot down in said missions. Full Disclosure: I never completed a single mission because I could never land the plane. In fact, regular readers (haha) would know from previous reviews that I’m terrible at all games that involve flight or any kind of flight simulator. In fact, much of what I did in all F-15 Strike Eagle games was fly around, try and shoot down enemies with the limited supply of Sidewinders or AMRAAMs, and explore the different continental maps. Yes, those 16 bit graphics were cool and the feel of flying a jet was just as immersive an experience, even if you didn’t complete the missions. Classic.

Year: 1989
Developer: MPS Labs
Publisher: Microprose
Designer: Sid Meier, Andy Hollis
Platforms: Amiga, Atari ST, DOS, PC-9801, Sharp X68000, Sega Mega Drive
Genre: Air Combat simulation, Flight Simulator

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