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PC Game Review

UAV Predator
Add-on for Microsoft FS2004 / FSX (PC)


Format: PC
First Class Simulations
RRP: £24.99
5 060020 473296
Age Restrictions: Not Rated
Available 24 October 2008

Take control of the silent hunter as the Predator seeks out its prey. Whether engaged in espionage, anti-terrorist operations, or dealing a blow to crime cartels the Predator UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) brings airborne surveillance into the 21st century. Under the control of a skilled operator the Predator can penetrate enemy territory and gather intelligence, avoiding detection by hostile forces, relaying real-time data to the Ground Control Station. In a shadowy world where there are no second chances, the fate of nations is determined by the deadly spy in the sky...

UAV Predator is the latest add-on for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 / FSX fanatics and introduces us into the world of unmanned aircraft. The Predator UAV is operated from the Ground Control station, using electronic display screens to guide the UAV to its target. Alternatively, take direct hands-on control of the Predator using a custom camera view that puts you in the thick of the action. Basically the Predator is sued to command airborne operations where the risk is too great to deploy a manned aircraft.

While the aircraft is fun to fly on FS2004 this release illustrates why you should invest in a bigger, better computer and upgrade to FSX.

FSX owners also have eight missions that puts them in the hot seat where success depends on split second decision making and absolute accuracy in handling the UAV. Flying the Predator across mountain ranges and at high speed through narrow canyons demands an operator with nerves of steel and a will of iron in pursuit of the target. Battle through the snows of the Arctic in search of a downed spy satellite, trying to keep one step ahead of the opposition in a frantic search to recover data vital to Allied interests. Pit your wits against ruthless terrorists in a tropical archipelago or race against the clock in a dramatic game of hide and seek across continental Europe and much much more.

The six missions include:

Plane Spotting: It is believed by intelligent sources that terrorists are smuggling weapons into the USA by light aircraft. It is suggested that Shelter Cove airstrip in Northern California is being used as a base of operations. The terrorist cell is using a small Piper Cub aircraft. Your task is to fly from Little River airport and follow the coastline north to Shelter Cove, some 48 miles from Little River. If the Piper Cub is there, make a low pass to ensure that this is the aircraft referred to in the intelligence report.

Low Level: Your opportunity to practice low level flight with the UAV on a dramatic flight across the Nevada Desert. Departing Nellis Air Force base, just outside of Las Vegas, your task is to locate a mock-up research centre hidden deep in the desert. The task is further complicated by the requirement to stay within 500 feet of the ground at all times, to avoid radar contact. This will require all of your flying skills, hugging the tops of mountain peaks and making sharp descents into narrow valleys to avoid discovery.

Archipelago: Intelligence from a reliable source suggests that a gang of ruthless arms dealers have been smuggling weapons around the Indonesian Archipelago. The informant believes that a small fishing vessel, Lady Claire, has left port with a cargo of munitions. Radio monitoring suggests that the vessel is some 27 miles south of your position in the bay. Your task is to find the Lady Claire and to follow her to her secret rendezvous. She is moving south at some speed so you will have to push the UAV to its limits to catch up with the craft.

Satellite: A reconnaissance satellite has malfunctioned and returned to Earth, carrying with it key intelligence data. The satellite came down in Finnish territory within the Arctic Circle. A rescue mission was dispatched and it was believed that the data pod of the satellite was safely recovered and was being transported by an air force jet back into allied hands. However all communication with the fighter jet has been lost. It has to be assumed that the jet has itself crashed into the Arctic wilderness of Finland. Your task is to search for the jet.

Dutch Dash: Much of the Netherlands lies below sea level. To avoid inundation the Dutch have devised intricate irrigation systems. To the north of Rotterdam is a series of wind turbines, driving pumps that keep the North Sea at bay. Should these turbines be compromised the city of Rotterdam will be under water. Planning to use water as a weapon a group of determined terrorists have compromised the turbines. Already, one turbine has been flooded by encroaching sea water. Should another turbine pump fail the entire complex will fall like a pack of cards and Rotterdam will be engulfed. Your mission is to examine the turbines that lie to the North and locate the turbine that has been rigged with explosives.

Time Trial: In a dash across the city of Paris this training mission requires that you seek out a fake missile hidden on the outskirts of the city. You must use the Predator UAV to locate the missile within 15 minutes.

Grand Canyon: Intelligence suggests that a terrorist cell has arranged a meeting within the Grand Canyons ahead of an attack. They are believed to have formed a base camp northwest of your position deep in the canyon adjacent to a small riverbed. Your mission is to locate the terrorists, making a low level pass over their vehicles. Imagery received by your UAV will confirm if the group is hostile.

Submarine Hunt: Iceland is of paramount strategic importance to the NATO alliance, as the gateway to the North Atlantic. Alarm bells have been raised with the sighting of an unidentified submarine in coastal waters. Flying from Akureyri in Northern Iceland, you must attempt to find the rogue submarine. Once located you must pass over the submarine at less than 500ft to allow identification photographs to be taken.

Not only do FSX users get these mission, but they also get a selection of scenery downloads to help really bring these missions to life.

Yet again First Class Simulations delivers the goods and bring another quality add-on to into the home of Flight Sim fans.


Pete Boomer

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