JetFighter III Enhanced Campaign CD Review

The Enhanced Campaign CD is a good package, but more is needed to bring JF3 up to speed.

Jetfighter III is a good game that's short on realism and features, but long on fun and gameplay. A few of the issues addressed in GameSpot's original review have been cleared up in the new Enhanced Campaign CD, and some features have been added to give JF3 a fresh infusion of gameplay. The Jetfighter III Enhanced Campaign CD offers 74 new missions, two new regions to fly in, and the ability to fly the F-14 Tomcat. For JF3 fans, this alone will recommend the title.

The 74 new missions are a bit more challenging than those found in the original and follow the same well-implemented mission structure. Nothing has been added to make them more realistic (you still have a few default loadouts and you can't custom equip each plane for each mission), but they're a good set. The missions are divided into two campaigns: Seward's Ghost and Operation Dragonslayer. In Seward's Ghost, a ten-mission campaign, you are deployed to the Bering Straight to protect Alaska from Russians demanding that it be returned to them.

With 64 missions, the Dragonslayer campaign is deeper and more interesting. It begins with the delivery of the F-14 for a test flight, just as a resurgent China starts looking for breathing room in Russia, Japan, and Korea. The missions have good flow, beginning with you beating back attacks on the fleet, then going further and further inland for strikes in support of the ground forces. You fall back now and then to protect the fleet some more, and the whole thing ends with a free-for-all attack on retreating Chinese forces. The new missions take place over that "5 million square miles" of new terrain in Alaska, Korea, Japan, and Eastern Russia. You can also do "free flights" over the new landscapes.

The inclusion of the F-14 broadens JF3's horizons a bit by offering another carrier-based aircraft. The flight model is fair, as it is for the rest of the planes, and handling and avionics show a marked difference from the F-22. The F-14 also brings along the AIM-54 "Phoenix" missiles: expensive, longer range, very accurate missiles. The Phoenix figures specifically into a mission that involves destroying incoming cruise missiles.

Overall flight performance has been tweaked slightly with the addition of flaps, an autopilot, and modestly improved rudder realism. A wingman view, programmable joystick features, carrier views, faster load times, and new aircraft insignias round out the package. One of the problems of the original - hitches during terrain loading - has been slightly smoothed, but not substantially. Other problems have not been addressed and weird anomalies still occur. Frame rates show no improvement, 3-D card support is still lacking, and there is no custom mission builder and no multiplayer support. As for the anomalies, the default loadout for at least one ground strike mission was the F-14 Tomcat, an air-superiority fighter with no ground attack munitions. Some unarmed planes that require escorts refuse to fly high enough to avoid AA and manage to get whacked every time.

The Enhanced Campaign CD is a good package, but more is needed to bring JF3 up to speed. Regardless, JF3 is a lot of fun and very easy to get into, and the mission disc simply offers a slightly improved version of the same.

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    JetFighter III: Enhanced Campaign CD More Info

  • First Released Apr 30, 1997
    • PC
    The Enhanced Campaign CD is a good package, but more is needed to bring JF3 up to speed.
    Average Rating5 Rating(s)
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    Developed by:
    Mission Studios
    Published by:
    Mission Studios
    Flight, Simulation
    Modern, Military