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Echelon By John "Award" Del Percio, June 29, 2001
Developer :Buka Entertainment
Publisher :Bethesda Softworks
Release Date :June 2001
Demo Available : Yes - Download
Table of Contents

· Introduction
· Closer Look
· Facts
· Final

You are Clear to Launch

hen it comes to futuristic fighter sims, we all get images in our heads of big space combat simulators with compelling storylines like Freespace, Independence War, and Wing Commander. Who thinks of a game that doesn't even involve space?

The map
Rock and roll!
Overhead view
Let's fly!

Apparently the folks at Buka did. Echelon is a rather strange game to attempt to describe. It is set in an alien universe in the future. The fighters commanded are actually more advanced versions of modern fighter craft. Forgetting about the physics that drive current fighters, such as wind and altitude, the propulsion systems on these things allows them to hover and be totally unaffected by environmental conditions.

Permission to land
Got a lock!
Going down?

The weapons systems used are a bit of the old and a bit of the new. The primary guns feature "unlimited" ammo plasma cannons of all different sizes, though unlimited is a strong word to use since with the larger cannons, they drain energy fairly quickly, forcing you to use more conventional weapons while you recharge your energy supply. Don't fear, though, most craft are also equipped with projectile and ballistic weaponry as well, ranging from various machine guns and the like, to missiles and homing missiles. These weapons, however, are highly limited in terms of ammunition available, down to the ability to carry only one or two guided missiles depending on your aircraft.

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