, the PlayStation Network toes a line between new and familiar content. The game's not the most cinematic ever created, and as such its plot can be difficult to follow, but it maintains a vibe in-keeping with the source material and defines some exposure for which to fly air-crafts and blow stuff up.

Which is what you'll spend most of your time doing in Top Gun's fairly brief 3-hour campaign. With a range of air-crafts to choose from (aswell as specific weapon types), much of the gameplay depends on following way-points and gaining lock-ons. It gets a bit repetitive as the campaign draws to a close, but thankfully the formula doesn't overstay its welcome.

For a lowly $15 / £8, Top Gun packs a fair degree of content. While the campaign is brief, the game also boasts a horde mode and a robust online component.

Top Gun's not an overly complex title, but its mechanics work well. Flying the famous Top Gun craft feels good, though a greater sense of speed would be appreciated. Ultimately, it's the combat which delivers here; with some satisfying, if familiar, flight warfare on offer. Missiles lock-ons and gatling guns are the order of the day; with a satisfying maneuverable technique making it challenging to flank enemies, but super rewarding. It's hardly ground-breaking in design, but it's polished and enjoyable.

There's a hint of Afterburner to much of Top Gun's presentation — something we as life-time SEGA fanboys appreciated. The cut-scenes are crude and over-the-top, as is the combat. The game falls somewhere between the arcade gameplay of Afterburner, and the marginally more realistic HAWX.

Anyone who holds the Top Gun license dearly will probably be satisfied with the video game. Use of the theme-tune, fonts, characters and air-crafts all carry nostalgic value. They're lost on us, but someone will get a kick out of them.

For a downloadable game, Top Gun's multiplayer is surprisingly robust. There are capture-the-flag and deathmatch modes on offer, with a surprisingly deep ranking system and leader-boards. At the time of writing, the game's community seemed fairly strong and we didn't have any difficulty finding a game.

For all the success of Top Gun's core gameplay mechanics, it does get a bit repetitive. That's because the combat relies on the same staples of achieving locks and dispatching missiles. Even when the game attempts to change things up by testing you to maintain your height, or jamming your missile lock, it still feels far too familiar. The short campaign means the game doesn't overstay its welcome, but it certainly toes the line.

Aside from some night-time missions, Top Gun looks particularly weak from a visual stance. Many of the missions take place over the sea, with little to hold your interest aside from a few islands and your opponents. The game also lacks a sense of speed.

It's hard to decipher what's going on in Top Gun's cut-scenes because they're extremely poorly cut. Suddenly you'll see planes you're supposed to care about spiral out of control and crash into the ocean. But with every craft looking the same, and some dodgy camera shots, it's hard to really pick out what's supposed to be going on.

There's something about flight combat games and their HUDs. They always look terrible. As useful as Top Gun's on-screen information is, surely there was a better way to present it all than green, yellow and red blobs?


Top Gun's a short but enjoyable flight-combat game; like its subject matter, it's a traditional game, but there are worse ways to spend an afternoon than blasting through this downloadable shooter's campaign.