• Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Release Date: Jul 26, 2005

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Learning to fly can be a bitch but the reward is a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of freedom that you just can't get from Mario.
  2. One of the most user-unfriendly sims ever committed to ones and zeros. [Apr 2004, p.67]
  3. Detailed terrain, buildings, water, and effects lend an unprecedented feeling of speed to low-level flight. [March 2004, p.82]
  4. A stunning achievement in realism, and the only way to get a more authentic experience in one of these cockpits is to enlist and go to flight school for a few years, and even then you likely wouldn’t get to fly in a fraction of these planes.
  5. At the time of this review, I can say with assurance that LOMAC is the best commercially available jet combat simulator ever developed. It’s simply the most in depth, the best looking, and the best flying than any previous. (Falcon 4 fans, don’t eat me)
  6. It has great graphics, fairly simple controls, great scenery, a decent choice of planes, and a great editor. Although the sounds easily get on your nerves, it will be the load times and need for a computer upgrade that will have you pulling your hair out.
  7. While it's a diamond in the rough in its initial release form, there's enough depth and breadth here that there's no doubt at all that Lock On is destined for greatness.
  8. 60
    Has all the makings of a truly great air combat sim, but it's hard to recommend while it's crippled by bugs and poor documentation.
  9. As a flight simulator goes, this is as technical and detailed as it gets. For fans of warplanes and flight sims, you should look forward to getting this running on your highly advanced PC system.
  10. An incredibly deep military flight simulator, Lock On is overwhelming, except to the most die-hard flight-stick jockeys. [Mar 2004, p.83]
  11. 78
    Lock On provides the more experienced player with some of the most accurate flight and system modeling around and does so with a much larger roster of planes than most sims. The short verdict: if you're in dire need of a sim, this one is hard to beat.
  12. Lock-on will mature as more patches are released and it could well become one of the great flight sims but with the initial problems it's made this a tough game to score. It's a shame the Q&A process failed this game, it would have been better if the developers had just held off and the Beta testers had got off their backsides and spotted some of the more nasty bugs.
  13. I'd personally give it a perfect 5 outta 5 if they had included information on how to drive the system and if it didn't have the few bugs that it does.
  14. Our favourite is the A-10 Warthog – cruising at 50 feet, on the prowl for enemy tanks, it’s one of the most exhilarating missions available in any recent simulator.
  15. When the inevitable patches and mods do start shipping, Lock On is likely to transform from a stunning but gawky debutante into the Grand Dame of modern flight sims. [Feb 2004, p.82]
  16. When totally bug-fixed and modded, LOMAC could stand alone as the preeminent modern jet combat simulation. However, if you install the first patch and can deal with challenging frame rates, LOMAC already rocks.
  17. The "Full Monty" in terms of the era it covers and it has all the jets! Although a lot is thrown at the player at the start of the experience, with carefully reading the manual, as well as going through the training mission and taking in all you are told will pay its rewards. This is a game you can't rush!
  18. While we can't see Lock-On bringing the genre back to the masses, the sheer visual appeal, the depth of the missions and ability to customise and make the game your own should see it do a lot better than recent efforts.
  19. The number of flyable aircraft and the attention to detail in modeling them just can't be beat. With the mission editor, and the excellent online component, you'll have plenty to keep you busy.
  20. The flight model, graphics engine and overall design clearly represent an ambitious and genre-changing attempt, yet the corner-cutting cheapens the otherwise superlative effort.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 546 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 83 out of 447
  1. Feb 21, 2013
    Here's the problem with this game. Bugs.. so many bugs it's stupid. After you solve the bugs you find a mediocre game. First off, there's 2 american planes, the rest are Russian. No european jets nothing
    The missions are half baked generic garbage. Not much attention paid to detail at all
    This game purely comes down to the flying.. which it does exceptionally well to the detriment of everything else.

    The radar is stupid. I have read manuals/forums to no end to try and get the upper hand on my enemy. The way I see it if you're flying the F15 you are LUCKY to get a radar reading of anything beyond 10 nm.. when something comes within 10 miles of you it's a scramble to get the heap of radar system back down to a 10m radius to lock on to the damn planes.. IF... IF you can find them again in time before a missile is launched.

    It's just not the reality of most situations.

    The missiles.. the missiles. They're stupidly effective.. and for some reason hard to see. On that note everything is IMPOSSIBLE to see in this game due to the lack of proper anti aliasing.

    Basically if you enjoy flying jets this is the game for you, but ONLY flying jets. Everything else plays out terribly, inaccurately, and above all frustrating.

    This is after playing both the F15 and A10 campaigns. The A10 campaign was fun, but was just shooting tanks non stop. The F15 campaign was an exercise in relying on my wingman to direct me to the bandits as you're essentially flying blind 90% of the time.

    The AWACS is useless too, every few seconds it bleats in your ear the enemies bearing instead of being any actual help. Wingman likewise RARELY throw out a 'Watch your six'

    Your early warning radar is the epitome of useless despite what the manual says. It is blank 90% of the time when it should be flashing to telling you where missiles are, telling you where everyone is.

    Nope, instead it just tells you where the enemy AWACS is half the time then proceeds to tell you when a missile is launched but gives you no idea of how long until it's right at your doorstep.

    As I said if you enjoy flying the aircraft, get it for that but do not expect anything other than that.
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  2. Dec 28, 2012
    This review is directed to all those who are looking for a great and fairly realistic modern air combat SIMULATOR (I wrote it using capital letters because this isn't some simplistic arcade flight game) .
    You'll need a decent rig if you want to play this game in acceptable conditions (to avoid lag and low FPS), as this game works with a demanding graphics engine. With that said, there it goes:
    Do you want to fly some of the most magnificent supersonic war birds in the world? Do you want to establish your supremacy in lethal air-to-air and air-to-ground combat?
    Do you want to master the radar/infrared/ECM/Weapons systems of these warbirds?
    Do you want to do all this while enjoying one of the best graphics engine in all the PC air simulation world? If the answer to all these questions is affirmative, then here is you shopping list: 1-Lock On:Modern Air Combat
    2-Flaming Cliffs 2 expansion, which is COMPULSORY (Flaming Cliffs 3 is about to be released, by the way)
    3-A decent joystick
    4-Search the internet for free downloadable plane 3D models for Flaming Cliffs 2 (such as Gys F-15 model, 3GO Su-27 model or SimMod A-10 model...they infinitely surpass the stock 3d models from the game)
    5- Pick up pen and paper, take notes of the procedures described in the instructional videos for each plane (you can download these videos from the game's website). 6-Configure your joystick and keyboard bindings at your will. Now you are ready to fly the most complete, realistic and nice looking modern air combat simulator that currently exists in the gaming market. You'll need many hours of flight practice and systems familiarization in order to become a decent combat pilot, but if you like combat jets you'll enjoy every minute of it.
    Full Review »