Falcon BMS F-16 Combat Flight Simulator Review

An Introduction to Falcon 4

Falcon 4, an F-16 combat flight sim, was released way back in 1998 to an eager, dare I say ravenous flight sim community. It included 30 or so training missions (definitely required), a 700 ish page inch thick instruction manual (no, really), a full dynamic campaign where the war raged even if you sat and did nothing, and some of the most detailed and realistic graphics of the time.

If you had a ninja PC, this was the game to show it off!

The problem was it was full of bugs, not many people had a ninja PC, and it was complicated to fly. For my friends and I who had grown up flying Falcon 1 - 3, number 4 was a disappointment.

Fast forward to 2005 and Falcon 4 was re-released as Falcon 4 Allied Force. With major upgrades in graphics, A.I. (artificial intelligence) and multi-player. It was a step forwards, but with so many other games vying for my attention, I didn't play it much.

Fast forward again to, well the day before yesterday in fact, and I stumbled upon two modern day successors to Falcon 4. FreeFalcon 6, and the subject of this article, Falcon BMS.

Remember, if you need a sweet Flight simulator joystick, or HOTAS to fly with, check out my review

If civilian flight is you thing, check out The noobs guide to FSX or Microsoft Flight Review!!

This product works with TrackIR 5 head motion sensing view controls, follow the link for a full review.

First Impressions

My oh my, where to begin? To call BMS an update to Falcon 4 is an insult! The original flight sim has been updated in every way imaginable. As you will see in the screenshots carefully littered about in this article, BMS does eye candy, and does it really well. On the very first take off, I was impressed by how fluid and smooth the handling seemed.


Falcon BMS Eye Candy

F-16 rivet counters apply here!
F-16 rivet counters apply here!

Avionics and Cockpit

The avionics have been updated, and as for the weapon systems, again these have been brought kicking and screaming up to date, with all the modern laser and GPS guided systems implemented in amazing detail. Seriously, the avionics suite is on par with the DCS A-10 simulation, it is that comprehensive and well researched.

The cockpit is 3d, fully clickable and has support for TrackIR and 6 degrees of freedom. By fully click-able, I mean that instead of using keyboard commands, you actually use the mouse to click the buttons in the cockpit. For this reason I cannot recommend TrackIR highly enough, especially for this sim where the ability to zoom in and look around with just a head movement can make the difference between life and death and frees up the mouse for activating the switches.

Avionics

All business in an F-16 Cockpit
All business in an F-16 Cockpit
Target acquisition is amazingly reproduced
Target acquisition is amazingly reproduced

Flight Model

Now lets be honest, I have never, and most likely never will, fly an F-16 of any description. I have however flown one hell of a lot of combat flight simulators, many of which include the F-16 in one form or another.

So, all I can say about the flight model is that it model just feels right, and the illusion of movement and speed impressed me right off the bat. As I said before, it feels fluid, and the smallest adjustments are required in order to not overcompensate, especially on a bombing run. It took a little getting used to after flying some lesser fidelity sims, but now I am used to it, I love it to bits!


Mk84s loaded for major boomage!
Mk84s loaded for major boomage!
Scenery is beautiful to look at
Scenery is beautiful to look at

Dynamic Campaign

The dynamic campaign is all there, and it works flawlessly. You select the theatre and campaigns from Korea and Israel, and the dynamic generator works the war on both sides, and generated missions you can choose from, so if air to air is your thing, no problem, if not, select one of the air to ground missions.

The really cool thing about these missions is that what you do really effects the outcome of the evolving war. One example I came across was the decision to take out a bridge to stop a tank advance, or an airfield to earn air superiority for the area. Both had merits, and of course drawbacks. I took the easier option of dropping the unprotected bridge, and suffered constant harassment from Mig-19s and 21s.

Also, you really do get the illusion that you are a small part of a much larger war machine, right from the briefings, to the campaign map and especially in the air. The sky is alive with allied and opforce aircraft, tank battles rage and it seems like everyone has a job to day, and they get straight on with it in the most efficient way.

Maps are comprehensive
Maps are comprehensive
The airports are just incredible
The airports are just incredible

Have you played any of the Falcon Games?

  • Yes Siree
  • Nope!
See results without voting
BMS  borders on photorealism
BMS borders on photorealism

Conclusions

Of course, with only a couple of days in the Viper's cockpit I have only really scratched the surface of what this great sim has to offer. A couple of things you need to know.

  1. BMS Falcon is FREE.
  2. You need the original Falcon 4 .exe file, or the CD so you can install it. BMS if kinda like a patch in this respect.
  3. A fair amount of time, its taken me several days as an experienced armchair pilot to get to grips with some of the more simple avionics.

Did I just say free? Yup, these guys have created something special just for the love of it. If ou consider yourself a serious flight sim addict, you owe it to yourself to download this and install it immediately.

BMS 4.32 for Falcon 4 Overview

If you enjoyed this article

Please show your appreciation and leave a comment. I love to hear from fellow enthusiasts!

Also, don't forget you can click the green "Rate Up" button and "share" it with your friends via Email, Twitter, Facebook, or any other social networking sites.

More by this Author


Comments 9 comments

gege-bl 3 years ago

system requiments ?


Zakmoonbeam profile image

Zakmoonbeam 3 years ago from Parts Unknown Author

Seeing as you asked so nicely...

Windows XP, 7 and 8 are all ok from my experience.

http://87th.org/Installing_FalconBMS has a system comparison so you can look it up yourself


maxbarjr 2 years ago

Falcon 4 was my first fighter flight sim and it was good. I had many CTD and a lot of dancing. Well, redoing the same dance that is. Then BMS came and Allied Force came and it was better. I hope this is the best. I am rusty as I have never been flown any sorties for years. Need to dust off some dust on my HOTAS and start all over.

Thanks for the review.


Mike LeVan 2 years ago

Just getting into flight sims and wanted you and those who have posted on your site that I have already learned so much. I appreciate the help. Keep up the great job!


Abid 2 years ago

I started playing falcon4 Allied forces in 2006 and stopped somewhere in 2010. And now when I wanted to revisit my fantasies I found the graphics quite dull on modern day hardware - don't know why. As I started to search for any alternate modern similar sim, I started to feel disappointed when nothing seemed to come my way. And then got this breather that we have this major upgrade for my most cherished game falcon.

One more thing; I started to play f14 tomcat, f/a 18 hornet, f16 fighting falcon, mig29 fulcrum, su-27 flanker, commenche during my teenage and continued till early mid twenty's. Then stopped when I got busy with my job. Seeing how PC gaming industry has evolved over last 15 years, I feel sad that not much has gone into military flight simulation pc games. I think most notable work was done in late 90's which in itself was pioneering effort in this genre of PC gaming. Jane and Novalogic were the leading brands that I know of.

Great job done. Keep it up!


Abid 2 years ago

To add, I missed some titles that I own. Like, f16 multirole fighter, f-22 raptor, eurofighter typhoon.

I also got f/18 super hornet gold edition which seemed to have good graphics but unfortunately its campaign modes never worked on my pc due to crashes.

Hope it helps others.


Gustavo 2 years ago

Hi, I would like to know if there is a flight simulator like Falcon BMS for mac ?? Or the Falcon BMS can be installed on a mac ??

Thank you for your help !


torch 2 years ago

I started this sim when it first came out. Married with children...grounded me for a large number of years, but a year ago I started it back up, starting with the Superpaks. Came across BMS and fell in love with it. Best sim ever!!! Kudos to the developers, programers, editors, etc. that are constantly upgrading the BMS 4.32. Looking forward to the 4.33. And thanks to them for keeping it within my price range. lol. One of the best parts of the sim is it's own "configuation" editor, so that you can load whatever technicals and/or eye candy your system can take. But I highly recommend you see for yourself what the sim is capable of with "full" configurations. By the way, I'm 62 years old and fly pretty good for an old fart. Torch out.


Zakmoonbeam profile image

Zakmoonbeam 2 years ago from Parts Unknown Author

Thanks for dropping buy Torch! 62 is nothing for a pilot, just years of good old fashioned experience! The sim looks awe inspiring with full details doesn't it

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working