Top Gun isn't exactly an eyesore, but it's certainly no looker. Whether you're a fan of the movie or not, it's hard to ignore the beautiful shots of the F-14 Tomcats streaking across the sky. This game features almost none of that beauty. Instead, it showcases nearly feature-less earth and still water from beginning to end. The planes look okay, but they lack the attention to detail that gamers have come to expect from better titles. And, at the risk of sounding like a toddler, they don't even blow up all that good. I've got one good thing to say, though; when you pull a continuous high-g turn, you will get a serious case of tunnel vision. It's neat to experience that without the dreadful feeling of blood pooling in the back of your head.
Top Gun may miss the mark when it comes to visual design, but the audio fares even worse. For a game published by Paramount Digital Entertainment, the level of inauthenticity in the sound design is almost baffling. Everything has been redone, from the soundtrack to the voice acting. The Top Gun theme and "Danger Zone" are here, but don't expect to hear the original stuff by Kenny Loggins and Steve Stevens. I suppose there's a complicated reason behind this, but whatever it is, it's not good enough. I was hoping to hear the same missile lock tones from the movie. All the Aliens vs. Predator games use archived sounds. Why can't Top Gun? I've saved the worst for last: the voice acting is abysmal across the board. Maverick is (incomprehensibly) a silent protagonist; some people may see this as a blessing. On the other hand, Goose is insufferable; if Top Gun is any indication, anyone can be a Radar Intercept Officer if they are annoying enough. It's so bad that I find myself flying extremely close to my wingman in the hopes that I'll fly through his jetwash and... well, you know. Top Gun is a reasonably quotable movie, but this cast brings that statement into question. To add insult to injury, the script has been butchered and scrambled. Many of the movie's most memorable one-liners are delivered by the wrong character; for example, the solemn Viper is the one who delivers the "you'll be flying rubber dog sh** out of Hong Kong" line. Actually, he uses "crap" as a substitute; for what reason, I have no idea. Alan Wake and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves got away with multiple uses of the word and managed to hold on to their "T" ratings. It's so unfaithful that I was half expecting Striker to randomly shout "I feel the need... the need for speed!" during the final mission. It's seriously lousy.