seems to have the incredible ability of mixing a air/air to ground
combat simulator and arcade and creating something that may well
please the flight combat fan and casual gamer alike. Apache Air
Assault places the player at the stick of the pilot or weapons
officer station of the famed AH-64 Apache with often very satisfying
results when it come to blowing stuff up. However, it falls short on
any kind of involving the player in any form of story.
There is just enough
mix in the game to satisfy a sim fan as well as the arcade fans out
Often times on missions there is just crazy amounts of enemy thrown
at you. Vehicles and soldiers hiding under trees and in little
cities and buildings all take shots at you. Happily enough, the
player often has a wingman or sometimes a whole flight of other
Apaches to lend a hand. It is never very overwhelming.
Flying the Helicopter takes some getting used to, as any good game
that has to introduce controls to a player, there is a short
training hop, I would highly recommend taking that little training
The game controls
even in the simulator/easy settings take some amount of skill…it is
not so over the top difficult that someone brand new to flight sims
could not just pick it up and blast the heck out of enemy targets.
The training mode as the mode implies makes the craft easy to fly.
Everything is simplified; physics and flight model all are very
forgiving in this mode. In addition, weapons unrealistically will
reload in mid mission. While it does take several seconds for
weapons to reload. Dipping and dodging enemy fire while your waiting
for them to reload is still challenging.
While not exactly
tilting towards a true simulator, the advanced or Realistic flight
settings makes the helicopter crazy difficult to fly. With some
practice though, the extremely agile helicopter is a blast to fly.
In this mode the manual claims it is tuned to make the flight
physics and flight model as close to the real thing as possible. I
can believe this. It is a challenge; players will take some time to
master this mode. Further, a more challenging level of difficulty
has players having to land at a friendly base to reload weapons
rather than having them regenerate in mid air.
Players can also practice their skills in free flight mode with a
range of options, including enemy number, or even if they will have
support in the form of other helicopters in their own flight. This
is the ideal place to practice on the realistic mode.
One of the cooler aspects of the game is the Direct View Optics or
DVO… in the mode it goes to kind of a gun camera view from the 30 mm
cannons gun reticule. In this mode, there is also access to FLIR
(Forward Looking Infrared) targets show up white-hot from the
background. It is a very cool, effect and best used in auto hover so
there is a stable platform to fire the guns. If the player is good,
they can also fire hellfire missiles from FLIR mode and even control
the missiles flight path.
The campaign mode is playable via single player or online
cooperative play with two to four players. Campaign mode while fun
leaves a lot to be desired story line wise. One never really gets a
feel for any characters or squad mates; they are just another copter
in the air that you are never attached to. Local cooperative play is
rather fun, this is with two players flying in the same copter. One
as the pilot and the other copilot and weapons officer, so win or
loose they work as a team, one providing all of the flying and the
other controlling the weapons systems.
From the first
person view, it really gives the gut wrenching feeling of flying in
one of these weapons of war. The missions are diverse in title
alone, from escort and protecting forces to force recon….after a few
missions it still feels like the same old same old like the few
before it…a little more in the sense of story would have gone a long
way at making the game more in depth. At this time there is no word
as to if there will be any DLC for this game, one can only
hope…because it would make a good game even better.
At this time the game is just a scoot and shoot um up game, it does
not attempt to do much more than that. The hard-core fans of the
Apache Helicopter may enjoy this passable Helicopter game. Those
looking for a more polished game complete with any meaningful story
may have to look somewhere else. Game play wise, it is fun, but
flying on those merits alone leaves a hollow feeling after a mission
with no true sense of being part of an adventure.
Have fun, play games
United States Editor