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Apache Air Assault XBox 360 Review - -

Gameplay 6.5
Graphics 8.0
Sound 7.5
Value 5.0
Distributor: Activision
Review Date:
Jan 2011
Edwin Millheim


Apache Air Assault

Gaijin Entertainment 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 there.

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 course.

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
Edwin Millheim
United States Editor
Impulse Gamer


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