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Review - Apache: Air Assault | Level Up News

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Review – Apache: Air Assault


Publisher: Activision

Developer: Gaijin Entertainment

Xbox 360, PS3, PC

Genre: Combat Flight Sim

Rating: T – Teen

Players: Single player, 2-player local co-op. 2-4 player online co-op

Official site: http://apache-game.com/en

Purchase from: Amazon, Gamestop

The Scoop:  Trade in those assault rifles and shotguns for hellfire missiles and hydra rockets as you rain down death and destruction in a AH-64D Longbow attack helicopter.

The Setup: If Gaijin Entertainment is known for anything, it definitely has to be for realistic flight simulations – especially for the well received IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey.  Apache: Air Assault continues the great quality flight sim work that Gaijin has become known for, but this time does it in realistic helicopter fashion.

Apache: Air Assault takes players through 16 multi-stage missions flying across desserts, mountains, jungles, and the open ocean.  Throughout the warzone like environments, players will be faced with a variety of scenarios and objectives, and will have to engage in both air and ground battles and lay waste to soldiers, tanks, boats, and other aircraft.

What’s Hot: Take everything that you think you might know about flying a helicopter and throw it out the window.  Playing a 5 minute helicopter level in another wargame doesn’t even compare to what Gaijin has in store for you with Apache: Air Assault.  Why is this hot?  Because Apache: Air Assault is the most realistic helicopter flight sim that you’ll get on a gaming console.   Controlling your Apache requires careful use of both analog sticks, as the right stick adjusts your altitude and turning while the left stick takes care of moving forward, backwards, and laterally.  And just when you think you’ve got somewhat of an understanding on how to properly control your chopper, you realize that you’ve gotta survive the wave of enemies heading straight for your face as well. Talk about intense.

Gaijin gives players a pretty good variety of helicopters with the Apache AH-64D Longbow, Apache AH-1, Apache AH-64X Experimental Prototype, MQ-8B Fire Scout, and the Mi-35 Hind.   Each helicopter offers a different look and feel, and each carries a devastating weapon loadout.

Sure, each Apache is equipped with a deadly assortment of missiles and rockets, but the coolest toy may be the 30mm cannon with it’s manual gun views.   The manual gun views allow an Apache pilot to use a camera mounted on the gun turret to eliminate ground units or provide cover fire with the aid of a zoom lens and thermal vision.  Use the Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR) camera view system to spot the enemies hiding in the trees and rain hell down upon them.

Just like other flight and racing sim games, Apache: Air Assault offers players a handful of views.  While the behind the helicopter camera was pretty much my default/go-to view, you can quickly switch between pilot, co-pilot, and virtual cockpit view.  Even though I didn’t use the other views much, it’s pretty cool to see all the controls inside the cockpit while you try to dodge an RPG.

Apache: Air Assault offers some multiplayer features, the best probably being online multiplayer with up to 4 players.  Each player controls their own Apache and must work together to complete each mission.

What’s Not: Gaijin did pretty good job at making Apache: Air Assault as realistic as they could, which means that this game isn’t really geared towards the casual crowd.  Even set at the training level, the learning curve of the flight controls may lead to some quick frustrations. This game takes some time and patience to learn and plenty of replays to master.

Speaking of frustrations, the tutorial in the beginning isn’t as helpful as someone new to flight simulations would hope for. Sure, it gives you the nitty gritty just to get you started, but everything else is pretty much trial and error.  The weapons section is a quick once-over, so you’re best training will come as you fly through a couple of missions and hold down that trigger finger.

There’s a story to be told in Apache: Air Assault, but most players may not care since it’s told through straight text via a small briefing section before each mission.  You never really feel a connection to the team you’re flying with and most of the time you’re probably not worried about the reason behind you flying across a dessert unleashing pain and death along the way.  You probably just want to unleash pain and death in the form missile barrages.

The campaign is also pretty short, but you’ll definitely get more playtime out of it as there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself repeating or retrying missions.

While the online multiplayer is pretty fun, the local co-op leaves a bit to be desired.  Both players placed in the same helicopter as one player pilots the Apache and the other controls the gun.  It would have been nice to see each player control their own helicopter just like in the online co-op.

Speaking of online, Apache: Air Assault doesn’t get a competitive multiplayer component, which would have been a huge hit amongst flight sim fans.  Most gamers who play war or sim games are competitive, and it’s a shame you can’t pilot your chopper of doom towards your buddy as you unload your chain gun into his cockpit.

Final Verdict: Even though the learning curve can make the game a bit frustrating, Apache: Air Assault can be a fun game.    The replay value comes in the form of the online multiplayer, so if you have friends or know other people with this game than you’ll be a happy camper.   In the end though, Apache: Air Assault is a game made for hardcore flight sim gamers and wargame junkies…or anyone who likes to blow things up in an Apache helicopter.

Purchase Apache: Air Assault from Amazon and Gamestop

Review - Apache: Air Assault, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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