Take to the air as you pilot the most lethal attack helicopter on the planet, the American built Apache AH-64
Developed by Gaijin entertainment and published by Activision, Apache Air Assault is an attempt at an arcade like flight simulator for attack helicopters. With a suprisingly beautiful graphics engine, featuring true to life functional gadgets in the well rendered cockpits. The scenery was not forgoten either, it has a seamless ability to simulate speed and g-force blur, whilst delivering maximum performance as what I believe is the closest thing most of us will ever come to flying this behemoth of war.Using the latest in cutting edge military weapons technology fly attack, reconnaissance, escort and rescue missions deep behind enemy lines around the world. Defend civilians from heavily armed pirates off the coast of Africa, hunt down terrorists in the mountains of central Asia, and take down enemy choppers in intense areal combat over the jungles of Central America.
You’ll have limited fuel, rockets and bullets attached to your Apache and must land at helipads or a friendly FOB (Forward Operating Base) to refuel and re-arm, thus the simulation. Your training kick starts the campaign and you can choose weather or not you would like realistic flight controls or assisted controls, which is much easier. However, I personally prefer to have the realistic controls. In the realistic mode you will have to battle between forward pitch, thrust and cross winds blowing the tail rudder, this allows for some fancy attack moves and low flying passes on unsuspecting cows and goats.
Game play is a breeze and easy to learn, although the campaign does jump a little from region to region. The story is a compelling one, which you will discover through game play, as I don’t want to reveal any spoilers. You will battle insurgents in the mountains of the Asian region and terrorists in Africa, in an attempt to quell the violence surrounding elections in that particular country. Your skills will be tested, facing off against the AH-64 Apache’s natural enemy the MI-24 Hind, this Russian built monster easily goes toe to toe with the more advanced Apache. What the Hind lacks in electronic warfare it makes up for with rockets, rockets and more rockets.
You will be able to take the seat of both pilot and gunner throughout the campaign, or have a friend take the other seat in co-op mode. This can be an advantage when facing numerous enemies, or finding yourself turning tail and having to re-group for a surgical strike. The stunning visuals were also applied to the Hellfire missiles and other armaments. If your conducting a low pass attack with the 2.75 inch rocket pods, you can see sweet explosions as they undoubtedly hit their mark, causing terrorists to have a very bad day. It’ll send shrapnel flying up into your flightpath, followed by lovely mushrooms of fire. The dust will impair your vision as you take off and land on any non tarmac helipad, and the real to life physics of the graphics engine blow the dust around and up somewhat clouding your vision. The gunners seat even includes thermal vision, changeable white /black hot imagery, zoom functions and auto hover, to line up the perfect shot.
The co-op goes one step further, being able to complete missions with a pal over Xbox live or the internet. These are a separate story to the main campaign and are a lot more difficult to complete, given bad ping rates on the servers in my experience. The re-playability of this game is huge, as you can do some basic mission editing and helicopter modifications. In this mode, you can use futuristic drone choppers or different iterations of the Apache, and even the feared MI-24 Hind.
Overall, this game nailed the simulation, even down to the realistic damage you would take if you were silly enough to get so close to the enemy, to be shot by small arms of the back of a four wheel drive ute. The controls are also affected by damage, which I think is another reason Gaijin nailed their target. This game is definitely one to add to the Christmas list kiddies, as you may very well grow up to be an attack helicopter pilot. Until that point, step into the cockpit in Apache Air Assault and get the adrenalin pumping. You could swear it’s almost the real deal, where even the sounds may have you looking out of your living room windows, to see if there is a military strike inbound on your position. This is one simulation that nailed consoles finally, and I hope we can look forward to many more from Gaijin.
Okay here it is guys one for the record books, even though the campaign is a little jumpy it should loose points but I can not overlook the perfectness of the simulation being nailed on the consoles, which cancels its only flaw out in my opinion