Game Review: Apache: Air Assault
Genre: Flight Simulation
Developer: Gaijin Entertainment
Available Platforms: PC/PS3/XBOX 360
ESRB Rating: T
One thing that’s had a hard time finding its footing on consoles is the flight simulation genre. Maybe it’s the lack of joystick peripherals or the complexity involved. Whatever the reason, firing up Apache: Air Assault makes you question why we don’t see more air combat simulation games like this. Like Nicholas Cage in Fire Birds, you’ll take to the sky in an Apache helicopter to take down a drug cartel and terrorists. The only thing that’s missing is Tommy Lee Jones.
Apache offers a 16-mission single player mode as well as a co-op and multiplayer mode. The co-op mode puts both players in the same craft, giving one the pilot’s stick and the other control over weapons. I wasn’t able to try this mode since I only own one Sixaxis controller. I was able to get my Airwolf on in the single player campaign, taking out convoys and protecting allies. The multiplayer side of the game is a ghost town, with no games available any of the times I looked.
Piloting the chopper, no matter what view you use, is a thrilling experience. The simple training mode assigns altitude to the right stick and turning to the left. Once you’re in the air, push both sticks forward to fly at great speed. Changing the view to inside the cockpit is definitely where you’ll get the best feeling of actually being inside and piloting an Apache war bird. I was making quick strafing runs on enemy placements and convoys with ease.
Some of the missions in this game can be frustrating. Mainly because of the tiered structure of each one. There were many times that I would be on the last section of a mission only to fail and have to start back at the very beginning of the mission. This is pretty unacceptable in a game released in 2010. Also, while the helicopters themselves are lovingly recreated, everything on the ground looks remarkably low quality. It’s not a huge issue when you’re flying over at speed, but when you’re hovering just above the ground it’s very noticeable.
Honestly, the most fun I had with Apache: Air Assault came in the free flight mode. I set up the different options, of which there are many, and just took to the sky. It felt great flying over mountains and through canyons. This is obviously where the game shines. Unfortunately, the campaign’s paper thin plot and weak mission structure tarnished this otherwise solid flight simulation.
-Roaring through the air in an Apache feels great.
-Trophies unlock constantly.
-No checkpoints in missions.
-Multiplayer mode is a ghost town.
Score: 7 out of 10.