Apache Longbow Assault
You get what you pay for with most budget PC games, but pleasant surprises can and do happen at times. Developed by Denmark-based InterActive Vision, Apache Longbow Assault is a near-perfect replica of its predecessor (AH-64 Apache Air Assault). Youâ€™re placed behind the simplified controls of a U.S. Army Apache Longbow attack helicopter, tasked with fighting a linear 30-mission campaign against well-equipped terrorists in Siberia and the South Pacific.
Apache Longbow Assaultâ€™s RenderWare graphics engine produces fairly sharp battlefield environments, both rural and urban. The weapons pyrotechnics, while not up to Comanche 4 standards, are still flashy enough to keep serious-mayhem fans happy.
The chopperâ€™s cyclic and collective controls have been â€œde-tunedâ€ to keep the game keyboard-friendly. But for an unabashed shoot-â€™em-up, Apache Longbow Assaultâ€™s flight dynamics are uncharacteristically sim-like. No one will ever mistake this game for a hardcore chopper simulation, but there is a distinct sense of lift, torque, and mass whenever youâ€™re airborne. (Not surprising, really, considering IAVâ€™s previous rotary-wing sim experience with its Search & Rescue helicopter simulations.)
The real issue with Apache Longbow Assault is its brevity. With no multiplayer options or instant-action modes to flesh out the scripted campaign, the gameâ€™s 30 missions â€” averaging a paltry four or five minutes apiece â€” whistle by in record time. The developer has attempted to slow down this process with the introduction of some highly lethal enemy choppers (AH-64 offered only ground-based threats), but forced â€œdo-oversâ€ after youâ€™ve been nailed by an air-to-air missile for the umpteenth time annoy more than reward.
System Requirements: Pentium III 1 GHz, 128 MB RAM, WinXP
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