The Apache Longbow gunship (AH-64D) is a staggering machine, equipped with a sophisticated Fire Control Radar that allows the two-man crew (pilot and weapons officer) to analyze the battlefield, prioritize both air and ground threats from a relatively safe position, and then pop up to deliver lethal “fire and forget” AGM-114B Hellfire missiles to multiple targets. Simulating the attack helicopter experience has met a lot of turbulence on the PC, but a definitive breakthrough was offered by Digital Integration’s highly acclaimed simulator – Apache Longbow.
When you choose full realism in Apache, youâ€™ll find yourself confronted with these challenges from the minute you enter the game. Just getting the chopper airborne and flying straight and level, negotiating changes in terrain and altitude, and feeling your way along waypoints takes a great deal of practice. Luckily, Apache provides a lot of options. First, thereâ€™s an arcade flight mode, which treats the collective a simple altitude control and the cyclic as a directional throttle – the helicopter just moves when and how you tell it to, without observing any real rules of aerodynamics.
You can set these as your permanent options in the Preferences menu, or just hop into the “quick flight” mode the minute you start up. Quick flight puts you in the middle of a target-rich environment, and “invincible” mode means you can fire at leisure without risk of being shot down. All of this, not to mention an exceptional in-game help system that includes both the manual and key reference cards, gives this simulation broad appeal.
The campaigns themselves take place in Yemen, Korea, or Cyprus (each theater is a little more difficult than the previous one). And youâ€™ll find yourself in all the positions and roles a real Apache pilot would face, and then some. These missions prove the flexibility and power of the Apache, as it goes from armored support, to night actions, to strike missions, to all manner of missions in between. There’s a lot of good things you can say about Apache. Its gameplay ranges from fast arcade shooting to rigidly realistic combat flight models, and does so while providing great fun to virtual pilots of all skill levels..
System Requirements: 486/33 CPU, 8 MB RAM, Win95, DOS