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The Blurb On The Box
East meets West in an apocalyptic clash of the superpowers as the US Apache Longbow and the Russian Havoc go head to head in the most incredible helicopter sim ever seen on the PC. But it's not just the supermodel looks that make Apache Havoc stand out from the crowd; Easily accessible yet deeply challenging gameplay, an intense and absorbing atmosphere and super-fast speeds also make it the flying experience of a lifetime.
Installation, Intro and In-Game Options
Installation is without doubt, an extremely long process. Once you have installed the game (It installs DirectX 6 if you don't have it, as most of you will know) Apache Havoc has to decompress a number of its files - this takes around 4 minutes or so on my PII 450, so expect longer install times for a lower spec system. But I can easily forget any long install times if the game is great......Is it? read on.....
The Missions and Controls
Getting started is quite simple. Just setup the graphic and sound settings via the on-screen menu (I went with my Voodoo 2) and then click on the Combat Missions menu.....Once you are there, you need to select one of a number of other flying options, they include Free Flight - This allows you to roam around the skies without any worry of being shot down, this is because none of the enemy will engage you with fire.
Next up there are Dynamic Missions, these are quick action missions instead of the full on campaign, this mission allows the enemy to engage fire. Finally we have the full Campaigns - You begin the campaign with a low ranking and have to work your way up. You must succeed in the missions so you can gain experience, once you gain more and more experience you can move bases and get to fly the more complicated missions.
The campaign missions work a lot like Total Air War's - certain missions appear as time goes on, each mission has a certain level of difficulty this means you are forced to play the easier missions before you can get to the harder ones, thus proving you are a good pilot. At the start of each campaign your side has a set number of aircraft, this affects your chances for the rest of the campaign, so just going around shooting everything that moves and then moving onto another chopper once you get shot down is not a good move, as this will leave your side with less and less aircraft as the campaign goes on.
Keeping hidden from the enemy is one of the main parts of each mission, hovering must be mastered, there is a good feeling when you hover just over a mountain and then launch a homing missile which then flies over the mountain and destroys tanks or anything else you were targeting.
I have been using both a Microsoft Freestyle Pro and a Precision Pro with Apache Havoc, both work well with the game, but for better handling I would recommend going with the Joystick instead of a gamepad like the Freestyle Pro. I'm far from a helicopter expert, but the handling seems very realistic.
Graphics and Sound
Apache Havoc has been designed for 3D cards ONLY, so if you don't have one by now, all I can say is WHY NOT? There is one major thing I have noticed though, and for a game that is 3D card only I was quite surprised. Apache Havoc's resolution is 640x480 It cannot be changed to anything else at least not from what I can see....Does it really matter? no not really, Apache Havoc has some of the best graphics I have seen.
Here are a few of the fab graphical pieces from the game, first up we have the sun, this may sound boring, but this sun sets while you are playing, the moon then rises and the stars come out. Rain pelts down from the sky (Use your windscreen wipers) when you are under some dark clouds, but you can still fly out from under them and into sunshine. Trees are finally used to proper effect and cities are not only wonderfully detailed, they are also massive in scale...You can even blow the roofs off of buildings and see the craftsmanship inside.
The only piece of criticism I can find (apart from the resolution) is the fact that every so often the screen seems to jerk around as If there is too much detail on the screen and my PC can't handle it, this I could accept if that were true, but it tends to happen in areas of flat land with little detail around them.
Overall the game is excellent and it has everything a helicopter simulator should have, but I do feel it is missing some good training missions for new users who either haven't played any Flight Sims or are usually just plain bad at them (Me). Graphically there is nothing wrong with the game apart from the resolution being set at 640x480. There is much more to this game than I have put in this review
Version 1.0 UK
In The Box?
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