Having already done flight simulations about hidden stealth (F19) and maximum overkill (F15) MicroProse's latest helicopter sim is the greatest yet. Starting out as a lowly Warrant Officer candidate, you go through an entire career as an American Army helicopter pilot. You can eventually command a squadron of four pilots on many different mission types. But first, though, you have to convince your superiors that you are up to the job. To start with, only training missions and single chopper flights are available. When you have clocked up enough points and decorations, and you are offered a commission.
Gunship 2000 has more than just gunships in it. They're no good for picking up troops or dropping off cargo. You can choose from seven different helicopter models, although some are reserved for the higher ranks. All of which makes for a long term game. Choppers are notoriously difficult to fly, but you can make it as realistic or easy as you wish. 'No Crashes' is recommended unless you are very confident - there are no parachutes in a helicopter!
The music, sound and background graphics are of the highest standard. The intro is abysmal mind you, but there are plenty of more worthwhile features. The 3D graphics are truly excellent. Topological 3D is what MicroProse call it. Although most of the terrain is still flat, the hills and valleys really make the game, because helicopters operate at tree top height. The rivers flow between banks, and the railways go through tunnels in the hills, even on an A500. The A1200 is the preferred Amiga to play on - the game doesn't have 256 colours but it does use faster machines to the full.
Everything moves very smoothly. Three different detail levels are available, as well as some fine tuning options like full distance 3D. This option occasionally results in your co-pilot/gunner (CP/G) doing what resembles a Max Headroom impression. As your situation changes - a new target is acquired, or an incoming missile is detected the CP/G tells you. When a lot of things happen at once, they just can't keep up. The CP/G can also be set to activate your jammers or decoys and fire the weapons if you can't handle the pace.
Talking of weapons, if you are bored of seeing a limited choice, this game has, the lot. Cannons (different choppers have different types), Hellfires, Tow 2s, three kinds of Hydra and sonic new ones like Sidearm and Hellstreak are bundled for a very good measure. When commanding a flight, certain weapons and helicopters are not available - a neat (and demanding) touch. You have to be familiar with even weapon system in case your favourites are not in stock!
There's a wide variety of opposition to fire weapons at, including several helicopters for some air-to-air combat. The outside views of these are most spectacular, especially when you switch from viewing a target to the view of a missile about to hit it. The view quickly, but smoothly, tracks from the target to the missile, turns 180 degrees and follows the missile.
Two campaign areas are included - Central Europe and Persian Gulf. Four additional areas are planned, but you will have to obtain them separately. Needless to say, but the different terrain, targets and weather conditions do make for even more variety. Weather conditions also have an affect on weapons systems - laser-guided missiles like the Hellfire don't do nearly so well in fog or mist.
Gunship 2000 has many hooks and lures, which makes it horribly addictive. I have literally played it for days and nights on end, and anticipate playing it for many, many more. It's that special - not perfect, but certainly a game you can lose yourself in for weeks at a time before you even begin to master it.
Helicopter simulator. The second generation, with enhanced audio and visual. Many playable copters, many weapons can be armed. Vector graphics, quite good speed, and very hard missions!
People who downloaded Gunship 2000 AGA have also downloaded:
Gunship, Gunship 2000 (CD-ROM Edition), F-19 Stealth Fighter, Elite 2: Frontier, Desert Strike, F117A Stealth Fighter, Wings, F/A-18 Interceptor
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