The PC has been home to a few arcade helicopter sims in the past. Yet Nuclear Strike still sticks out the most in my mind. Due to Nuclear Strike's amazing graphical engine, the game won the hearts of many diehard shooter fans including myself. To dethrone the current champ you have to offer more, right? Well that must not have been the logic behind Ubisoft's thinking when creating Hell Copter. Hell Copter is more of a step back than anything else and doesn't deserve much recognition. The premise of the game is simple, complete your missions and blast the hell out of everything while you're at it. Hell Copter gives you the option of flying three unique helicopters each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Upon completion of a few missions, you can accumulate points to add to your helicopter, such as, armor, afterburners, and faster shooting guns. The various missions range from search and destroy to recognizance missions.
Hell Copter is viewed in a traditional overhead view with no rotating camera angles, much like the view found in desert strike. This method works very well except when you mistakenly run into a hillside or a farmhouse. In terms of amazing special effects, Hell Copter is borderline between good and bad. In fact, visually, Hell Copter is very reminiscent of the early glide accelerated games. There are a wide variety of ground and air units along with buildings, each with superb detail. For example, large mobile missile tanks have little rotating turrets and other texture details that give them a sense of realism. Most of the terrain leaves a lot to be desired. Take the borders for each map, they are created by massive brown hills, which look extremely ugly and clunky. Paths and paved streets look very bland as well, that is, they have a blurry feel to them. Explosions consist of your average poof of fire with some smoke, not to good and not to bad. My general feel towards the graphical content found in Hell Copter is that of boredom. They aren't that bad, but just a little to bland for my taste. Even on slow computers, the addition of a 3D card will run this game well.
Piloting the helicopter is very easily done, in fact its rather flawless. Anyone familiar with any of the desert strike or nuclear strike games will be at home in Hell Copter. However, hardcore flight sim pilots look elsewhere. Hell Copter is pure arcade action, no fancy targeting systems or any of that junk, just pure action. Targeting is very easily done by a large set of crosshairs that locks onto each target. The computer will auto target each target, therefore maximizing your destruction capacity. The controls are very well done in Hell Copter and left me feeling satisfied.
The feeling of blandness continues into the sound department unfortunately. Most of the sound effects are your basic machine gun blasts and explosion noises. Even the radio chatter falls short of being believable. However, this might not be considered to be a drawback by some, due to the arcade style of Hell Copter.
Every type of multiplayer connection is supported, the most popular being TCP/IP. Game types include deathmatch and co-op. Aside from the lag, the only bad part of multiplayer in Hell Copter, is the fact that there is a very small amount of maps to play on. Which really diminishes the replay value for those of us who live on multiplayer action.
Well, in case you couldn't tell by the tone of this review, I was very unimpressed with Hell Copter. All Hell Copter really turns out to be is a game based on cheating the game design. At points it's a very easy game due to the nature of how the enemies react. You can hover at the bottom of the screen were only one enemy is in sight and take him out and simply repeat over and over. The mission goals weren't very interesting either.
People who downloaded Hell-Copter have also downloaded:
Half-Life, Half-Life: Blue Shift, Half-Life 2: Episode One, Gun Metal, Hellforces, Halo: Combat Evolved, Gore: Ultimate Soldier, Gunman Chronicles (a.k.a. Half-Life: Gunman)
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