Pages: 1 2 3
Review by: Matt Plumb
Published: September 13, 2000
If popular culture is any indication, the American public is somewhat fascinated with helicopters. Action movies and television shows are inundated with them, sometimes using them to distract viewers from shoddy storylines; in fact, movie critic Roger Ebert has a rule that the more helicopters there are in a film, the worse it is. However, the public has always had a soft spot in its heart for shows such as Airwolf and Blue Thunder, in which super-powered choppers piloted by vigilantes were able to right the wrongs of the world. It should come as no surprise that there have been several military helicopter simulations on the market, such as Jane’s superb Longbow 2. Recently, Razorworks made a foray into helicopter simulations with Apache Havoc, which modeled the Apache AH-64D Longbow and the Mi-28N Havoc B. Now, Razorworks once again takes advantage of America’s interest in the helicopter with their new sim, Enemy Engaged: RAH-66 Comanche versus KA-52 Hokum, or Comanche Hokum for short.
In reality, armed helicopters are an important addition to any military force, providing mobile weapons platforms without peer. The American RAH-66 Comanche is a vehicle for the digital age, as its state-of-the-art avionics allow it to utilize the latest updates in battlefield networking. Targeting and reconnaissance data is immediately shared with other units, allowing attacks to be coordinated. The Comanche is a recon/attack craft, designed to be rapidly deployed and easily reconfigured to fulfill its many roles in battle, from stealthy scout missions to precision strike attacks. The Russian KA-52 Hokum is another advanced helicopter, its dual rotor design allowing it to be more heavily armed and armored. It can also be used in multiple roles, from strikes to reconnaissance. While it is not as stealthy or quick as a Comanche, the Hokum is tough and powerful. Both the Comanche and the Hokum are two-seat helicopters, accommodating a pilot and a co-pilot/gunner. All of the features of each helicopter are simulated with extreme attention to detail in Comanche Hokum.
As in many flight simulations, players can create and maintain virtual pilots, whose flight data is recorded. After performing exceptionally in the line of duty, pilots can receive a variety of medals, from the Purple Heart to the Medal of Honor. The player’s alter ego can also be a double agent, flying missions for either the Americans or the Russians without penalty. Unfortunately, pilot logs cannot be imported from Apache Havoc, but if the first game is installed, the Apache and the Havoc can be flown while playing Comanche Hokum.
Players can choose to put their pilots to the test in several play modes. Campaign mode is the richest of these options, as it generates an entire war on the fly. These wars take place in one of three locales, each with its own unique terrain and geography: Lebanon, Taiwan, or Yemen. The player is only a small part of each operation, taking on the role of a soldier, not a hero. As such, you can choose to fly on the front lines, or decide on safer rear echelon duty with the help of a map of the war zone. The constant radio chatter throughout Comanche Hokum indicates that other missions, from troop incursions to AWACS support, are taking place simultaneously. The success or failure of every mission, not just the ones flown by players, determines the outcome of the war, making the campaigns extremely non-linear. The other play modes, free flight and skirmish, allow for quick action in one of the campaign locales. Free flight acts as a sort of a warm-up for combat: your helicopter cannot be damaged, and enemies will not engage until after they are attacked. Skirmish mode allows you to fly missions at any location within the campaigns. These different play settings provide a wide range of gaming experiences.
Pages: 1 2 3