I have dabbled in the past with flight simulator games; I enjoy playing them but am by no means a big fan. When I heard of Take on Helicopters it seemed like a good idea as I don’t know of any helicopter flight simulators out there at the moment, my interest raised a lot when I heard that it was being made by Bohemia Interactive.
Their military simulator games are fantastic and I own Operation Flashpoint plus add-ons and both ARMA games. They are very in-depth with an amazing amount of customisation. The vehicles were always fun to drive, especially the helicopters, so I was very excited as the download for Take on Helicopters finished and I began to install.
Upon loading the game I instantly got a familiar feel. The look and sounds are very much like their previous games. The menu has six main options, each of which I will go through later.
The main setting for the game is Seattle, the city looks very impressive and you have a very large area to fly around in. There is quite an array of helicopters to choose from. There are three classes, small, medium and large of various types from civilian to military which are fully kitted out with weapons. The instrument panels on the helicopters are fully working as you move your view around the cockpit you can see the dials move as you gain height, speed and bank the helicopter etc. Another nice touch I liked was the need to inspect you helicopter regularly to repair any damage and wear occurred while flying. This involves walking around and clicking on various parts of the helicopter to perform the checks.
There are three modes of difficulty to choose from when starting a game, Trainee, Beginner and Expert. Each ramps up the difficulty and realism sufficiently to give a good challenge.
No I’ll give an overview of the menu selections:
As the name suggests it enable you to pick a helicopter of your choice and just cruise around the gorgeous scenery at your leisure. If you land the helicopter it also gives you the ability to get out and go for a wander around the city and surrounding scenery.
The career is the main bulk of the game. It starts off with you taking a ride with your brother who is now running your fathers helicopter business. You are given the controls a couple of times and this helps you get a feel for the helicopters and how they handle. After this a mayday comes in over the radio from a stricken ship and your brother drops you off and head out to help. As he is flying off his helicopter starts to smoke and plunges into the bay. The game progresses to a later date in time and you are back again with your brother but in a car this time, you have reluctantly accepted the start fly again to help keep the family business running.
The game begins properly then and you are sent of various missions and jobs. The missions mainly consist of flying from one point to another carrying various loads. As the game progresses the loads you have to carry and weather conditions get harder which gives you a good test of your skills.
These are various tasks that you can try your skills at, usually carrying various loads in different types of weather through different terrain types.
Here it’s a race against the clock to complete a course through challenging scenery and locations. You are awarded Gold, silver and bronze medals depending on your qualifying time. For each trial you must use the given helicopter.
Here you can learn everything that you need to get flying. The lessons are in-depth and are an ideal starting place if you’re new or fancy bumping the difficulty up a level.
The editor is much like the one seen in Operation Flashpoint and ARMA, a fantastic tool enabling you to create scenarios as light or detailed as you like.
Here you can join up with some online buddies and have a crack at the scenarios as a team rather than going it alone. I’m sure it will not be long before the Modder’s come up with some new play types or missions especially with the already powerful editor included in the game.
All in all I really enjoyed Take on Helicopters; it made a flight simulator more enjoyable and accessible for me. There are a few niggles that I’m sure will be sorted over time, I’m sure the modding community will keep the game fresh and going for a long time to come. But if your into flight simulators, especially helicopters then I think this is a must buy game.