Air Missions: HIND is a tactical Combat Flight Simulator, that allows you to play as the Russian Mi-24 Hind helicopter. Called by Russians the "Flying Tank" the helicopter is heavily armored and equipped with a large armament of AAM, MCLOS, SACLOS, S-5, S-8, S-13, and S-24s missiles and rockets.
While piloting this "Flying Tank" it is your job to defeat the enemy, through a series of missions and objectives, whether by destroying enemy AA (Anti-Air) outposts, armored tanks, or even fighting against an opposing helicopter.
Currently only having 15 missions, you are able to play both multiplayer and single player. Throughout these missions you start off in the Mi-24 "Flying Tank" Helicopter, and pilot through several objectives, which can range from taking out tanks, and infantry, to fighting enemy helicopters. Prior to the start of each game, you are allowed to customize your helicopter's skin and special weapons, to best adapt you to the mission you are about to begin.
Gameplay - Overview
There are a wide variety of weapons including the MCLOS, SACLOS, S-5, S-8, S-13, and S-24. Having the option to place two separate weapons of your choice on the wing of your helicopter, you also have the cursor guided machine gun mounted at the front off the helicopter.
The perspective of the helicopter can be found in several modes, including a full 3rd person view, 1st person, and a free look. The 3rd person view can be switched between the different angles of the helicopter and is generally used when you are mainly focused on flying. The 1st person view is extremely helpful when aiming down sights and targeting in an enemy, but can limit you while flying due to the loss of peripheral vision of your surroundings.
The free look essentially is used for targeting your gun, and/or guided missiles, and is typically used while hovering, the great advantage of this is the 100% open screen to aim and fire, but the downside is again the loss of peripheral vision of your helicopter. So it is extremely important that you are able to switch between views while flying through your mission.
Important Gameplay AspectsNow there are several aspects that come into the game while playing. Do you know how to fly your helicopter at the right momentum and speed? Can you take out a target with every shot, to not waste ammo? Or can you even make sure that you have the right weapons selected for the mission ahead? These are the type of questions that you have to be able to answer while playing this game, and we will be going over each of them.
1. Being one of the most crucial parts of the game is helicopter-control. Without being able to properly angle and fly your helicopter, you can't expect to be able to hit enemy targets. Especially due to the large size and weight of the helicopter, losing altitude too fast, or approaching a target with a lot of momentum can easily result in the crashing of your helicopter.
2. Throughout the game, depending on the mission, ammo is limited and although you have a moderate amount of it, it is crucial that you do not waste it. Through many of my missions I have played through, I ran out of ammo due to my excessive use of it and was not able to finish off the remaining enemies. So make sure that every shot is a kill or at least a hit, and use ammo sparingly.
3. One of the most important decisions you can make prior to a mission is weapon selection. Without having the proper weapon for that selected mission, you can be at an extreme disadvantage, and may have to restart or play an extremely hard level. For example, lets say you are going to play a mission where it is your goal to take out an enemy city, but also fight off enemy helicopters while doing so. If you completely select rockets and gun pods to take out the infantry throughout the city, without anti-air missiles how can you expect to easily take out the air units? So it is crucial that you choose the right weapon for whatever mission you are about to start.
AAM or the Air to Air Missile is used during "dogfights" and is the method in-game to lock on, and take out opposing helicopters.
The MCLOS or the Manual command to line of sight is a guided missile via mouse control that will follow your cursor while in flight.
The SACLOS or the Semi-automatic command to line of sight is a missile that is guided by pointing your mouse, or cursor at a target. During its flight the cursor must stay aimed at the target for the missile to successfully hit.
A light rocket widely used by the Soviet Air Force against ground targets. Extremely effective at taking out infantry but decent against armored vehicles. It has the range of 3-4 km.
A more powerful rocket also widely used by the Soviet Air Force, typically for more heavily armored units, it is heavier and you can hold fewer rockets than the S-5 but has a longer range of 6 km.
An extremely powerful rocket used by the Soviet Air Force to penetrate hardened aircraft shelters, bunkers, and pillboxes. Has a range of 3 km, and holds less on a helicopter than the S-8.
The strongest rocket found in the game, this was used by the Soviet Air Force to take out heavy units, buildings, and bunkers. The range is 3 km and because of its heavy weight, holds less on a helicopter than the S-13.
Gun pods are essentially an extra gun mounted on the side of your helicopter, they can be extremely effective in fighting infantry units, and if using ammo piercing rounds, can be used well against tanks.
UI/HUD OverviewThe HUD consists of a mini-map in the bottom left corner, a view of your helicopter in the right corner, and on the cursor you will have two separate views, the green marker is to show where all of your unguided missiles, gun pods, and bombs will point at, and the white marker represents the cursor for your frontal gun, and all guided or targeting missiles and bombs. While playing, when close enough to the ground a third marker will appear (if you are carrying bombs) that will guide you to where your bomb will land.
Graphics are one of the most important parts of a game, and is extremely crucial to the immersion of a player, especially in this type of realistic air simulator. Now while playing this game, I actually quite enjoyed the graphics, due to the attention to detail I found in the helicopter itself, and most of the surrounding terrain and enemies. I found the style of the game to be realistic, at least from afar. Not only just those effects themselves, but the SFX seen from the many weapons that are available are quite enjoyable, and add a flair to the game that would lead you to believe that you actually are piloting an armed helicopter.
Now running on a GTX 760 myself, I was able to run the game flawlessly at the highest settings with an FPS at about 70+. Set aside from this, I found a few downsides to the graphics. Now during the gameplay, as I began to get closer to the terrain and ground itself, I began to notice poor character modeling of the buildings, and the enemies themselves. Continuing the graphics settings were not in-depth and only allowed for simple changes in video quality. I also noticed the low-quality materials placed as the basic textures for the ground itself, which can lead you to believe that this game was made with 2008 graphics. So at an overall look the graphics of this game are decent, but can be improved upon.
ControlsBeing able to choose between three levels of controls, based off of your experience with flight simulators, the controls are not too complicated, with just a few needed minor adjustments, that can save you from a lot of hassle while playing the game.
With similar controls to many flight simulators (aka, having Shift to change altitude, Z to decrease, Q and E to turn or tilt) the one major difference I found in the controls of this game compared to some major flight simulators was the direction controlling mostly guided by the mouse. Which is used to allow you to more easily target and attack your enemies. I quite liked the controls myself, however it did take me a few minutes to adjust myself to them.
SOUNDSThe sound effects in this game are moderately detailed, with a realistic sounding environment, and general game aspects. This was also found in the ambiance of the game, with the wind, time, and position all coming into factor of the audio.
The helicopter itself has quite interesting audio, straying away from the realistic effect, with an arcade-type feel, especially found in the sound of the rockets and gun-pods, and a quieter rotor. Now the music on the other hand is something i tend to disagree with. The music consists of a WWII styled theme, including several different songs based on the mission. Tending to be very loud, it can get quite repetitive, and I feel that a change in music would benefit this game greatly.
ConclusionAir Missions:HIND is a great mix between the arcade style fps, and the extreme militaristic simulator, and has great potential for the future. Now as I played through the game myself, I quite enjoyed it, but it did have downsides. The majority of this is due to the low game-content in the missions themselves, and the faulty AI.
Now understandably, the game is extremely new, and is in its development stage, but I would like to see this game expand upon new content possibly adding new helicopters (or at least variations of the M-24), changing the AI to be more functional, and over all else, adding more missions, and possibly a competitive game mode that can be played in multiplayer.
I believe that if they could make these changes, this game would be able to expand much further into the gaming industry. I rated the game an 7.8 because honestly, I really felt that it was a decent game, and I would likely play it in the future, but it really needs to focus on the aspects cutting the gameplay down, if they want to make a "decent" game a "great" game.
|Fun gameplay, great feel, and effects||Improvements should be made to the AI|
|Easy to learn controls||Needs to improve on the general graphics of the game|
|Great mix between heavy flight simulators and arcade style games||Definitely needs more content in-game, especially mission wise|
|It's just in the development phase, so much more content can be expected to come|