Take On Helicopters feels like familiar territory as the menus, the flying, and the overall look to the game is the ArmA II engine. There have been modifications made here and there, but a side-by-side comparison will seem like the same game. But really they play much differently than its engine forebearer.
Similar to ArmA II, there is Singleplayer, Multiplayer, Scenarios, and an Editor to create your missions. The Singleplayer features a career in which you progress in increasingly difficult tasks. The Scenarios mode also include challenges for you to complete to test your skills. And also include Benchmarks that can test your machine’s ability at showing you the game.
The Editor is a deep and expansive toolkit in which you can create an open-ended mission or create an elaborate set of rules to follow to make it extremely challenging for yourself. Multiplayer is server based and you and friend and strangers alike can jump online and complete tasks together or can free flight ignoring objectives and ultimately destroy each other mid-air crashes.
Regardless of the mode or scenario, you will die, and often until you get it right. I was able to use mouse and keyboard as well as an Xbox 360 gamepad to play the game with minimal learning curve. I would expect an actual flight stick would make flying a much better experience, and likely a preferred one. But if you don’t have either, both control options are more than suitable for the game’s needs.
The Free Flight mode provides some tranquility in your flights as you can jump into your helicopter (any which one you choose) and decide on a location to fly in. Seattle is the best location to do that as it is highly populated with buildings and other monuments you are familiar with. The other locations that were also featured in ArmA II however, feel particularly creepy if you’ve played the DayZ mod and have played on them from the ground.
One feature about the game I enjoyed was the ability to get out of the aircraft and move about. This can be done with the helicopter running or not. It’s neat to turn your helicopter on and get out to admire it’s beauty in motion. You can’t stray too far, but being able to land on a tall building in Seattle, get out and admire the city is quite a sight.
Take On Helicopters does nearly everything right when it comes to getting a feel for flying a helicopter. The graphics engine provides stellar graphics and missions are surprisingly interesting. Bohemia Interactive has crafted a wonderful game. If you only have a passing interest in helicopters, this won’t do much to convert you into a hardcore fan as the flight model isn’t very forgiving. There’s plenty to do and taking to the skies online with friends can provide many hours of entertainment.
A download code was provided by Bohemia Interactive for review purposes