It seems to be a long time between each post at the moment but I forced myself to have an extra long session on Longbow this afternoon in an attempt to finish the game. Now that I’m coming to write the blog, I really don’t have that much to say as things just carried on much in the same manner as whats gone before, so this post will be heavy on screenshots and light on text. I’ve taken a screenshot of the mission briefing each time so every mission is spelled out anyway.
First up its another go mission where I go out and destroy a target. This is going to more or less be my mission every time from here on out. I get another medal for my efforts.
The next mission proves more difficult and I have to confess that I started using the cheat options from here on out with the unlimited ammo option.
I certainly destroy more targets with no limits on ammo and get high gives when I get back. My score doesn’t advance though so I won’t get any medals or promotions this way.
Next up its a convoy to destroy. My gun makes short work of them when I get there. The biggest problem I have with these missions is the time it takes to fly there and back – its just plain boring as far as I’m concerned. I’m sure for someone who is into simulator games this isn’t the case but above anything else this its what’s stopping me giving this game a real go. If I fail a mission, I have another 5 minute flight just to get back to my target which I can frankly live without. I’ve been trying (and suceeding for the most part) not to use cheats but the unlimited ammo option is just too tempting.
Next its a command post to take out. The terrain is getting ever more hilly each time I go out on one of these missions and the command post is in a flat valley over the top of a small range.
Next, another tank convoy. I get to fly in daylight which is a rare occurance. I can’t quite decide if I prefer the day or night graphics. I think the filter in Dosbox must help quite a bit as I’m looking at these screenshots and things aren’t quite as nice but its quite convincing in the game itself.
There’s another news cutscene showing our raid on the tank convoy. The guys pretending to be soldiers in the 3rd screenshot must have been practising for ages to look that unconvincing .
The war moves now into Eastern Ukraine which means a new set of scenery copying itself from the CD drive.
The terain is more farms and incredibly flat. If anything the first zone is the most interesting to look at. I gather the terrain is based on the real areas though and the hills all appear as they would in real life which is pretty impressive in itself.
This mission is a bit different as I’m sent out to take out helicopters instead of ground targets. None of these are as well armed as I am and there is no dogfighting involved. I just get within range and let rip with my cannon – as ever I don’t even have to aim.
The war is going well for the US and we get a news report of a CIS convoy being destroyed while trying to cross a river.
There are rumours of the CIS having missiles with chemical warheads – where have I heard that one before? We get sent out to destroy them anyway and this is shown in another news clip.
My briefing room has changed to a comandeered building now instead of the tent.
My new location is shown as I take off since I’m now in a village.
We take out an enemy airfield which gets shown on the news.
Then its an ammo depot before moving location once again.
The new location is particularly flat and boring and its seas of green or brown. Each location is less interesting than the one before it seems.
A few missions later, we’ve captured the CIS commanding officer and negotiations are ongoing for a CIS withdrawal in return for handing him back. The missions carry on though as I take out another “chemical weapons” convoy. I really thought this was going to be the games last mission. They have been working the way through the radio alphabet code – the last 3 were missions x-ray, yankee and zulu so I figured zulu had to the end but apparently not so I get to carry on flying more another day.
I’ve tried to like this game but it just isn’t going to happen. I can appreciate its graphics, gameplay and the effort that looks to have gone into it – this is probably a classic in its own way but I simply don’t enjoy flight sims. This sort of game requires someone with a lot of patience who really wants to learn the skills required to fly an Apache and neither applies to me. It does all feel very realistic (as far as I can tell) and the missions have been well judged in terms of steadily increasing the difficulty but I’d swear that I’m doing the same mission over and over. The targets may change but you never get close enough to see them most of the time anyway. I must be near the end so I’ll soldier on but I’m seriously considering not bothering with the expansion pack, especially now I’ve seen the bit on the back of the box where it says it adds 140 missions.