The enemy has locked on!
Gotta shake him. I bank to the left only to have him shadow me. Then another helicopter joins him to finish me off. Lets face it, I’m doomed. I’ve already taken one shot to the back of my Chopper, another one will destroy me. Out of nowhere, my wingman flies in and blows one of the bogies to kingdom come. With that distraction, I slam on the air brakes, and the hunted becomes the hunter. I lock on with my sidewinder and let it fly. It slams into its target full force and explodes, taking my troubles with it. Sure, I meant to do that . . .
BlackFire is the first helicopter simulation for the Saturn. You get to fly a state of the art helicopter over some beautiful texture mapped landscapes. A madman (insert Saddam’s name here) is threatening the entire world and it is up to you to stop him. Sound familiar? It should if you ever played Desert, Jungle, or Urban Strike. Though we’ve heard this plot many times before, and it’s just as campy, BlackFire does improve on the theme a little bit. The major change is that you have wingmen. Yes, the US government decided to send more than one person after the insane, nuclear powered madman. Also, you have to watch who you hit. If you happen to take down one of your wingmen by mistake the others will let you know by blowing you out of the sky. So remember, look before you shoot.
The graphics are fantastic. The textured mapped landscapes slide beautifully underneath you. The maps are also big enough for you to get totally lost, no definitive border to this terrain. The enemies that fly past you or shoot you from the ground are all beautifully rendered. One of the coolest things to see is a wingman lose control and ram right into one of the enemies. Also, the baddies don’t just disappear in a puff of smoke. Depending on where you hit them, their helicopter has different reactions. most of the time, the main blade stops rotating and the helicopter plunges to its grisly demise. Is that fun or what?
The music for BlackFire is your everyday hard rock. Perfect for an all out air battle. You can also hear the radio chatter of the enemy (in Spanish) or the screams of agony that your wingmen emit as you blow them out of the sky(hee hee). The explosion of a missile smacking the side of your aircraft truly shakes you up. The designers did a great job meshing the sound and music with the all out action of the game.
Many people say, “Well, how hard can it be. All you do is fly around shooting things!” In BlackFire, that kind of strategy doesn’t work very well. It actually takes a lot of finesse to fly around in this simulator. One of the hardest things to do is control your helicopter after someone has blown of the rear rotor. If you don’t do it right, you’ll spin out of control right into a cliff. This game is a lot harder than it looks. Don’t think you’ll be able to do well without practice. Read the manual! That’s an order soldier!
Starting off, BlackFire is really frustrating; I couldn’t count the number of times I got shot down by my wingmen. Once you get the hang of it, BlackFire becomes a lot of fun. This game doesn’t coddle you, you really have to learn how to fly. So get out there and kick some major ass.