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Game Info:

Air Missions: HIND
Developed by: 3Division
Published by: 3Division
Release date: March 21, 2017
Available on: Windows, Xbox One
Genre: Action
Number of players: Up to five online
Price: $16.99

Thank you 3Division for sending us this game and DLC content to review!

Back in the '80s I enjoyed playing Choplifter on my Atari 7800. Like Choplifter, Air Missions: HIND does have some missions that require rescuing soldiers. However, you’ll be spending most of your time destroying enemy targets instead. The controls in Air Missions: HIND are much more complex and landing took me a few tries before I survived the process. Thankfully, most missions don’t require you to land to complete them. Even if they do, there is a handy checkpoint system that can restore you to the last save point without having to restart the mission.

The eighteen-mission story campaign in Air Missions: HIND begins in 1980 and advances in years as you progress the story. Besides the campaign, there’s an Instant Action mode that has eleven missions readily available. The campaign mode gradually unlocks missions as you complete previous ones. Other than unlocking missions, you’ll also receive more weapons and rockets to use in future skirmishes. Different model helicopters like the HAVAC, HIP, and HOKUM are available via $2.99 DLC purchases.

Multiplayer is supported though I wasn’t able to find anyone to play against, cooperatively or competitively. Thankfully, I did get a taste of helicopter dogfighting in one of the instant action missions. No matter which mission you choose, you only get a limited number of weapon reloads and once all of your ammo is depleted you’re as good as dead. In the dogfights every shot counts so use your bullets and rockets sparingly. Some missions have you firing from the door gun which is interesting.

Air Missions: HIND
Highlights:

Strong Points: Fun and casual helicopter simulator
Weak Points: Multiplayer is dead; not many community maps available; poor mouse controls
Moral Warnings: War violence that involves shooting down enemy aircraft, vehicles, and soldiers; language and blaspheming

Creating and sharing missions is possible with the in-game editor and finished projects can be shared via Steam Workshop. As of this review, there are only thirty-seven player submitted entries. There are many options available when creating missions. You can set the maximum amount of players to five, the location, time of day, and winning conditions. You can set the mission to be at sunset, night, and on a clear or almost clear day. The missions can take place in Central Asia, Eastern Europe, South East Asia, and Yuzhny Island.

Even though my gamepad worked great for navigating the menus, the tutorial only taught mouse/keyboard controls. Instead of remapping the buttons, I just memorized the various key commands. One issue I noticed is that the mouse cursor was not properly calibrated in the editor while running at full screen and when the game was windowed, it worked fine.

Visually Air Missions: HIND is a bit dated. It ran well on my desktop and I didn’t experience any performance issues other than a little tearing here and there. The explosions of my helicopter and enemy units look pretty good though.

Air Missions: HIND
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 78%
Gameplay - 15/20
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 78%
Violence - 7/10
Language - 2/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Since you’re fighting for the Russian army it should come as no surprise that they speak in their native tongue. Fortunately, for the rest of us there are subtitles. Sometimes those subtitles will include blaspheming and mild language (hell, d*mn). Another moral concern is the war violence. Most of the time you’ll be shooting at aircraft and vehicles, but there are times when you’ll be tasked with gunning down soldiers. If you don’t take them down first, they will not hesitate to down your helicopter.

The sound effects and weapon firing noises are all well done. I liked the catchy menu music as well. Though I don’t understand Russian, I think the voice acting was good too.

In the end, Air Missions: HIND is a solid helicopter game that’s reasonably priced at $16.99. If you’re hoping for online multiplayer, you will want to look elsewhere. There’s still plenty of fun to be had in the single-player modes and with the ability to create your own missions, the possibilities are endless. Hopefully the Steam Workshop community grows over time.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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