Enemy Engaged: RAH-66 Comanche vs. KA-52 Hokum
By Kurt "Froglips" Giesselman and "Zero G"
[Ed. Note: This is a review of the UK version of the game.
Release date for North America has not been announced as yet.]
Fig. 1. Titlescreen from Commanche-Hokum
Welcome to the 21st century battlefield. A world of precision munitions, stealth technology, and computer enhanced tactics. Don't worry, you can handle it, you fly the RAH-66 Comanche or the Ka-52 Hokum, the state of the art in airborne support for the new electronic battlefield.
Enemy Engaged RAH-66 Comanche vs. Ka-52 Hokum (the world's longest simulation title, abbreviated as EECH for the rest of my lifetime), is the follow-up to last year's successful Enemy Engaged Apache Havoc. You fly either the stealthy RAH-66 Comanche or the twin-rotored Ka-52 Hokum. In addition, if you own EEAH (hope you can guess what that acronym means) you can fly the AH-64D Apache or Mi-28 Havoc-B, too. There are three all new campaigns in EECH plus the three previous campaigns from EEAH are available to those with both products installed.
This simulation has it all, complex campaigns set in the today's 'hot spots', including Taiwan, Lebanon, and Yemen. Detailed geo maps, created from real topography for each area, have lots of place for you to hide such as river beds, mountains, and forests. The feeling of speed at low altitude is frightening! The flight model is very realistic according to a real life 'chopper' pilot, Zero_G (co-author of this review). The graphics detail of the helicopter both inside and out is staggering. Fortunately, Razorworks has provided a very large range of adjustments on the detail level in the simulation to accommodate differing PC and graphic card capabilities. If you have the computing power to turn everything to up to full detail, you should be prepared to be astonished. For this review my PC setup is a Pentium II 400 MHz with 100 MHz FSB and 384MB RAM, a Diamond 770 TNT2 Ultra, a Voodoo3 3000 PCI, and a Voodoo2 12MB. My hard drive is a Maxtor 10G at 7200 rpm and the sound card is by Turtle Beach Systems. I started out using my Saitek X36 USB but tried several other setups with separate pedals.
After you load up the simulation and start the game, go get a cup of java before you settle in for your first mission. The first load initializes many things and creates a number of files. You are ready when you get the Main Menu.
Fig. 2. Commanche-Hokum Main Menu Screen
Start by creating a pilot. You might wish to create separate pilots for the Red and the Blue side but it is not required as EECH keeps track of your statistics for both sides separately. The pilot log will keep track of all the usual statistics such as flight time, kills, and even my favorite, fratricides.
Fig. 3. Flight Log
The pilot screen also provides a weapons log. This running log keeps track of every weapon you have fired. A dismal reminder to me of how poor a helicopter pilot I really am and how complex this simulation really is. No one needs to worry about whether they are going to master all the details of EECH in one sitting. This is hard-core simming at its best. Plan on spending lots of time learning about different weapons and their targeting modes, attack techniques, and the mysteries of helicopter flight.
Fig. 4. Weapons Log
There is a screen to list all your medals. You can rack up medals for everything from completing tours of duty to being injured in the line of duty (Purple Heart or Order of Glory). The program keeps separate track of all statistics for the Red and the Blue side for each pilot. I have only gotten a Purple Heart to date, which is not surprising to me.
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