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Author Topic: No, my fellow armchair combat pilots, Gunship is not THAT bad!
PhoeNix2112
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Member # 6261

posted 08-20-2000 11:15 AM     Profile for PhoeNix2112   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Combat helicopter sims are my favorite type of combat flight sims. I've played Gunship 2000, Longbow 2, Comanche Gold, Team Apache, and the new Gunship.

Used to be, Longbow 2 and Comanche Gold were my favorites, but for different reasons. Longbow 2, of course, had the most realism and the best campaigns. Comanche Gold had the best graphics. I've probably logged twice as many hours playing Longbow 2 than I have with Comanche Gold, mostly due to Longbow 2's vastly superior campaigns. But Comanche Gold was still a lot of fun to play, and sometimes I felt Comanche Gold was actually more realistic than Longbow 2 in its feeling of nap-of-the-earth flight and its simulation of cat-and-mouse tactics.

Then came the new Gunship. The critics mostly gave it mediocre reviews, and the newsgroups mostly threw tomatos at the sim for its frustrating and unrealistic gameplay. But all agreed: it was the most beautiful combat helicopter sim in history, so far.

I admit, that last part intrigued me... but not enough to spend $50 on it. (BTW: Gunship is selling on-line for around $25, now.) Then I saw it available on a used computer games trading post ( http://gametz.com ). So, I traded a couple of older games for it.

When I first installed Gunship and played it, I was somewhat disappointed. Oh, it was indeed beautiful, but it was also buggy and frustrating as all hell. A lot of things seemed not to work the way the manual stated they should. Also, there were a lot of design features in the game that I didn't like. Of all the sim's problems, its lack of ultra realism concerned me the least.

One of the things that frustrated me most about Gunship was that while in the otherwise excellent gunner's cockpit (a feature I originally found compelling about this sim), I couldn't get the pilot to completely obey my flight directions; and, yes, when I'd switch to map view, the pilot would foolishly take off on his own, oftentimes exposing our chopper which I had so painstakingly hidden.

Another frustrating thing was that I couldn't switch from chopper to chopper during a mission, even though the scripted, puzzle-like, and overly demanding campaign missions seemed designed for me to be able to commandeer the other choppers in my squadrons.

And finally, there were some bugs in the game in need of a patch -- a patch which has only recently been released, months after the game first hit the shelves.

I almost gave up on Gunship... but then I decided to try it multiplayer, on-line via Microsoft's Gaming Zone. What a blast that turned out to be! With four players per scenario, in teams of 2 vs. 2, the sim was a lot more credible -- incredible, even, as it turned out. (Note: Don't play with endless respawn, and don't play in free-for-all deathmatches; i.e., the kind of gameplay that belongs in multiplayer games like Unreal Tournament and Quake Arena.) I found myself designing custom scenrios through the sim's battle builder specifically for multiplayer scenarios of 2 vs. 2, with each player having a section or flight of 2 or 3 choppers at his disposal. This way, multiplayer Gunship is truly a glorious and challenging virtual battlefield, with choppers, tanks, APC's, infantry, artillery, AA vehicles, and ground attack fighters interacting.

After hours and hours of playing the sim this way, I slowly figured out completely how to operate the sim despites its mediocre and even misguiding documentation. Furthermore, I stumbled across quite a few features that were not described anywhere in the documentation.

Firstly, I figured out how to get the pilot to obey my flight directions while I was operating in the gunner's cockpit, and now I spend around 75% of my time in that cockpit while playing this sim in single-player mode. The gunner's cockpit in Gunship is quite an enjoyably different and challenging experience from what I've experienced in other combat helicopter sims, where switching to the gunner's cockpit is not much worth your time, and is mostly uninteresting. The implementation of the gunner's cockpit in Gunship is, by far, better than in any of the others combat helicopter sims I've played -- yes, better even than Longbow 2's (which was pretty darn good).

Secondly, I figured out how to switch to other choppers during a mission and commandeer them. Yay! (This is the saving grace for the sim's scripted, puzzle-like, and overly demanding campaigns. And it also provides a limited number of back-up choppers for players in multiplayer scenarios, which is better than giving them only one chopper, or, even worse, endless respawns.)

(For detailed information on what I discovered, see my post, "Some Things You Might Not Know About Gunship!", under the heading "Game Discussions: Title Specific: Gunship!")

So, here's my final score on the combat helicopter flight sims I've played, with each of the following categories rated on a scale of 1 to 4...

LONGBOW 2:

Documentation: 4
Training Missions: 4
Buildings and structures graphics: 2
Ground vehicles graphics: 2
Air vehicles graphics: 3
Enemy and teammate AI: 4
Sense of a real battle going on around you: 2
Weapons realism: 4
Weapons special effects: 3
Weather special effects: 2
Sound effects: 4
Terrain graphics: 3
Terrain masking while in-flight or hovering: 2
"Cat and mouse" tactics while in flight: 2
Sense of NOE flight: 2
Flight model realism: 4
Avionics realism: 4
Campaigns challenge and dynamics: 4
Battlefield planning and in-flight command: 3
Virtual cockpit views: 3
Gunner's cockpit implementation/usefulness: 2
Variety of choppers to fly: 3
Overall score: 3.5

GUNSHIP:

Documentation: 2
Training Missions: 2
Buildings and structures graphics: 4
Ground vehicles graphics: 4
Air vehicles graphics: 4
Enemy and teammate AI: 2
Sense of a real battle going on around you: 4
Weapons realism: 3
Weapons special effects: 4
Weather special effects: 4
Sound effects: 4
Terrain graphics: 4
Terrain masking while in-flight or hovering: 4
"Cat and mouse" tactics while in flight: 4
Sense of NOE flight: 4
Flight model realism: 2
Avionics realism: 3
Campaigns challenge and dynamics: 2
Battlefield planning and in-flight command: 3
Virtual cockpit views: 4
Gunner's cockpit implementation/usefulness: 4
Variety of choppers to fly: 3
Overall score: 3.25

COMANCHE GOLD:

Documentation: 3
Training Missions: 3
Buildings and structures graphics: 3
Ground vehicles graphics: 3
Air vehicles graphics: 3
Enemy and teammate AI: 1
Sense of a real battle going on around you: 3
Weapons realism: 2
Weapons special effects: 3
Weather special effects: 3
Sound effects: 3
Terrain graphics: 3
Terrain masking while in-flight or hovering: 3
"Cat and mouse" tactics while in flight: 3
Sense of NOE flight: 3
Flight model realism: 3
Avionics realism: 2
Campaigns challenge and dynamics: 1
Battlefield planning and in-flight command: 2
Virtual cockpit views: 0
Gunner's cockpit implementation/usefulness: 0
Variety of choppers to fly: 0
Overall score: 2.5

TEAM APACHE:

Documentation: 2
Training Missions: 2
Buildings and structures graphics: 3
Ground vehicles graphics: 3
Air vehicles graphics: 3
Enemy and teammate AI: 3
Sense of a real battle going on around you: 3
Weapons realism: 3
Weapons special effects: 3
Weather special effects: 3
Sound effects: 2
Terrain graphics: 2
Terrain masking while in-flight or hovering: 2
"Cat and mouse" tactics while in flight: 2
Sense of NOE flight: 2
Flight model realism: 3
Avionics realism: 3
Campaigns challenge and dynamics: 3
Battlefield planning and in-flight control: 3
Virtual cockpit views: 4
Gunner's cockpit implementation/usefulness: 3
Variety of choppers to fly: 1
Overall score: 3.00

[This message has been edited by PhoeNix2112 (edited 08-20-2000).]


Posts: 10 | From: Boulder, CO, USA | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged
Finarvas
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posted 08-20-2000 11:43 AM     Profile for Finarvas   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I dont understand it.. why does everyone find Gunship!'s graphic so good. To me they suck. Those ugly trees ruin it all.. EECH is much much nicer...

Posts: 52 | From: Varberg, Sweden | Registered: Apr 2000  |  IP: Logged
Zero G
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posted 08-20-2000 01:24 PM     Profile for Zero G   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Finarvas; thank god I am not alone on this. I have no understanding at all as to why people think that GS! looks so good. The textures are very poorly done IMO and I would rather look at either EECH or KA-52 TA then GS!.

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Z


Posts: 374 | From: Canada | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
PhoeNix2112
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posted 08-20-2000 03:26 PM     Profile for PhoeNix2112   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Well, you two are entitled to your opinions, of course. But the vast majority of unbiased people who see Gunship! say that it's truly a beautiful sim, packed with special effects. Gunship! has become my latest and greatest game to show off to my friends when they cover over for a visit.

I do agree with you, that the trees in Gunship! are not all that pretty to look at. But there are LOTS of them, which certainly makes this combat helicopter sim interesting and challenging in a way that has not been done nearly as well before.

Besides, I was comparing Gunship! to the other combat helicopter sims I've played, two of which are Longbow 2 and Comanche Gold. I have not played Enemy Engaged: Comanche vs. Hokum, nor Ka-52 Team Alligator. But judging from the screenshots I've seen of those two sims, I say Gunship! is graphically superior, overall.

And THAT is my opinion, to which I'm entitled.

[This message has been edited by PhoeNix2112 (edited 08-20-2000).]


Posts: 10 | From: Boulder, CO, USA | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged
Jack tb
unregistered

posted 08-21-2000 01:59 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
GUNSHIP:
Weapons realism: 3
Flight model realism: 2
Avionics realism: 3
Campaigns challenge and dynamics: 2
Variety of choppers to fly: 3

These were a good laugh, thx.


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jerrykraut
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posted 08-21-2000 04:59 AM     Profile for jerrykraut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
To Jacktb: about what you are smiling?
If it is YOUR opinion, why do you post as an anonymous unregistered?

To the other two:
Did you ever fly an real helo?
I flew in several as a passenger in combat situations.
Did you ever have a look as a gunner trough an periscope under combat situation?
I did it very often over more than eight years.
How many of the named sims do you own?
I own them all, without KA52, and several fixed wing sims.

GS! to me is more an arcade sim with an outstanding graphic, too the trees, in EECH I wonder, how one can call that green dust trees. In GS! you can use them as a cover.
But they blast me more often in GS! as in EECH.

To me LB2 with GS! graphic and EECH campaign choosabilities (sorry this germglish) would make the run.


The flight modells: they all have their mistakes.


Posts: 95 | From: Niedersachsen, Germany | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged
Zero G
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posted 08-21-2000 08:36 AM     Profile for Zero G   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
To the other two:
Did you ever fly an real helo?


Hehehe Yes I sure have, I am a commercial helicopter pilot. I Beta tested for both EECH and KA-52 TA and I own pretty much all the sims made in the last 12 years including that not so good game GS!.

All I can say is that the way that the 2d trees are done and the very bad textures for the terrain make GS! butt ugly IMO

------------------
Z


Posts: 374 | From: Canada | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
DarkKodiak
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Member # 5683

posted 08-21-2000 12:31 PM     Profile for DarkKodiak   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I'll throw in my two cents here. If you approach GS with the attitude that its the "afterburner" of helicopter sims, then you might forgive it's total lack of realism, stability, and realistic control.

Personally, in terms of looks, I think EECH is the current king. The detail present in this sim, within almost EVERY object (from large carriers to infantry) continues to amaze me. Never have I seen a sim that's so graphically engrossing, and I don't think GS coems anywhere NEAR the level of detail and immersion present in EECH.

Anyway, just my two cents.

------------------
Brian Rubin
Simulation Network Manager
Gamer's Alliance


Posts: 10 | From: Los Angeles, CA, USA | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged
FrankD
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posted 08-21-2000 02:38 PM     Profile for FrankD   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
You are all right about EECH with its detail, but I think it is sometimes too much in some areas and neglects some other (may be more important stuff). The polygon count of all objects is very high, much higher than in Gunship, but to me, as a whole, Gunship looks much smoother and more in shape than EECH.
In EECH, a forest is represented by a strangely textured block looking like a building with some trees scattered around its edges. In Gunship, on the other hand, a forest is actually a collection of single trees (which are only 2D, but what the heck, you got thousands of them) and patches of wood, through which you can actually fly and hide within.
I think, there are many more examples of the different designs of EECH and Gunship (infantry, 3D models):
EECH: high polygon count, bad textures (where they would be needed like ground and buildings, Im not talking about the facial textures of the pilots and stuff like that).
-> in detail great, but as a whole mediocre
Gunship: low polygon count, good textures
-> in detail mediocre, but as a whole because of the hundreds of objects quite impressive (and by the way, my PII300+V3_3000 can handle it better )

Just my three cents


Posts: 16 | From: | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged
Igi
unregistered

posted 08-21-2000 03:10 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Driving one day in a car ( Croatia, Europe ), i took a look at the scenery and it reminded me of something. I saw that picture somewhere. Then i remembered that i have seen the same picture playing EECH. The trees were dense packs of trees just like in the game. Roads and cablelines passed through them also like in EECH. So to add another plus to EECH, it has the most realistic scenery. I think that there are no forests in the whole world where the trees are spread so you can fly between them.
Well, I think this ends this disscusion.

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FrankD
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posted 08-21-2000 05:32 PM     Profile for FrankD   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Driving one day in a car ( Germany, Europe ), i took a look at the scenery and it reminded me of something. I saw that picture somewhere. Then i remembered that i have seen the same picture playing Gunship. The trees were sometimes dense packs of trees and sometimes scattered patches of wood, just like in the game. Roads and cablelines (well, no cablelines, Gunship has none) passed through them also like in Gunship. So to add another plus to Gunship, it has the most realistic scenery. I think that there are no forests in the whole world where the trees are always packed so dense you cant fly between them.
Well, I think this ends this disscusion. Well, maybe

Posts: 16 | From: | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged
jerrykraut
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Member # 1430

posted 08-22-2000 04:53 AM     Profile for jerrykraut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Soory to FrankD, but defently my lastone to that:
Flying very slowly in an Aluette (on an recco flight)one day in Germany six feet above a path trough the wood, four feet under the highest points of the woodline, I took a look at the scenery, that will later remember me of somewhat in GS!
I will see the pictures somewhere.
Roads ... like in GS!, Cablelines ... as in EECH.
Our wingie had an accident, his blades hits in a tree, he has to break off with a damadged rotor more like in EECH than in GS!

One other day, an real BO105 flight fights against an Leopard platoon, standing behind the trees, somtimes changing position flying between couples of trees 3km in front of the platoon, never seen by the tank soldiers, they caught the whole platoon.

Which SIMULATION is the better one? I dont know it realy.

Over and out.


Posts: 95 | From: Niedersachsen, Germany | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged
Hatchling
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Member # 3644

posted 08-23-2000 06:40 AM     Profile for Hatchling   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Yeah ok, so its not that bad, the sim is a mediocre entertainment game, it just doesnt appeal to the true hard core simmer, the graphics are great, but the flight model sucks, it feels like a pig on stilts, not even that so called customizable patch they released (which you have to be a code programmer to make it work) doesnt do much. If the FM were fixed a LOT!, it might just spark my interest, The FM on LB2 is by far the best out there on Helo sims. Campaings and all the other features on a sim are secondary to a good FM, thats were our senses try to extract what we have come to call "Realism"


Hatch


Posts: 29 | From: Bogota Colombia | Registered: Mar 2000  |  IP: Logged

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