Bought it yesterday, here are a few very basic impressions :
Graphics are a mixed bag :
- probably the best outside model of a helo I have ever seen, very detailed
- OTOH the most ugly 3D virtual cockpit I have seen since years, mostly unreadable instruments. 2D "cockpit" offers just a small set of very basic instruments lined up straight at the bottom of the screen.
- Terrain is Ok, but nothing to write home about. Stutter and low fps impression with a P-II 450, TNT2 at 800*600, 16bit and details turned down 50%. For smooth flying I probably have to use 640*480.
- people look like little Lego-men, cars like toys, so nothing spectacular
- sound Ok, engine, gear sounds well done, crew speech crystal clear (bit too much clear), no sounds from USCG base
Now reading this you might think it's a bad game. It's not !
The flight feeling is excellent and very believable, a full set of controls incl. pedals are really needed and you have to work hard at the controls. I mean really hard. Precision flying especially in bad weather/wind conditions is VERY challenging.
Mission variation is excellent and a lot of fun. Here's a short "to do" list : saving injured people everywhere (sea, mountains, towns), vsual inspections, transport and equipment delivery, searching lost people. All this might include a time limit, e.g. if you have to bring a badly injured person to a hospital. Basic USGC procedures have to be followed.
So for whom is this game? It's definitely not for the avionics and state-of-the art graphics enthusiast. If challenging helo flight and the breath of fresh air not having to kill in missions is your thing, then I would recommend it.