Developer SOEDESCO has released a game named Air Missions: HIND which is the first helicopter combat flight simulator on the PlayStation 4. So I turned on my PlayStation 4 and prepared myself to rain holy rain from above.
Air Missions: HIND features the Mi-24 HIND Assault Helicopter or also known as ‘the Flying Tank‘. Even though the game features heavily on the Mi-24 HIND, it does have other variety of military helicopters. The game sets players on missions which also serves as a good tutorial to learn the controls and movement of the helicopter.
The controls layout is actually simple and easy to understand. Using the right analog stick to control the verticality and strafing while the left analog stick controls the view direction and rotation of your helicopter. Forward and backwards movements can be achieved by pressing down on L3 or R3 respectively. There is no need to constantly accelerate to stay in the air so the game is lenient in its in own way. The game makes an effort to get as many views you can of the cockpit of the helicopter. Some of the views that can be cycled through are a third person view, cockpit views and even a gun camera view (those black and white videos with target glowing white in colour).
Now that we are done with the movement and camera controls, lets us move on to the others. The firing button is R2 for your main weapon and L2 for your Gatling gun. There were some issues I had with the controls. In some missions, you are brought into a first-person view to use the Gatling gun. It was frustrating to hold L2 to fire and aim using the left analog stick. Also, there is no way to customize your controls in the game so you are stuck with what they give you.
There are a variety of missions available to take on in this game. Players can slowly unlock missions or get right into the action by creating their own mission scenario. Completing missions will slowly unlock a wider arsenal for your helicopter as you complete them. Even though there is a variety of missions, the game does slowly turn repetitive. The environment also changes as you go along but it just feels dull as the only variation is between a desert, forest and mountains. Trees and buildings look have just the bare minimum low res textures which do not help make the game look lively.
One thing that stood out is the customization on the helicopters. You can customize the type of helicopter, the paint job and weapons you decide to bring into the mission. Selecting the right weapons for each mission type is key in completing a mission. Your helicopter has a health bar that is indicated underneath the radar and will deplete if you are shot at or collide with terrain. And just a warning, the collision detection on some of the trees and buildings are larger then you see. There is one mission where the landing spot was beside a building and tree but I keep getting collision damage even though I was clear of any trees or building.
Having tried the missions I was thinking that this game could be somewhat awesome if it had a nice PvP element to it. But to my dismay, there was nobody online to play with. I tried staying up to 2 AM just to get a game but to no avail.
Air Missions: HIND might be as close as we get to a helicopter simulator on the PlayStation 4. The game lacks any drive to make me continue at times. I rarely get motion sickness in a game but this is the first time I experienced it even without VR. With some difficult control mapping and camera problems, it is hard to overlook the problems in this game even though there is a great amount of effort done by the developers on the helicopter details and customization.
Score : 3/10
Here is a video of a mission I ran :