Air Missions: HIND – Review
Follow Genre: Action Combat Flight Simulator
Developer: 3DIVISION
Publisher: 3DIVISION, Soedesco, Games Farm
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Tested on: Switch

Air Missions: HIND – Review

Site Score
5.8
Good: Engaging tactical simulator
Bad: Very low on content
User Score
5.3
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.3/10 (3 votes cast)

Air Missions: HIND is an action combat flight simulator based on the Russian Mi-24 Hind assault helicopter. This game was developed by 3DIVISION, and published by 3DIVISION, Soedesco and Games Farm. While originally released in 2016, it made its way to the Nintendo Switch on September 17th of this year. Though they are a small company with 10 years of experience, 3DIVISION has managed to produce a steady stream of games, with a focus on vehicle combat simulators. And with this re-port of one of their tried and tested games, now anyone can step into the cockpit and get ready for battle…

Story

The primary focus that 3DIVISION goes for with Air Missions: HIND is that of a high skill combat simulator. The player most likely starts off in the campaign, 15 missions of increasing difficulty and strategy, based around fictional conflicts. We started off in the training mission that opens the campaign, where we learn to pilot the Russian Mi-24 Hind assault helicopter, aka “The Flying Tank”. While basic in premise, these missions get incredibly strategic and require thorough planning and reading of the mission brief to determine what selection of weapons you will bring to the fray. Two weapons can be equipped on the wings, in addition to a machine gun mounted on the front of the helicopter, and players can choose from an arsenal of deadly weaponry including UPK 23 machine guns, GUV gun pods, FAB bombs and various rockets and missiles.

Graphics

While serviceable, and well made, the graphics are minimalistic. The feeling that is often brought on throughout the experience is that of an arcade game, or early to mid-2000s product. An early comparison that came to mind was the PSP gale Iron Man from 2008. The game is full of rough-edged box buildings, 2D foliage and persons. This isn’t massively important however, as most of the environment is seen from a fair distance, but the close-ups really make a difference. The most detail is definitely on the helicopter itself, which can be completely out of view based on your preferred playstyle.

The overall impression is that the developers were not making the most out of the power the Switch can provide. Though given that other ports include PC and current-gen consoles, it seems that the main focus was just a well-running game.

Sound

The audio is overall well produced in Air Missions: HIND. The environment is always audible, and the sound effects of enemies, the wind, trees etc. move around realistically with the rotation of the helicopter. While a potentially small detail, it does help with game emersion significantly. The choice to make the rotor quieter than it is in real life is also appreciated as it allows us to actually hear other sounds! A particularly pleasing, if inconsequential effect, was that the sound of the rotor and world around changed to be more muted, when you chose to be in the cockpit perspective while flying the helicopter.

One complaint, however, would be the music. While thematic in its choice of WWII tunes for the player to fly to war hearing, the short loops meant that it became irritatingly repetitive in some of the more drawn-out missions.

Gameplay

The aim of Air mission: HIND, is to provide an exciting and engaging air combat simulator, and this is something that requires near-perfect gameplay mechanics in order to convey the realism expected from most simulator products. And there is a lot to say about the gameplay, though both good and bad. The good is the options. Everything, from flight controls to mission content to helicopter load-out, is completely customizable for the player. While a lot to get around and adjust, it’s very appreciated by those of us who aren’t as adept at these games and take some time to adjust. There are three stages of flight control difficulty which we, out of habit, picked the hardest. About five minutes later it was set to the easiest one while we adjusted to the game.

The missions themselves require a lot of planning and forethought. You have to spend time picking the right weapons, taking time on your shots to ensure that ammo doesn’t go to waste, making sure that enemies don’t encircle you or catch you by surprise, and so on. The content is, quite honestly, fantastic. Any issues with graphics or sounds can be easily forgotten when getting stuck into your objectives.

However, the bad is that, while the content is great, it is also very short. While we don’t feel the drive to engage in the multiplayer elements, the campaign works out to 45 minutes to an hour per mission, if you take your time and are getting to grips with the game style. When that’s over, unless you wish to train and learn the more complicated controls, there is almost nothing else.

And then there are the controls. While manageable, possible to learn and develop, they don’t feel… right. While an incredibly vague statement, it’s as accurate as can be said. The game was originally made for PC, where its controls and cursor lead navigation were largely praised. However, the Switch feels like an afterthought, like when a YouTube content creator says “I wonder if I can do a run through on Skyrim with gaming steering wheel?”, without asking if they should in the first place.

Conclusion

Overall, Air Mission: HIND is a fun game, it’s easy to get stuck into and content is equal parts reaction in a fight, and planning your build and mission tactics. However, there seems to have been very little development in the game over the past 4 years since its original release. Complaints about faulty AI, low graphics quality and low content volume were all made in old reviews. And since it was brought to Switch, it seems to be a carbon copy of the original, which only adds further problems with controls, without resolving the ones that were still there.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.3/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Air Missions: HIND - Review, 5.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Jayderlee
Jayderlee


My Avatar is more accurate than I like to admit...

1 Comment

  1. 3rd-strike.com | Gaming on the go
    October 28, 2020, 3:16 pm

    […] its hybrid console. We see a massive influx of games being ported to the Switch, such as the recent Air Missions – Hind, simply to allure gamers that don’t have the time to sit down in front of their TV or PC to do […]

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    0 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?
    Yes
    No

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.