Choplifter Crisis Shield
Fans of the old ChopiiftermW be shocked--this baby plays more like Microsoft Flight Simulator (PC) than the side-scrolling shooter you remember. But is it any good? Yes and no. Controlling these choppers is purposely complex: You must account for gravity, momentum, and wind, all while counteracting the helicopter's tendency to rotate against engine torque. It's technical stuff, so at first, you'll be crying out, "Damn you, equal and opposite reactions!" But with practice comes precision, and if you persevere, you'll have your Huey hovering like a hummingbird.
Although the drab, PS1 -quality visuals aren't very inviting, the imaginative mission concepts are. Rescue guests from a burning hotel, snag hostages from a Speed-ing bus with a bomb aboard, and herd escaped animals back into the zoo. These tasks are memorable but freakin' hard due to touchy controls and some poor game design (like cut-scenes that constantly interrupt your delicate rescue attempts). Overall, it's a creative game, but also an ugly and frustrating one.
Not often does a game make me feel like a Boy Scout, but Choplifter manages to pull it off. Just make sure you earn your Patience merit badge before you start playing, or it may be a short trip. In addition to the finicky controls, the frustrating camera complicates airborne saves in tight spots. Still, the game is oddly charming thanks to creative mission goals (as Paul mentioned) and the satisfying feeling you get when you save all the victims in a level. Fun--just be prepared for the turbulence.
A funny thing happened while I was playing Choplifter: I learned how to fly a helicopter. Or, at the very least, I learned that real-life whirlybirds are trickier to pilot than Vice City's Sparrow chopper. Like Paul says, this is a peacenik's flight game. If the thought of figuring out how to hover or zip along in a straight line (harder than it sounds) seems about as heart-pumping as an in-flight movie, then you'd better skip this trip. But aviation buffs should give this unusual, peaceful copter sim a chance.
Download Choplifter Crisis Shield
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP