Helicopter simulations have never been able to find solid ground in the console arena as PCs have given them their largest and most consistent market. Since helicopter sims generally appeal to older gamers and the controlling of helicopters requires more of a learning curve, console gamers often would get bored or frustrated. Times are changing however and helicopter sims are finding their market shifting toward consoles. Unfortunately in the past, the helicopter sims released for consoles have had more then their share of problems, creating cautious gamers. Fire Blade, however, makes decent strides at establishing this genre on consoles and fans of helicopter sims may want to give it a try.
Set around defeating terrorism, Fire Blade is a military force created to take out the highly mobilized forces of the United Eastern States. With technically advanced helicopters at your disposal, it's up to you to deliver a crushing blow to this resourceful terrorist force. Spread out over eighteen missions, you'll be involved in direct attacks, stealth missions, defense missions, and numerous others. Most give enough challenge to keep it from being finished in the first week without creating missions so difficult you pull your hair out trying to complete them.
One problem that plagues some helicopter sims is the controls and although it may take a hour to become comfortable, at that point the handling will become natural and you'll appreciate the structure. Other areas like graphics may also not have received enough attention in the past but Fire Blade does give a respectable visual representation. It won't look fantastic but it has its moments and doesn't distract from the gameplay.
For those who enjoy this genre, Fire Blade does deliver a respectable game. Although it'l probably be a tougher sell for those who have been burned by poor helicopter sims in the past, with adequate controls, graphics, and a story line to help keep the game interesting, most fans won't be disappointed.