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Written by  :  Indra was here (20910)
Written on  :  May 22, 2004
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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I hate simulation games...but there's always an exception!

The Good

I always had this impression about most combat simulation games didn't require much thinking ability and the overall "aim of the game" was just shoot-shoot-and-shoot.

Then they came up with this little beauty.

I was always a RPG gamer at heart and truthfully said, this game had a lot of "RPG elements" that couldn't be resisted.

There are a lot of things I love about Gunship, the thing I love most about Gunship (actually more than the game itself) was the game manual. I remember it was a big yellow manual with all kinds of instructions and stuff, and since my dad was a Fighter Pilot in the Indonesian Air Force (he actually shot down some Dutch planes during the war of independence!) this was the closest thing to I can related to what a fighter pilot actually does (although this is a chopper). Anyway, the at the back of the manual were these extremely detailed descriptions of military vehicles, helicopters, tanks, the works. Both from the Allied and Soviet forces! This database blew me away! I couldn't stop reading, sometimes memorizing all these statistics, from the Soviet BMP Tanks to the NATO M1Abrams. I really RESPECT any game that puts that much effort of research and educational value in a game. If it weren't for games like this, I would totally have a limited English vocabulary level.

Back to the game. Gunship wasn't just a shoot'em up game. It had strategy and tactics. For each mission you had to distinguish which kind of armaments and attributes would best suit your Longbow Apache. To me this is kinda like character development from an RPG perspective - suiting up your character, deciding what's best to face the challenges ahead. The game also had complicated difficulty settings, like realistic landing (which I was too young to appreciate since I hated crashing), winds (I think) and standard enemy difficulty.

But the thing that got me most was this was the first Simulation game that had a complex ranking system. Depending on your capabilities on the battlefield, you'll either get a promotion or a medal. Now this is totally the "RPG element" of a simulation game. Your developing your character, even though the recognition is through ranks and medals. Because of this you always feel you have to do more, since the sense of reward is always a joyful anticipation. Even though you've done the Primary and Secondary missions, you'll always feel you have to go back to the base, restock, and flatten the whole map with your trusty Hellfire missiles!

I don't recall if I've actually "finished" the game, but this game really changed my perspective on simulation games. Unfortunately, I haven't experienced any other similar simulation game with this level of "intelligence". With the exception of the better version of Gunship, which is Gunship 2000.

The Bad

Is it me or you can't really say anything bad about most "classic games", since they give you such really great memories. Although if I play it again, since I'm more "mature" *ahem*, I certainly have a lot of "bad" things to say. But, let's just leave the good memories as good memories, eh?

If there was one thing I had to say, I just wished I could pack a 100 Hellfire missiles on a single go. But that wouldn't be fun wouldn't it? Hehe.

The Bottom Line

If there's one "bird" I respect most, it's the Longbow Apache. Both the Apache and THIS game has my total respect!