Choplifter HD is an old game which is re-imagined for the current HD consoles and released on PSN, XBLA and PC. So what makes it so different now? The first impression for me was a little underwhelming because the graphics weren’t up to my expectations. Hey, if you are going to do a remake make sure it at least looks crisp and clean — surely that can be accomplished with an arcade games right? The visuals show a lot of aliasing and are generally very average.
So, what is this game all about? Helicopters of course! And a lot of them. You have to unlock them after accumulating the required amount of stars. There are a lot of variety here when it comes to the chopper selection. The game is locked to the normal difficulty, so once you beat the game, you will have access to the easy difficulty. I have no idea why they did this, as the game can get a lot frustrating even on the normal difficulty.
The main cause for frustration is the controls. Yep, they are horrendous and unresponsive, and the thing that makes it worse is the targeting. It’s a side scrolling game, but you also have the option of turning your helicopter in the most clumsiest way imaginable. It just didn’t work properly for me; it was incredibly annoying especially when taking fire, and when you factor-in the terrible controls – it just becomes a clusterfuck of massive proportions.
The main premise of the game is to rescue people and bring them to safety, and if you encounter enemy fire, you can return the honours yourself. There are plenty of helicopters at your disposal here, but they take a while to unlock. The amount of levels available aren’t scarce either. As you keep playing, the difficulty increases and this is where this game falls apart, when you the controls make your gameplay experience really torturous.
When your helicopter is damaged, you can head back to base to repair it and you can also refuel at certain stations, which is shown in the HUD on top of the screen. If you use boost, you will burn fuel fast, but it also helps you escape enemy fire. The game does provide some thrilling moments where you feel like a hero for rescuing hostages from a dangerous situation, but it eventually gets old. You also have a lot of firepower at your disposal depending on the chopper you are using.
You have to land carefully while picking up or dropping off hostages, where this is a chance you can crush them. I actually found it interesting to do that, because well, it’s a lot of fun. There is a lot of missions available where you have to do complicated things, but once you get the hang of the game and the controls, it is a bit manageable. I really, really disliked this game due to the controls, as it just wasn’t immersive enough, and the visual design makes it worse to appreciate anything about the game.
There is nothing here in this game, that would warrant a replay. It has terribly shallow gameplay, and it’s a technical mess. All of this could be forgiven, if the controls were good, but unfortunately, it isn’t. It feels like the developers worked on a really short budget here, as this game doesn’t justify the 1200 MSP or $15 they ask.
This game was reviewed on the Xbox 360.
You get to rescue hostages I guess. Decent amount of content.
Poor visuals. Poor controls. Shallow gameplay.
There is nothing here in this game, that would warrant a replay. It has terribly shallow gameplay, and it's a technical mess. All of this could be forgiven, if the controls were good, but unfortunately, it isn't.