Apache: Air Assault

Developer: Gaijin Entertainment
International Publisher: Activision
Russian Publisher: 1C-SoftClub
Official Website: English
Genres: Simulator / Flight
Platforms: PC, X360, PS3
MultiPlayer: Co-Op (2), Internet (4)
Release Date: 26.11.10 (X360, PS3), 03.12.10 (PC)
PEGI Rating: 16+
System Requirements: P4-3.2, 2 GB RAM, 256 MB 3D Card, 10 GB HDD
Our Score:

Apache: Air Assault. Interview with Mikhail Bivol, 1C-SoftClub

Apache: Air Assault is a new combat helicopter simulator that has recently been taken to the Russian «IgroMir 2010» Games Expo. The pilot will have to deal with the most diverse tasks: participate in air strikes, escort missions, search and destroy dangerous opponents. Realistic physics, several models of helicopters available to control and the multiplayer mode, which supports the Co-Op play on consoles, represent some of the project’s remarkable features.

Mikhail Bivol of «1C-SoftClub» answered all our questions about Apache: Air Assault. He also showed us some gameplay footage walking through one of the in-game missions. We recorded the presentation on video to let you see the game in action. The game itself is released in November, 2010.

- Good afternoon! Please introduce yourself!

Mikhail Bivol- Hello! My name is Mikhail Bivol, and I work as a Senior Product Manager of the company «1C-SoftClub», responsible for marketing of all Activision’s products released in Russia. Today we will talk about the game Apache: Air Assault made by Russian developers of Gaijin Entertainment, known for their last year’s console project – «IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey».

Activision is the international publisher of the game, which will appear in Russia in November, 2010, and will be available for the following platforms: PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. The PC-version that is coming out here will be fully translated into Russian, while the console versions will be released in English.

- What are the main differences between the game’s versions for different platforms?

- The difference is not too big: in terms of graphics everything is almost identical in all versions, except that on the consoles the game will also offer the Co-Op mode in the campaign, when one player can act as a pilot, and another one will become a gunner. These roles fully correspond with the actual duties of the real Apache crew.

- Why did the developers decide to address the combat helicopters theme?

- In recent years very many games tried to model combat helicopters, for example, you can find them in the famous Call of Duty series, where you were able to fire from aboard. In Battlefield: Bad Company (2008) it was possible to pilot a helicopter. At the same time the attention of flight simulators creators put more emphasis on the airplanes topics: like Tom Clancy’s HAWX (2009-2010) or IL-2 (2001-2009).

New comprehensive, entertaining and realistic combat helicopter’s sim haven’t appeared for years. The result of this was the empty genre’s niche, so the company Gaijin Entertainment decided to release its Apache: Air Assault. I’d like to point out that the designers of this studio have already gained the necessary professional expertise in developing flight simulators.

Fragment of a video presentation showing gameplay of Apache: Air Assault (Russian voice)

- What’s in the plot of Apache: Air Assault?

- The game presents the confrontation involving three different factions: the government armed forces, a private army and terrorists. The latter ones provoke aggression: in one of the first missions they attack the base of the armed forces, after which the player embarks on a helicopter to protect the survivors and then to try chasing the aggressors.

While the conflict itself against international terrorist groups is fictional, geographically it is uncovered in such world regions, where it could happen in reality. Single-player game includes a campaign filled with 16 missions in different corners of the world, which are reminiscent of authentic locations.

In the game you will battle over mountain regions, snow-capped peaks and valleys, jungles with lots of vegetation that hide RPG-armed opponents as well as the African coast, including some marine zones, where the fight against pirates will unfold.

Apache: Air Assault- How were the in-game locations created?

- If you play in the «Free Flight» mode, you will notice that the in-game maps are quite large, although they should not be completely equated with any real areas of the globe. To ensure the authenticity of the landscape, topography and climate the developers used some actual satellite data. This means they cared about making maps detailed and creating a fully destructible environment. Objects can break or explode,and the surrounding vegetation is also susceptible to damage, so you can surely see some trees falling in the middle of a firefight..

- What will help beginners to learn how to play?

- We have implemented a special Training mode that takes into account many factors for novice pilots. For example, the helicopter will not flip over the sides. You will still have access to all the same control buttons, but it will be easier to control the helicopter, though you can’t perform high-risk flying tricks, e.g. to get intoa a spin or to do a «barrel» roll. Surely, you can try these out later in the game outside of the Training mode.

Video captures will not only remember all the memorable moments of the flights to help you study your success story or errors, but also gives you the chance to share them with your friends and other users. The game features a built-in encyclopedia with some useful background information as well.

Apache: Air Assault- What armament do the helicopters possess?

- You will have Hydra rockets, which can be used against tanks, and Hellfire missiles to deal with heavy vehicles. In addition, you will be able to use the 30-mm machine gun installed onboard. For successful targeting sometimes you need to enable a special mode of heat-seeking guidance. By the way, it is frequently used by the real Apache pilots. Just like they do, you can hang over a target to try to strike it from a maxium distance with heavy missiles.

The second pilot will assist you by opening fire on visible enemy targets. If you take control of the missile launches, the AI will focus on using the onboard machine gun. It is very realistic, since your amunition is also limited. When you run out of shells or bullets, you have to wait till your guns are reloaded. Sometimes it is much more effective and faster to fly back to your homebase for the re-supply.

- What helicopter models are available?

- There are three different helicopters to control:

  • Apache and its three versions (light, heavier, with the radar);
  • Lightweight and stealth drone plane with a weak weapon for reconnaissance purposes;
  • The Soviet «Mi-35 Hind», also known as «Alligator» as it is sometimes called in the Russian army.

Apache: Air AssaultAll the helicopters have been recreated with high precision. The developers used the desings and photos provided by «The Boeing Company». The vehicles behave in line with the accurate physics. In terms of camera views you can use the third-person view, from inside the cabin view, the view from the eyes of a second pilot, tracking of a missile fired till its detonation, etc.

In-game helicopters can be decorated with various symbols, allowing you to apply various pictures to the fuselage. In addition, you can open unique insignia in the course of your walkthrough. Typically, such a system is usually used by the creators of the racing sims, but it was really intriguing to apply it here, so your combat helicopter could be recognized in network games.

- Let’s speak about the in-game physics…

- In this regard, we take into account various factors. For example, usually in videogames a system is used trying to model bullets dispersion to make the bullets fly in different directions. The gun onboard of the real Apache shoots a circular pattern to increase the area of damage when firing from a great distance. The game’s physics engine does the same, and it is just one example showing our degree of combat realism that was implemented.

Apache: Air Assault uses graphics and physics engine of the game «IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey », but it was adapted to the needs of the new project, and nearly reached its perfection. Thus, the damage model has become very detailed. When you are hit, it isn’t just about shards fired off the helicopter’s body.

The tail section can be destroyed completely to make you spinning in the air. If an engine takes damage, you still have a chance to land autorotation. Opponents can even break the front glass in the cockpit, what will surely affect the aerodynamics.

- In your opinion, what are the specifics of a combat helicopter simulator in comparison with a combat planes game?

Apache: Air Assault- Yes, there are certain important specifics. The main reason for that is in the difference in how planes and helicopters perform on the field of battle considering their capabilities. For example, a helicopter doesn’t have to constantly maintaing high speeds and can fly at a lower height to remain operable. Thus, the developers have to model the terrain and vegetation in more details than for plane simulators.

Trees, grass, and other objects are visible from a close range, so it is important to ensure an adequate level of quality displaying them in the game. «IL-2 Sturmovik» was doing a good job in this field, but still this engine was heavily modified for Apache: Air Assault. The developers modeled the interiors, instrument panels and the cockpits of Apache, Mi-35 themselves. I don’t mention the drone plane in this list, since obviously it doesn’t have to accomodate a human pilot. For all the in-game helicopters these individual elements were modeled: engines, blades, air intake, weapon systems. It was required to reach the level of real-life authenticity.

- How to track an individual’s progress in the game?

- Flight’s statistics demonstrated after the end of each mission will count the following indicators: number of rounds fired from a gun, how many missiles of both types you used in the combat, how many helicopters were lost, etc. Another interesting feature is the total cost of your battle operation. It is calculates considering the fuel usage, combat vehicles cost, damage caused to the infrastructure objects, and so on. Actual market prices data was integrated into the game to make this evaluation even more realistic.

- What is notable for the multiplayer?

- Multiplayer is very important for this project. We provide the best results table, which will hold the information about the top 25 mission results, about the 25 most successful pilots, and so on.

You can enjoy playing in Co-Op mode on consoles. In other words, you can take part in combat operations, created especially for the two helicopters. Although single-handedly you can complete them too, but it will be much harder, because teamwork is the most important there. Tactics isn’t just about the flanking maneuvers, but also require planning joint offensives, providing cover from heavy weapons fire, and conducting reconnaissance for your teammate.

- Will we need a powerful PC to run the appropriate version of the game?

- If a person is interested in playing modern game titles, it is important to ensure regular hardware updates. In other words, you will need adequate resources if you with to maximize picture quality keeping the FPS rate stable. The official System Requirements were already announced for the game.

- Mikhail, thank you for your time and for showing us the game!

- You are welcome!

The Autograph signed by Mikhail Bivol (1C-SoftClub)

Mikhail Bivol's Autograph

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17.11.2010 | Features | Alex "Jace" Ivanchenko

Apache: Air Assault

Apache: Air Assault

This Flight Simulator letting you to take control over famous combat helicopters. The game was created by the Russia developers from the Gaijin Entertainment studio known for their console game - «IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey».

Description from the Publisher:

Embark on a flight on the famous «Apache» – the best helicopter of the U.S. Army in the end of XXcentury. By controlling the center of this high technology and firepower, you’ll participate in air strikes, supporting missions and look for targets deep behind enemy lines. At your disposal are the anti-tank «Hellfire» and «Air-to-surface»  missiles with laser guidance, which will remove any enemy’s threat.

To protect civilians from violent pirates on the coast of Africa, to destroy the terrorists in the mountains of Central Asia and to take a part in the air battle over the jungle of Central America – the pilot of the legendary “Apache” can solve any problems.

  • All the real thing. Sixteen multi-stage operations involving air and ground missions deployed in real-world locations.
  • Freedom of choice. Thanks to the advanced mode of choice, set the level of the game, depending on your skills. Get involved in a beginner’s fight in «Training mode», which provides useful battle experience. Then try out all the features of a combat helicopter in the «Realistic mode».
  • Joint Forces. Mode of playing together on a local network for the two players (only available on consoles): one will take the pilot’s seat and the other one will become a gunner.
  • Network battles. Thirteen special missions can be performed not only alone, but also playing on the network with the team of 2-4 participants.
  • Experienced creators. Flight Sims developed by experts from Gaijin Entertainment are well known to the fans of the genre throughout the world.
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Review » 1

Apache: Air Assault
The publisher Activision hasn't forgotten the Apache games brand. The development of a new simulator using this trademark was entrusted into the hands of the Russian team, console Birds of Prey creators - Gaijin Entertainment, what added some notable realsm to the project. More »
| Reviews

Features » 1

Apache: Air Assault
Apache: Air Assault is an upcoming combat helicopter simulator. The pilot will have to deal with the most diverse tasks. Read on to the full Interview with Mikhail Bivol, where you can also see a video of gameplay footage. More »
| Features

Videos » 3

Apache: Air Assault
The Third Part of our exclusive Video Report on Apache: Air Assault, where Mikhail Bivol of «1C-SoftClub» speaks about the game, while showing and commenting some gameplay footage involvind taking some enemies down with a combat helicopter. Length: 6 minutes and 5 seconds. More »
| Videos
Apache: Air Assault
The Second Part of our exclusive Video Report on Apache: Air Assault, where Mikhail Bivol of «1C-SoftClub» speaks about the game, while showing and commenting some gameplay footage involvind taking some enemies down with a combat helicopter. Length: 5 minutes and 13 seconds. More »
| Videos
Apache: Air Assault
The First Part of our exclusive Video Report on Apache: Air Assault, where Mikhail Bivol of «1C-SoftClub» speaks about the game, while showing and commenting some gameplay footage involvind taking some enemies down with a combat helicopter. Length: 6 minutes and 12 seconds. More »
| Videos
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