|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Eagle Dynamics||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: The Fighter Collection||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Apr. 7, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-64||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The Game mode features various missions such as recon, search and destroy, and escort. There's plenty of action to be had as you open fire on the enemy with machine guns, missiles, and rockets. There's even an online co-op mode. You can choose from the campaign missions, which are lengthy and more involved, or the streamlined quick flight missions.
I played for hours online with a friend in the co-op mode. Technically, it worked great. There was no latency or noticeable slowdown, even though the map was running a little rough at times. In Sim mode, the campaigns will really test your mettle. Each time you play through a campaign, you'll be offered various side-missions. These side-missions are different each and every time. The replay value is off the charts.
When you're up in the air, the draw distance is amazing. You can literally see for hundreds of miles. Unfortunately, the closer you get the less pretty the scenery becomes. But, the Black Shark is where most of the visual glory has been focused. This is one seriously beautiful piece of gear. The cockpit is stunningly realistic, made even more so by hundreds of interactive switches and components. Radio chatter, whirling rotors, machinegun fire, and the clanking of enemy projectiles round out the audio component of the game. The sounds are perfectly recorded and respond appropriately to the onscreen action.
Black Shark is best played with a joystick for that authentic chopper feel, but you can get more than satisfactory results with the keyboard. But, if you're going to be in this for the long haul, and there's really no other alternative, pick one up. Whether you throw down for a joystick or not, be sure and pick up a copy of DCS: Black Shark.
CCC Senior Writer