DCS: Black Shark Review
DCS: Black Shark box art
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.

DCS: Black Shark screenshot

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.

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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.

By Cole Smith
CCC Senior Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.4
Graphics
Some issues with the background, but the chopper is incredible.
4.8
Control
Interface is friendly. Can use keyboard but a joystick is optimum.
4.8
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Great sound effects inspire realism in all areas.
4.7
Play Value
Replay value is off the map. Steep learning curve, though.
4.7
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • DCS: Black Shark is a PC game of the Russian Ka-50 attack helicopter and is the first title in a new Eagle Dynamics and The Fighter Collection simulation series: Digital Combat Simulator (DCS).
  • Following Eagle Dynamics' tradition of excellence, "DCS: Black Shark" will bring an even more realistic simulation experience than its predecessor "Flaming Cliffs".
  • DCS: Black Shark will offer an unprecedented level of realism in regards to flight dynamics, instruments modeling, avionics systems, and weapon systems. The artificial Intelligence of ground vehicles and helicopters has been improved dramatically as well as weapon modeling.
  • A new Mission Editor includes a powerful electronic mapping system that allows users to easily create missions and campaigns.
  • A new campaign system allows the frontline of the battlefield to move back and fourth according to your mission success or failure.


  • Screenshots / Images
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