by EA/Mike Posehn
Desert Strike screenshots:
Desert Strike is a helicopter game.
Desert Strike is fun to play and requires quick thinking as well as strategy. If you go in just trying to blow everything up, you'll use up all of your ammo and wind up a sitting duck. As you take out specific targets, additional fuel and ammo become available. There is a wide variety of missions including destroying targets, rescuing prisoners, capturing an ambassador, stopping an oil spill, and taking out SCUD launchers. Passwords allow you to save your progress after completing each mission. The difficulty ramps very gradually. Desert Strike is a very original and well-designed game.
Before each level begins, the commander in charge will give you a brief story of what's going on and an overview of your mission objectives for the level you're about to bravely challenge. You can perform your missions in any order you want, but it's best (and easier) to do them in order.
At the start of each level, the helicopter you have the honor of controlling will be sitting on a frigate in the ocean. You have to fly over the crystal blue ocean to the sandy land to make the action begin. Each of the four levels takes place in the desert, but they're not all the same. The territories in each of the four not so deserted deserts are different, and they get more full of enemies and complicated as you go along.
There are many different kinds of enemies in each level. There are men loaded with guns, bazooka-wielding men, enemy choppers, speedboats, various kinds of tanks, and other powerful, ground-residing nightmares.
Each of the four levels have their own set of objectives that must be fulfilled in order to successfully complete the level, or campaign. You'll be responsible for completing such duties as rescuing MIAs (missing in actions), destroying power stations, rescuing pilots lost at sea, putting a stop to scud launchers, and the list goes on and on for a few miles. Once you complete an objective, a message usually pops up onto the screen to act as a pat on the back.
The sounds are just as they should be. The sound effects of the missiles flying through the air, a bullet or other weapon making contact with something, and the explosions. The music is very loud and it has a fast beat to it; and it's not bad either. Luckily though, for concentration's sake, no music plays while you're actually playing the game; it just plays during the mission briefings and at the various title and option screens.
For the time (1992), Desert Strike has some unbelievable graphics. The various enemies, your helicopter, the frigate, and other vehicles, all look nice and detailed. The levels themselves look just like a desert should (brown, flat, and arid). But what I liked the best about Desert Strike in the graphics department is its short cinemas.
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When you pause Desert Strike, a map showing the entire current level, along with all the important stats of the Apache, comes up. Even with all of these great statistics that are available for viewing, you'll need to be looking at the map the majority of the time. The map tells you how many of each kind of weapon you have left, how much fuel is swishing around in the tank, your current armor supply, how many people you've picked up, how many lives you have left, and your current score.
As you probably figured, there are many items you can pick up and use in each level. There are fuel crates, ammo crates, armor repairs, an item that makes your ladder go up and down faster, and the very hard to find extra lives. To pick up an item, you just have to fly over and come to a halt right above any item. A ladder automatically drops down from your helicopter to steal the ground-ridden prize. You can also pick up people, whether it's an MIA, a prisoner, or even an enemy on the run. The helicopter can hold up to six extra passengers at a time. At any time, you can head over to a landing zone (represented by a white X on the ground) in order to drop the people off.
Don't let the fact that Desert Strike only has four levels scare you off. All four of the levels are huge, and they have several challenging and fun objectives to complete. Even if you're not super crazy about games in which you control an aircraft or games about war, give Desert Strike a chance.
Desert Strike system requirements:P-200.
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP.
Game modes: Single game mode Multiplayer (HotSeat).
Desert Strike news:
2005-06-05 Desert Strike is a 2D helicopter game.
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