|★ LITTÉRATURE ★ ENGLISH ★ Gunship Academy: Tips and Maneuvers for Attack Helicopter Simulations ★|
|Gunship Academy - Tips And Maneuvers Fir Attack Helicopter Simulations (Amstrad Action)||Littérature English|
Microprose's Gunship is one heck of a simulation (AA40, 82%). But there's much more to it than flying about in an Apache attack helicopter, as STEVE CAREY discovers...
Playing Gunship is like watching boxing: pleasure is compromised by guilt. After all, its only a computer simulation, and no-one suffers. But then, the AH-64A would never have been developed in a truly peaceful world. And as Pat pointed out when he reviewed it back in October, the ghost of Vietnam wanders through this training in violence, despite its total absence from the manual (and indeed from the book).
There is an introductory chapter in jerky, American journalese on the development and design of the AH-64A Apache, the result of a dogfight between Bell and Hughes (as in Howard, legendary nutcase). On September 30,1975 the Hughes YAH-64 flew for the first time; the Bell YAH-63 made its maiden flight the following day. By December the army had chosen the Hughes design, and there only remained the squabbling between Jimmy Carter and Congress over the extent of funding for the next stage of development, eventually settled at S165 million. In April 1982 approval was given for full-scale production.
So much for historical fact. Sheffield, having set up the machine, is now cleared for flight. And fly he does, constantly blurring the distinction between a real-life, full-size weapon of war and its simulated computer counterpart. His introduction to a chapter devoted to 'Ten Rules to Live By.' for instance, begins with a disconcerting account of the posthumous award of a Distinguished Service Cross to one Warrant Officer Buzzsaw 'for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving an armed Soviet force near the East German border." Huh? Relax, it's only Sheffield exercising his fertile martial imagination. Still, the rules themselves - "Avoid Target Area Overflight,' 'Always Positively Identify Targets Before Attack" - should get you through.
Finally, here's a heartstopping sample tip from Sheffield on losing altitude quickly to avoid enemy fire: "Shut down both engines, leaving the rotor engaged. With no lift being generated, you'll fall like a stone. Once you pass through 150 feet, start the engines again, and you should bottom out at about 80 feet.' I tell you, there are times when you're playing Gunship you are glad it's only a simulation!
It doesn't occur to Sheffield that there might be an argument about the ethics of Gunship. But then, its only a game, isnt it?