A very unique kind of balance between a game and a simulator, that certainly won't fit anyone. I review and rate this game as it succeeded as a flight simulator
to me, a flight simulator ethusianist.
If you haven't noticed already, this is Arma
. The same engine, only with upgraded visuals, picture-in-3D picture availability, and a highly realistic flight model for helicopters. It also works like an Operation Arrowhead, that you can mount all Arma 2 DLCs into this, plus some ToH-specific expansions (yeah, you can play the normal Arma at this, with tanks, Chernarus, guns n stuff).
The main feature of this game, it's flight engine- it feels pretty damn realistic, even when compared to FSX or other simulators. I've spent some years on FSX and had no problems in X-Plane, but this game still needed some balls to master on the most realistic difficulty.Do not play this game without a joystick
, you're gonna miss a lot or not even be able to fly at all. I don't know if it's even possible to handle the helicopters safely at the most realistic setting, without majorly using the auto-hover option, flying only by mouse or keyboard. Joystick settings provide all forms of options, such as rebinding some axis, deathzones or individual sensitivities. Controls use the classical, Arma style of options, which was already confusing enough at Arma 2 but copied all the controls over to here and added several more to that, to make it even harder to navigate.
The campaign is quite fun and challenging. Between each missions, you're able to dwell around on the helipad, check your helicopter for issues, upgrade or repaint it and also buy a different one (for an ammount of cash that takes some time to get. By upgrades I mean usually mission-only equipment, such as a camera or a hook, but you can also buy doors, seats or a rear mirror which might come useful sometimes. It's not much of pimp yo choppa, and could be a bit more extended. But rather than that, I would have more than just three god damn machines
, it also has no unique rideable planes. The description is kinda misleading in here:WHAT IT SAYS:
Three classes of helicoptersWHAT IT MEANS:
Three helicopters, each with many different liveries or custom one-color RGB painting
Campaign is easy to screw up by selling a wrong helicopter and if you do so, you're bound to doing extremely tideous mission which self-repeats itself and takes even from 30 to 60 minutes (by adequately using the time acceleration), dozens of times. Asked other people several times but noone replied, because the community for this game (on both BIS forums and here) is probably dead.
The multiplayer is also dead. The server list is not working and ToH did not receive it's own server list hosting, like other Arma games did. The multiplayer mission making of this game has a high potential, but nobody apparently used it, as the community also doesn't care much about this thing (but you can still fly n fight around with friends if one can host). The new maps are HUGE, the Asia is like several kilometers across (expect a lower ground detail aswell, but it has one very large city full of accessible buildings, several times bigger than Chernogorsk), so flying in the asian map wouldn't feel "small" at all, even with a C-130, where amazing missions could be created.
But my goal is to rate this game for it's realism, not for how much armaish flaws or bad optimisation it has. And if you're a flight sim lover looking for challenges, I can't think of any harder helicopter flying experience. But if you expect a good combat experience as in Arma, lots of multiplayer action, detailed terrain and can't run Arma 2 decently with full settings and 3000 - 4000 visibility, you should rather leave this game where it is