Review by Cheetah
Each overview is filled with a neat image full of effects to make her old. Looks good as a campaign overview.
There are a lot of cutscenes both in the intro and outro of missions. All of them have a large amount of custom voices, music and special effects like a guard singing, later followed by half a crew singing in the helicopter. It is these things that add a good sense of humor to the campaign. The quality of the cutscenes is great thanks to the use of animations that fit the scenery. Often, the cutscenes revolve around your air squadron. Later on in the campaign, the author uses map animations to show the enemy progress and situation on the map, it helps give the player an idea of what is going on.
A great atmosphere is set in most of the cutscenes. Sadly, sometimes I felt as if the scenery was a bit small compared to the great distance views provided. But that is to happen when you're showing a MiG in full flight - a small object in the world of Armed Assault. Luckily, these situations are few and many great moments are there to be looked at. The good choice of music, typical for the portrayal of US and Soviet troops, fits the campaign well and could produce a laugh or two.
Luckily, all the briefings are written in the same style. A quote on the notes page and the information in the plan section is always in the same style. This helps increase the atmosphere of the campaign as it feels more structured and consistent. On each briefing there are two links to information pages about engaging either air or ground targets. These help engage the enemy with your steel box of death also called a MiG15.
Sometimes, the group bug appears, meaning that the player starts in a vehicle. There is no weapon selection, so it doesn't cause any problems. The map is always marked the same way, again increasing the consistency of this campaign, which is important. The objectives are easy to understand and tick off as they should. No problems encountered with a failing objectives system.
Finally, the little introduction and situation description are always short and to the point as you can expect in a campaign where the whole story is told in numerous missions, six to be exact. To sum it up, the briefings are consistent and of decent quality.
Each missions is build in almost the same way, three elements are present in every mission. Get your MiG in the air, complete your objectives and land your MiG for a Mission Completed. There are variations between the missions as one will expect. The way towards your aircraft varies between missions, sometimes it is a short walk or ride and seldom there is more in the way. Once in the air, your objectives are all that requires your focus and it is enough due to the MiG drawing all your attention.
Luckily, waypoints are placed at all the enemy target to allow for an easier time in the air. Still, difficulty is up if you aren't an expert in ArmA flying. I had to use quite a lot of loading in some missions, yet it never got to the point where I was frustrated. This is mostly due to the information about fighting found in the briefing, and the assistance of your teammates in hard missions. Yes, you are not always the sole bird in the sky. At times you have one to three planes to assist. Later on in the campaign, upon promotion, you even get to command an AI pilot. Don't be scared, it's easy and he can take care of himself and the enemy.
The missions are full of Russian radio chatter and it helps improve the atmosphere. Taking off requires approval from the air control tower and before landing you ask for clearance. Landings shouldn't be your problem as auto landing will help the inexperienced just fine. Although later on in the campaign you need to enter coordinates before using the auto landing as instructed in the briefing. The briefing is used more often to give the player information about how to tackle or evade AI or game-limited problfems. Good job on covering the engine bound bugs.
The biggest drawback of the campaign is that most missions are easy to complete once you know the drill. Next to that, they are short and most objectives differ little from each other, usually providing a different type of target, but completed in the same fashion. Here we come across the main negative issue. It is repetitive for those not entirely fond of warplanes. Which might be the reason for the campaign being relatively short in terms of gameplay - there just was little else to offer which was original. Finally, the story of this campaign isn't special, not much work was spent on character development for example. Also, the ending is pretty abrupt.
To sum it up, the chassis of iron results in a structure of steel spiced up with custom voices and challenging objectives for aircraft amateurs. However, the drawback is that although the missions are consistent, they also have a form of repetition which may result in boredom if you are not a warplane enthusiast.
First, most of the cutscenes have a bit of humor enclosed to help spread the message that this game is about fun. I like the author's small doses of humor. Second, the good use of custom voices, music and live songs make the cutscenes and missions feel alive. The use of both Russian and American give a Cold War feeling to the campaign, exactly as intended by the author.
In short: custom voices and humor make your missions better.
First and foremost, the missions are well crafted and work without doubt. All the cutscenes and briefings do well to develop the campaign story in a consistent way. With the missions allowing the player to show his worth you can really enjoy this campaign. If you like aircraft, if you like flying in Armed Assault or liked it in Operation Flashpoint: this has to be the best air campaign developed.
The downside is that if you can enjoy airplanes only for a short while, the fun of this campaign is limited. Little infantry action is offered and the offered missions are linear and often offer almost the same gameplay as the mission before. Don't expect a whole load of diverse missions. The author did all he could to make this enjoyable and diverse as possible within the bounds of an airplane campaign. As an infantry or armour lover, you will enjoy this short campaign, but she offers little replay value for you.
Bottom line: a campaign great for some and enjoyable for most.
+ Custom voices, music and effects
+ Nice difficulty
+ Enjoyable cutscenes
+ Great for 'air enthusiasts'
- Short campaign consisting of 6 missions
- Repetitive missions