Review by mathias_eichinger
The overview features a nice picture that shows your role in the first part of the mission while the text serves as a hint that there is more to the mission than the image suggests.
The intro nicely preludes the events that lead up to the player's mission. The camera angles are well done, showing great destruction that leads to a carnage. Throughout the whole intro, custom voices are used that add tremendously to immersion, as does the end of the intro that puts the player directly into the seat of a Blackhawk.
The briefing is as detailed as a briefing can be. In total, there are 7 sub-sections, detailing the history of the conflict, giving tactical hints, etc. There is plenty of information that can be put to use during the mission, and the markers are clearly laid out as well.
The mission starts where the intro has left off, namely in the seat of a Blackhawk. The same great and fitting American voices tell the mission objective and then it's the player's turn to head off to the first objective, one which can be considered typical for transport helicopter missions. Not so typical is the amount of radio chatter that is present during the flight. I have yet to play a helo mission that feels so believable in this respect.
One short delivery is of course not all the player has to do, and the next one leads the player further away from his home base as it serves as a starting point for the remainder of the mission. As the overview suggests, the player is indeed unseated, an event that is shown in a good cutscene with all right camera angles and proper voices.
Once on the ground, there is more to do than just hide and wait for the evac helo. What appears to be a chance to organize evacuation evolves into a raid on an important target, with the player giving valuable assistance.
This taste of ground action is not enough, since there are additional objectives ahead. On the last one, the only minor let-down of the whole mission can be found. In a defence scenario, the player is supposed to move some wires with a tractor, which is neither explained in the briefing, nor does it work. But since the mission author already provided fixed defence structures, this affair does not affect the defence.
This last objective is a great one, because in addition to the ever present excellent voice acting, there are some very tense moments as the enemy attack is held at bay by some very effective close support, allowing the evac helo finally to arrive.
The outro follows the Blackhawk on it's egress, combining shots of the enemy reaction to this with beautiful landscape pictures, and all of a sudden, the tranquillity of the flight is shattered and the mission is about to go full circle. As the credits roll on, one gets to know that the story is to be continued - something that we can all hope for.
To begin with, there are 3 difficulty modes available at the start of the mission: Normal, Hard and Very Hard.
Even at the intro, it becomes obvious that this mission is one of the most immersive out there, in regards to sound and voices, as these are perfectly selected, clear and the amount of talk is just amazing in this mission. It really has to be seen to be appreciated
Then, the mission itself is special, just by its structure. Admittedly, I expect to be shot down every time I board a Blackhawk, it just has been this way since OFP. But what follows it much more than an exercise in escape and evasion. It could be considered a great spec op/infantry mission in its own right, yet it is preluded by the most believable flying mission I have played to date.
A mission that appeals both to flyboys and grunts alike, complete with good camera work and great sound effects. Don't miss out if you want to be part of a large war and a team effort - both on the ground an in the air.