Publisher (North America): Global Star Software;
Publisher (elsewhere): TBA
DEFEND IF NECESSARY
Regular readers of Helosim.com know
we are supportive of the Search and Rescue series. They have demonstrated
steady improvements, solid support, and continual releases. In an era when
simulations are few and more slanted towards action, the SAR series is a
blessing. But just because they are the only game in town does not mean
we give them a free pass. Each review measures the pros and cons of the sim
appropriately. I'm pleased to report that they stand up to scrutiny and that
our support is justified. InterActive Vision obviously has a thing for rotary
wing sims and in Vietnam Med+Evac, and it shows.
takes places as advertised off the coast of Vietnam during the late sixties.
You are the pilot of the UH1 Huey
and your primary mission is one of search and rescue, allowing this sim to fit
in nicely with the series while adding a different perspective and
environment. There are over 100 missions in this game, which is a clear signal
that the developers sincerely intend for the players to enjoy and get a lot
out of Med+Evac. These days too many games ship with a handful of scenarios
that a player can complete in a week. Med+Evac will keep you entertained for
Novice pilots can choose an easy flight model and
benefit from several quick training missions. A slim manual and keyboard chart
provides the basics, although we found some mistakes in the key
assignments--F6 implements the sling and F7 the litter--and the manual refers
to Costal Heroes, a similar product in the lineup. The start-up sequence is
similar to previous versions of SAR but a first-time player may find it
confusing. It is outlined in the manual but we suggest a tutorial where the
player is prompted by textual cues--face it, a lot of people try to play a
game right out of the box without reading the manual. This could make the game
sim jockeys will devour the manual and choose the Realistic flight model. And
boy, will they be pleasantly surprised! Med+Evac has one of the best and most
authentic flight models we've ever played. I've heard from a number of real
pilots who have played Med+Evac and they are impressed. If I were the lazy
type, I could easily let them write the review for me:
I love this game. I've flown Hueys and the flight
model is spot on. Landing is actually harder than in real life but otherwise
it's so bloody realistic it's beautiful. Come in slow and low and watch the
torque effect once you get IGE - it's lovely to see. This is the only sim I've
considered enjoyable enough to warrant my attention since LB2 (which I still
-- ruprecht, Kingston, UK
For Valentines day my wife (being that I fly flights
sims daily) bought me "Vietnam Med Evac" the only words that I can think of to
describe it is wow! Usually on sims I have to put the setting all the way up
and then tie one hand behind my back to play with any enjoyment, so what did I
do when I finally installed this game? Jacked the realism to 100% grabbed my
pop and started flying (right into the water as I wasn't expecting the realism
to be... well real!) Physics are awesome in this game, you actually have to do
the minor corrections while hovering that most sims do for you automatically!
Big bonus to me! although landing is harder in the game then in real life,
(that just makes it more interesting if you ask me) I suggest you find this
title as it is really worth the money you spend on it!
-- Idle Hands
Well, enough of that, it's plain to see these guys want
my job. Seriously, I have seen more praise from pilots for this sim than any
other in recent memory. Flying the Med+Evac Huey in Realistic mode is
challenging but fun. Med+Evac is an honest-to gosh simulation.
Ground effects and autorotation are present and the system
includes AFCS (Automatic Flight Control System) which is what real pilots rely
on to manage flying in demanding situations.
WILL SOMEONE SHUT THAT GUY UP?
first missions are simple pick-up and drop-off passengers and cargoes. You get
to drop swimmers, use the litter for injured grunts, and discourage enemy
troops with a machine gun mounted in the door. The missions are all pretty
similar but there was a lot of variety in the layout, locations, and degrees
of difficulty of the missions. Some were very difficult while others were a
Allow me to illustrate a sample mission:
You start your Huey, take off from a ship at anchor, establish your bearings
and and align your course with your compass. After several minutes, you
approach a column of smoke from a distant hill. As you get closer you see a
downed helo, injured crewmen, and hostiles approaching. You open the side door
and man the machine gun. Lay down some suppressive fire and lower your medic.
He gets the injured on the litter and you reel them in and hightail it back to
The campaign is scripted and linear--you
must complete each mission to move on to the next. Sometimes the objective was
not as clear as I would have liked. There were missions where I went where I
was told and waited for guys to load up. They ran back and forth but couldn't
be bothered to get in. Other times I would come in hot and set the whole
platoon to screaming like maniacs. Too much battle fatigue, I figured.
is highly recommended that you use a joystick with this sim to get the full
effect. The interface is adequate and I quickly learned to use the console
command for drop down menus--they will let you know what functions are
available and the status of your passengers and cargo.
A time jump feature allows you to speed things up between landmarks.
One of the joys of the SAR series is the insistence on using proper rescue and
flying procedures. You don't just get in and fly, you have to operate the
machine. Opening doors, deploying the rescue gear, doing victim checks--these
are little touches but they add up to a gratifying experience.
Gameplay in Med+Evac suffered from
tightly defined trigger points--you would need to get right in the proper
place and position to cause the rescue crewmember or medic to perform his
duties properly. I don't remember it being that tricky with SAR 3. Also, I did
wish for an AI pilot so I could handle the machine gun when hostilities broke
out, perhaps some kind of "attack" mode where the AI pilot keeps me and the
machine facing the threat.
The enemy AI will throw rifle fire and SAMs at you so there is an element of
survival mixed in with the rescue business this time around. Great stuff.
THE LOOK AND FEEL
looks about the same as the last couple of SAR sims. Not bad but a notch below
other recent sims like Comanche 4. They get the job done but the next SAR
title could benefit from an upgrade. The terrain is satisfactory. Jungles are
simplified into green canopies and close-up, jungles amount to well-spaced
palms. Not gripping but the effect is acceptable. The Huey and other vehicles
are rendered well. The people are like little Lego men and they pantomime
various routines and activities. Weather effect such as fog and rain add to
the appearance. Sound effects really bring you into the game. Radio messages
and voiceovers are first-rate. Other details increase the depth of the
gameplay--open the side door and the rotor sounds get louder.
InterActive Vision and Global Star prove once
again that they know how to craft a good helosim. Vietnam Med+Evac has one
of the best flight models ever and all the functionality, features, and
procedure-based gameplay you've come to expect from the Search and Rescue
Specs: Win 98/ME/XP Pentium 800 Mhz CPU or faster,
32MB 3D video card, CD-ROM drive, 64 MB RAM (128 for XP), 1 GB Hard
Recommended: Win 98/ME/XP Pentium 1000 Mhz CPU, 64
MB GeoForce video card, CD-ROM drive, 256 MB RAM, 1 GB Hard Drive
space supports joystick, pedals, throttle stick.
|HeloSim's Rating - 8 out of 10