I recently downloaded this unnamed parallax space shooter game on my mobile and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the quality. I shall not put a name to that game, since this blog is about desktop games to prefer to keep it like that. Anyway, this sparked the idea of finding something similar for computer that I could play a bit and review. With a little big of digging I found this old gem called Air Assault 2. There is Air Assault 1 as well, but decided to give it a pass since usually these kind of sequels are just better in every way.
Helicopter Shooting Action
Air Assault 2 is really a blast from the past with it’s non-stop helicopter shooting action. The idea is that you will fly a helicopter through an enemy terrain and shoot basically everything that moves, or does not move. At the heart this is really an arcade game and while there is that parallax effect and some depth in the scenes, this is not a full 3D game. I know the developer states it’s with 3D graphics, but you are still confined to a pre-determined scrolling scene and you can’t turn or go back as you please. Maybe this could be called a 2.5D graphics or something similar.
The enemies come in classical “wave” formations with the added stationery ground elements trying to get you. I think the best part of these games has always been the different weapon systems. You will have the continuously shooting front cannon as well as missiles to strike your targets. In total there are 18 big levels, more than hundred different enemy units, several helicopters and ten weapon systems. Each weapon system can be upgraded for up to 7 levels, so you could say there is plenty to experiment with in Air Assault 2.
Each level ends with a “boss” enemy, as you can imagine if you have played such games before. Bosses always require some kind of tactic to get their guns first before hitting the main body. I used to love these kind of games back in the days but times have changed and there are not many games like this anymore. The mobile phone lends itself quite nicely to this type of games since the screen is long and kind of naturally fits the format of scrolling shooters.
There is a storyline of sorts, but frankly, nobody plays arcade games for the story. It is the typical “world is in danger and you have to save the mankind etc” that is not winning any prizes. Bonus points for the imaginative weapons and tutorial to get player up to speed if they are not familiar with such games. While the game is old, the format is pretty much timeless. Otherwise I would not see scrolling shooters or Angry Birds at the top of the most downloaded lists in many app stores.
Air Assault 2 Verdict
Air Assault 2 is good casual entertainment for those who enjoy helicopter shooter games. There are not that many of this kind left, so even its a good experience already just to walk down the memory lane. Do not expect much of replay value from this, but it is a solid shooter nevertheless, definitely worth to check it out.