Desert Strike

Title		Desert Strike
Game Type	General Action
Company		Electronic Arts
Players		1
Compatibility	All
Submission	Angus Manwaring Profiled Reviewer

The first time I saw Desert Strike, or to give the game it's full title,
Desert Strike, Return to the Gulf, I was in my local computer shop and it
was being demonstrated on a Sega Megadrive. The game was, and is, a forced
perspective, helicopter shoot-em-up, where the player prowls around a Gulf
War type setting, blowing the living sausages out of anything that looks even
remotely non-American, and quite often having the gesture reciprocated.
"Where's the Amiga version?" I enquired of Will, my friend that worked
there on Saturdays. "They haven't done an Amiga version, and they may not
do one, in order to encourage people to buy the Consoles." came Will's
worrying  reply. I considered this for a moment, "Nah, they'll bring it
out, the Amiga's too big for them to ignore." I thought. But I was wrong.
The gits didn't release it for years, until finally one day I discovered
they'd finally got round to it.
 The good news is that the game has apparently survived the transition in
A1 shape. Having said that, I was not particuarly familiar with the
console version, so all I can really say, is that Electronic Arts have
produced a very good Amiga game, where high production values are
apparent. The opening music is very nice, and includes, I suspect, genuine
radio samples from Apache crews on Combat misssions. What is it about the
American accent that makes it seem the obvious choice for "hero dialogue"?
I don't know..... Anyway, erm ....chaps, you're treated to some screens
giving you the general idea that there's a nutter in the Gulf (General
Kilbaba) planning world domination. These include a news report where it's
suspected that a Special Forces helicopter team will fly in and negate the
threat. I'd send the SAS myself, but possibly their accents would be
inappropriate, but there you go. I must mention the loading music, when
you are asked to insert disk 3, there is some particuarly funky, if rather
repetitive music, slightly reminiscent of one of the tunes in the game
"Flashback", and if you like playing along with this stuff on a guitar, it's
in B minor!
The game itself is a lot more than just a blast. You would do well to
follow your mission briefing and take out your targets in the correct
order, clearing your way cautiously to your destination. You can usually
get the drop on an Anti-Aircraft site by nudging your way into range, and
then taking it out with either cannon fire, or Hydra or Hellfire missiles.
If you go screaming in with your Apache helicopter and try to just blast
on the fly, you'll run out of armour really quickly. Luckily though, you
can replenish your armour, as well as your ammunition and fuel, by
hovering over the supply dumps that you'll find scattered, often hidden,
around the game area. You can also winch up Intelligence Operatives, and
return them to a Landing Craft on the beach, to improve your armour status.
All in all, Desert Strike is a great game, it would have benefitted
visually from an AGA version, but what's here is just fine. The game can
be played thoughtfully, infact it needs to be, and should satisfy more
than just the blast fanatics. A memorable game, and a very good effort.

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