We're in the pipe, five by five
The helicopter pilots in the Vietnam War flew some of the most dangerous missions in U.S. Military history. In Air Conflicts: Vietnam, you definitely get a sense of how difficult those missions would've been if you were the pilot. As Joe Thompson, a fresh recruit entering the war, you'll fly period aircraft like the UH-1 "Huey" Iroquois, AH-1 Cobra attack chopper, and F4 Phantom jets in aerial battles and infantry support flights. Missions range from dogfighting enemy MIGs, gunning down machine gun nests from the side of a Huey, and crop dusting the defoliating (and environmentally disastrous) Agent Orange chemicals ahead of troop movements.
The controls for the aircraft take a simplified, arcade style. While flying a fighter plane or a bomber, the pitch and yaw will auto-correct so you won't crash into any nearby hillsides. Firing your machine guns from the fighter uses a lock-on mechanism for fast-paced engagements. Controls for the choppers feel slightly awkward, as it takes both analog sticks to control the strafing, acceleration, and rotation. But after a few minutes, we were able to manage flying a few successful bombing runs in our AH-1 Cobra.
As of now, Air Conflicts: Vietnam is a little rough around the edges. There were several intense difficulty spikes that popped up immediately after the tutorials, and so far, the visuals don't offer much variety beyond the green tops of the Vietnam jungles. We'll have to see if the the flight title will offer more when we see the full game at its release later this year.
Check out the following slides for more information and images.