by Oxygen Entertainment
Fancy taking control of KA-50 Combat helicopter, otherwise know as Red Shark? If so then this game could be for you. The game takes you back in time and sees you fighting against the Nazis in World War II. Of course with modern technology your task is going to be easier but can you prevent the Nazis fulfil their quest for world domination?
Those of you who like in-depth helicopter simulations might be disappointed to learn that this isn't a simulation. Red Shark has a definite leaning to an arcade style. Although a joystick can be used, there really isn't any need for one. A combination of mouse and keyboard works very well indeed. The cursor keys control movement whilst the right shift and control keys control your height. Aiming, firing and targeting is performed with the mouse. It's a simple setup but I didn't find anything wrong with it and more importantly it felt comfortable.
There are fifteen missions in all and these are based in Russia and North Africa. The main problem with the missions is that they just don't feel right. With the emphasis of the game being on arcade action you'd think that the game would be full of battles with little breathing space. Red Shark's missions, for the most part anyway, feel more like little skirmishes rather than a full on war.
Graphically it's very average. The KA-50 looks quite impressive but the enemy tanks and buildings look 'polygonally challenged' let's say. The terrain as a whole isn't too bad but there is noticeable distance fogging to hide the average draw distance. The areas that you fly around are actually quite large but with enemies scattered sparsely around it gives a shallow feeling to the game. For an arcade game there are a fair few moments when there's no action at all.
Red Shark is fine for deaf gamers. The mission description, objectives and bonus objectives are all given exclusively in text. When you complete an objective you receive a text confirmation of this, which is a nice touch. You can also recall the mission objectives at any time by pressing the F12 key. Should you need to be reminded of a keyboard command then pressing the F1 key will bring up a screen with all the commands you need, which is always welcome.
It's not often that you get a free film with a game. Red Shark comes bundled with a film: Desert Thunder. At the low price of just £19.99 this pack seems outstanding value but unfortunately deaf gamers might as well ignore the DVD because it isn't subtitled so that just leaves you with the game. Red Shark looks dated. It's not bad by any means, but it looks like it came from 1998 rather than 2003 and in terms of gameplay it's too arcade like for simulation fans and the pace of the game is just too slow for fans of arcade flight combat games, there simply isn't enough action.
Game Rating: 4.5/10