Air Missions: HIND – PS4 Review 19

Air Missions: HIND is a combat helicopter simulator from Slovakian sky-based warfare specialists 3Division. Originally the game was released in 2016 on the PC with its console debut on the Xbox One a year or so later. Now it’s landed (arf!) on the PS4, sneaking in on the same week as a certain cowboy simulator that you may have heard of.

The game places you in the cockpit of the legendary Russian chopper, the Mi-24 Hind, which is absolutely armed to the teeth. There are also other helicopters to pick from and you can also customise your weapons loadouts and camoflague.

The modes comprise of a full single-player campaign (with easy, normal and hard modes), instant action and online multiplayer. After hovering (snork!) around in the menus we dived into the campaign mode. This offers twenty or so missions, starting off with a tutorial which lets you get to grips with the game’s slightly unusual controls.

Your right stick controls altitude. Push up and your Hind’s rotor will speed up and you’ll eventually take off. Movement is mapped to the left stick with your chopper leaning and strafing as you push the stick around. This also controls your aim, which is slightly unintuitive but we got used to it fairly quickly although the process is tricky even when you have got the controls committed to muscle memory.  That said, when aren’t helicopter controls an absolute ballache in games?

Weapons are mapped to  (machine guns) and (rockets and bombs).  switches your rockets between up to three different types and  engages a sort of ineffectual lock on/manual control thing that we didn’t find to be very useful.

Lighting up targets was reasonably tricky just because helicopters aren’t the most stable of things to control and while we were able to do it, it didn’t seem particularly efficient.  You’re not punished too badly for flying over a patch of AA guns though. as the Hinds in this game are particularly durable.  But, yes, we were floating around aimlessly shooting at things for far too long but eventually we had passed that part of the tutorial and it was time to return to base.

Upon returning you have to land and this is where we had problems.  Major problems.  Landing in this game is horrific.  Like, ‘read a Steam forum post about how to land’ levels of horrific.  If you’re not going incredibly, painstakingly, pixel-by-pixel slowly you’ll die in an immediate fireball.  The game’s tutorial is particularly useless here with the last bit of info given telling you how to engage your landing gear.

Eventually I managed it but in the missions that followed, whenever landing was a factor I’d drop the difficulty down to ‘novice’ so that my chopper wasn’t obliterated whenever it gently tapped the ground.  Between that and a mission where you’ve got to take out some tanks using guided missiles, that once again the tutorial does a terrible job of explaining, playing on ‘normal’ became impossible so for a couple of missions I did have to drop down in difficulty.

The mission structure is pretty good here.  Early missions see you taking out targets and then the mission is over, usually without you having to land.  Later on the missions have chained objectives and last longer but the checkpointing in the game is generous enough that you don’t have to replay massive sections of the game every time you die.

Ultimately though the game doesn’t really wow you.  I’ve had  more fun messing around with choppers in games like Far Cry 5 both in terms of how the vehicles handle and what you have to do with them but Air Missions: HIND is playable, most of the time, and does a reasonably good job of letting you blow things up from a distance.

The environments are very ‘PC game from ten years ago’ though with fairly basic models and no destructibility.  That’s a shame as this game would really pop if you could go full Team America on it.  That said, there’s a certain level of realism to the game’s look.  The helicopters seem well-rendered though, although we’re no experts as, quite wisely, we’re not getting in a helicopter EVER.

As a package, the game is rounded out with an ‘instant action’ mode which offers more missions to play and online multiplayer which offers PvP and co-op options.  You’ll need to put out a message on a trophy forum to get a game though as the lobbies were pretty much dead.

So, overall while this is a reasonable capable, if sometimes frustrating, helicopter combat game that does have some realism to it, Air Missions: HIND doesn’t do anything to stand out and ultimately will be a game that only fans of the genre should check out.

Air Missions: HIND
5 Overall
+ Mission structure is good
+ The game favours realism
+ Checkpoints are generous
+ Has online multiplayer
+ Difficulty settings can offset some of the frustration
- Landing is awful
- Tutorials are unhelpful at best
- Gets a bit repetitive
- Controls aren't totally intuitive
Air Missions: HIND can be awkward to play and looks fairly basic but there's fun to be had here for patient gamers or fans of the genre.

About Richie

Rich is the editor of PlayStation Country. He likes his games lemony and low-budget with a lot of charm. This isn't his photo. That'll be Rik Mayall.

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19 thoughts on “Air Missions: HIND – PS4 Review

  • Cj

    Just purchased this game and so far I’m quite annoyed with control. Controls should be full cyclic on right stick and power/pitch and yaw on the left stick. At least it should be customizable for preference.

    • Tom

      Wish I read this before buying 🙁 Totally agree. To anybody remotely familiar with helicopters control, this game is controlled terribly and there is no option to change it.

  • Kody Hanson

    I don’t know how to beat the oil platform mission of the game, the second platform makes absolutely no sense to shoot from the main helicopter gun knowing that the tanks will blow, complete stupid. Get realistic people this is not beatable with what the gamer has to work with

    • Taz

      Maybe you cant beat it, why do think we all have that same issue. Maybe we are realistic and beat it just fine. I can tell you the secret for beating it, dont be so salty and practice.

  • Richard Hykawy

    Perhaps this clown doesn’t really understand this sim is very realistic and if you have no helicopter skills landing it would be hard. It’s something you need to practice and learn. The controls are helicopter realistic and need to also be learned, not sure what to say, its a games meant for sim enthusiasts, who want the reality of flying a helicopter, not some 25 cent arcade junky that wants to pretend he can really fly a helicopter after 15 min of the game doing all the work. Not sure if he understands that almost every mission will be the same, you fly in blow up bad guys, you either live or die the end. With some minor changes in Terrain and enemy almost any mission will be basically the same, save a village, rescue some guys, blow up a base, etc, what would you expect, lets be realistic here. Tuturials is pretty good if you have experience in helicopter aviation, even RC heli flying will give you all you need to play the game well, watch some YouTube training vids on helicopter controls will give you good knowledge, the tutorials in this game are only for the educated to give them the layout and use of controller. End comment here, dont buy the game and expect the AI to do all the work for you, be prepared to learn.

        • Richie Post author

          Totally, Chris.

          The site thanks you for your input. In fact we might bring you in as a consultant if anyone develops a game called Whiny Comment Fanboy Dickhead Simulator and we need to make sure it is realistic.

          Thanks again!

      • Anonymous

        Nothing smug about it. This is the audience the game was meant for. Don’t be so pressed about the guys comment because you can’t land. Which might i point out REALLY isn’t that hard. I mean seriously? The hind isn’t indestructible, especially when you ram it into the ground.

  • Youwish

    Certified purchaser (will return it)
    This video game is a total disgrace!
    I only play aircraft simulators. This is a little better than 1992 Fulcrum (with steroids in the graphics side). 3rd mission has a terrible flaw and there is no way to finish it. No progress to 4th mission then. [AIR MISSIONS HIND T]

    • Dean

      Been playing Hind with Hotas4 flight stick for 6 weeks on PS4 and I am completely addicted. Far better than any other console based flight sims. Love it. Hope the team Bring out a decent aircraft sim with the ability to take off and land etc.

  • dan

    how to deploy landing gear on play station 4 air says click to deploy? i’ve clicked everything I can think of poor design