Review: Choplifter HD (XBLA)


Choplifter HD is a perfect conglomerate of various gameplay elements. A healthy mix of  awesome old-school platforming, highscore hunting gameplay, and current generation graphics that bring an old classic into the modern age for a new audience.

Set in a 2D side-scrolling universe, Choplifter puts you at the digital reigns of numerous varied helicopters to rescue or taxi people from a number of different environments and scenarios. It sounds repetitive, and at times it is, but there’s a number of different objectives to add some variety to the mix.

The basic back-and-forth nature of rescuing people is soon shaken up when you’re having to change directions, fight enemy combatants, and strategically airlift dying patients before others. When you throw in a rapidly depleting fuel gauge and armor levels into the mix, the deceptively simple game turns into a challenging experience.

Within Choplifter is a plethora of levels and varying objectives, so while the basic formula for each is the same, the core experience changes vastly.

Choplifter HD 2

Snipers stun your helicopter later in the game which leaves you vulnerable to rocket attacks, while AA and RPG emplacements wreak havock on thinly armored transport helicopters. Just when you think you’ve got a level figured out, you start second guessing yourself as you realise there are other ways to confront your objectives.

Even later in the game you’re still tailoring your skills and learning new maneuvers to accomplish the task at hand. Once you finish the missions you can then go back through them on higher difficulties, which then allows you to unlock increasingly better helicopters to take on harder missions.

Up there with the likes of Trials HD and Shadow Complex, Choplifter is an extremely rewarding experience once you figure it all out. The arcade gameplay roots are forefront to the whole experience and when combined with the great voice acting, sound, and visuals, Choplifter HD becomes an easy recommendation.

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