The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 14
Helicopters are one of the most fragile of man’s creations, second only to red barrels. At least, that’s what video games would have us believe. I’ve been on a gaming spree lately, playing good stuff (Splinter Cell: Conviction), not so good stuff (Secret Service), and some in-between stuff (Gears of War 2). I couldn’t help but notice that in the past month, I’ve played no less than six games that have had a variation on the following scene:
EXT. WAR TORN CITY – DAY
An urban area surrounded by smoldering buildings and blackened automobile shells.OUR HERO walks toward a parking lot, surveying the damage. Smoke pours out of gutted concrete buildings. Bodies and broken glass are strewn around in ruined clusters.His comm unit crackles to life as the HELICOPTER PILOT starts speaking.
HELICOPTER PILOT(excitedly)Man, it’s good to see you made it through this alive! I’m going to set this bird down and haul your sorry ass to safety!
OUR HEROYou’re glad I made it through this alive? I’ve saved your tail many times I’ve lost count.
HELICOPTER PILOTYeah yeah. I’ll be sure to buy you a drink as soon as we make it back to command.
OUR HEROAhahahah!The helicopter begins to descend onto the pavement. Suddenly a rocket screams toward the helicopter. The helicopter abruptly lifts up, spinning wildly.
HELICOPTER PILOTOh no! Mayday! Mayday! Hostile fire! Repeat! Oh no! The zone is hot!
The helicopter whirls away from the parking lot, smashing into a nearby building. It explodes in a massive cloud of flame. Looking at the contrail from the rocket, OUR HERO sees the assailant, a TERRORIST/ALIEN/INSURGENT/BAD GUY/REBEL/HOSTILE/RENEGADE SCIENTIST with a missile launcher.
Whenever I see a helicopter now, I assume that it will be shot at by a rocket. At that point, I know that it will either be knocked out of the sky or scared off by incoming fire. Game developers: cut it out.
Email the author Jeff Cork, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.
This is too true...
R.I.P. Video Game Chopper Pilots. There is no way your sorry ass is gonna live.
Except on Bad Company 2. Helis typically stay in the air for WAY TOO LONG
Maybe if those chopper pilots weren't so wild on the stick, they could avoid these fiery demises. Probably not though. In most games helicopters appear to be constructed out of paper mache and children's tears.
them choppers sure are rocket magnets. especially if you yourself is piloting one.
Wait. GoW 2 is in between "Secret Service" and Splinter Cell!?
You're absolutely correct. This happens all the time, but sadly it seems to work until you're told about it.
Great point, it's funny because it's true.
Kinda spotlights a problem that has dogged video games for a long time, too much re-hash of the same story elements over and over and over
idk about that. I see where your coming from but, there is actually a pretty sweet helicopter level in the campaign of Modern Warfare 2. You get to sit on the side and just blast away terrorists on the ground with the copter's mini gun. If there was more stuff like this, it' d be all good.
Took out a chopper with a predator drone on Modern 2 (campaign mode)just last night. (Contingency Mission)
Helicopter pilots are the red-shirted away team Ensign of Star Trek.
What happened to the good old days of Chopper Command or Airwolf? When helicopter pilots were heroes and whirlybirds were the chosen weapons of destruction?
Someone should form a Video Game Helicopter Pilots Union.
Thanks for the smokes brother! *cue rocket hitting helicopter*
I've noticed this myself, it's become very predictable. The real shame is that helicopters have the potential to be really cool, and IMO the initial helicopter scene in the "Charlie Don't Surf" level in CoD 4 was awesome because none of them were shot down, despite dozens of RPGs in the air.
Having done a tour in Iraq in an Army Combat Aviation Brigade, I can safely say helicopters are portrayed this way because it's how they are in real life (UH-60 Blackhawks and CH-47 Chinooks are like that anyways).
Games tend to play up the chance of a rocket hitting a Blackhawk ever since Blackhawk Down came out. It makes for an emotional scene.
Blackhawk pilots will constantly remind anyone who can hear them of how much the army spent to train them. And since the army invests so much in them, they won't go near a "hot" landing zone.
Chinooks are essentially a flying bus. They are not at all designed for combat.
AH-64 Apaches are the only ones you will find flying TOWARDS battle. But they only carry 2 people, the pilot and co-pilot.
So, these games really are not that far off from reality in that sense.
The other reality is the US has elaborate and effective counter missile equipment on every helo. Also, RPGs are actually highly ineffective weapons against any helo not in a hover. So, from a weapons perspective, if we aren't fighting an enemy as advanced as the Russians or Chinese, we really aren't going to lose very many helicopters.
The majority of aircraft downings in Iraq have been due to pilot error, not enemy fire. The ones due to enemy fire were the 1:10,000 type chance, and it happened to be their 9,999th shot.
i got totally shocked in resident evil 4 when the helicopter pilot saved me from all those villagers, only to be killed by 2 guys with RPGS, what the hell?
Hey thanks Tactical Rush for the Helo Schooling honestly I did not know that? I figured that from watching movies and not doing some educated searching that all helicopters were pretty much flying targets? Its nice to finally hear from someone who knows what they're talking about! And ya it is pretty frustrating how helicopter pilots are noobs in Vid Games! I mean I miss the times of totally being saved in Left 4 Dead when all the zombies hear it coming and you have to kill 30 hordes of them lol!
Time to bring back the Strike series. Helicopters could do some damage in those games.
Speaking of videogame cliches, how about Post-Apocalyptic Strike?