E3Expo 2005 Wednesday’s Report Page 2

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Here is the surprise that no one knows about, so you hear it here first. 1C has just announced a new simulation in the works. No, it’s not Oleg’s Battle of Britain. Vietnam is the location and the UH1 Iroquois is the steed of choice in the new helicopter simulation Whirlwind of Vietnam. Anatoly Y Subbotin is going to introduce us to this game tomorrow afternoon, along with a couple of other titles that I will mention further down the line.

Whirlwind of Vietnam 1 Whirlwind of Vietnam 2
Whirlwind of Vietnam 3 Whirlwind of Vietnam 4
Whirlwind of Vietnam 5

Whirlwind of Vietnam

The info is somewhat sketchy right now and I hope to pin down more information tomorrow but the company line so far is that this title will ship with up to three different helicopters (I am suspecting the Huey and Cobra-unsure if the Soviet will be a Hind or a variation of the Hip), all weapon systems common to the helicopters will be found and that there will be a variety of missions both historic and fanciful. That means you can play something fromApocalypse Now or When We Were Soldiers. As you can see from the pictures, from a very early build of the game, this looks very promising. Given the major desire for a new, and realistic helicopter simulation the idea that a company of 1Cs reputation is attempting to bring a helicopter game to the market is very encouraging to many of us.

Most of the flight simulation news that I have found is essentially old news — well, to a degree. CH has a booth here in Kentia Hall, and a fair amount of people were coming in and out but they essentially told me that they are not really working on any new flight simulation hardware in the near future. One bit of information that I did find telling: CH has absolutely no plans to try to create an Xbox 360 or PS3 versions of their hardware.

I did get the chance to go one-on-one against Chunx using Pacific Fighters and the CH gear. My rust certainly did show early on, along with my relative lack of talent flying the I-16 as he quickly took advantage of me and sent me down two times in a row. After embarrassing myself twice (I was a stalling and spinning machine for a while there) I decided to pony up with a ride I knew how to fly, the FM2 and at least held my own against him. I got him once fair and square so I can at least say it wasn’t a total pig stick against me.

I also got a chance to look at other sim related hardware. NaturalPoint was there and Jason clued me in that there are some new things coming in the relatively near future. I am not at liberty to say right now what they are but if you don’t have a TrackIR or own a first generation of the model you may want to start saving up. Yes, I know I sound like a commercial for Naturalpoint but if their future stuff looks as good as their present equipment then it probably will be worth the cash.

Flight sims are pretty slim — very slim as a matter of fact. It would be distressing normally but these days I have accepted the fact that flight simulations of any quantity will be relatively few and far between. From what 1C has told me Oleg’s Battle of Britain is way too early in coding to be ready for a sneak peak. Other than GMX Media I don’t see too many companies even remotely interested in the genre.

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