Quantcast
Taking to the sky in Choplifter HD - Destructoid




Game database:   #ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ         ALL     Xbox One     PS4     360     PS3     WiiU     Wii     PC     3DS     DS     PS Vita     PSP     iOS     Android


Choplifter HD  



Taking to the sky in Choplifter HD


6:15 PM on 10.20.2011
Taking to the sky in Choplifter HD photo



Choplifter! is something of a lost classic. The original 1982 game for the Apple II wound up ported to every console or computer that would have it and is one of the few games to actually start on the home computer, before seeing a port for the arcades. Despite that success and a pair of sequels in the early 90's, it's a title that often elicits confused stares from people when I mention it.

Maybe some of that confusion will fade when Choplifter HD arrives, bringing with it an experience that's true to its retro roots.

Choplifter HD (Xbox 360 [Previewed], PS3, PC)
Developer: inXile Entertainment
Publisher: inXile Entertainment
Releases: December 2011 

In the original Choplifter!, you piloted a rescue chopper sent into a war zone to rescue prisoners. The strategy was always to get in, clear the area of enemies and then load as many people as you could cram into your helicopter to drag back to your base before moving on to the next building full of soldiers. And Choplifter HD is no different in this respect, but provides a variety of scenarios (30 in all) that will see you piloting from the tundra to the desert and everything in between.

But, no matter where you are, the goal is to rescue people. Every stage is laid out on a 2D plane and a rough "map" at the top shows your position and the locations of people who need your assistance. You can only fit so many in the helicopter and have a limited amount of fuel, so nearly every stage will require more than one trip through. Some of the people who need saving require medical attention and have a limited time to make it to the base before expiring, adding a little further pressure.

So Choplifter HD becomes something of a resource game. With a rough idea of how many people are waiting at each location, you can formulate a plan of attack that keeps you fueled and efficiently moves everybody from where they are to where they need to be. And it would work perfectly if it weren't for all those damned bonus objectives, such as the news reporter who always seems to be on the scene. You can scoop up some other people in need of rescue besides your required targets, practically a necessity for achieving a high ranking in a stage, but that's going to throw off your entire strategy.

You know what else is going to put a monkey wrench in things? All those damned enemies. Men armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades dot the landscape, anti-aircraft guns pepper the sky with explosives and persistent jeeps keep the pressure on. Some stages even feature zombies who'll grab on to your chopper if given the chance and have to be shaken off.

The combat is an excellent example of how inXile has effectively modernized the mechanics of Choplifter for this new game. Your chopper can face left, right or forward, just as in the original. Whereas facing forward was primarily used for destroying tanks directly below you in the past, now it allows you to attack enemies in the foreground. You'll constantly be shifting from one direction to the next to keep up with all the firing, easily done with the click of a button, and it makes an already busy game positively frantic.

It also makes for a really difficult game. Once the elements start piling up and more enemy types become unlocked, you're the one who's probably in more desperate need of rescue. Armed only with a machine gun (which overheats pretty quickly) and a complement of missiles, sometimes the best thing to do is simply charge through as quickly as you can. To help with that and other dodging, the chopper features a booster that can give you a necessary burst of speed but drains fuel quickly.

Your choppers also improve over time, receiving upgrades as you earn success in levels. Every stage awards you a ranking of one to five stars based on your performance and those stars unlock new choppers and add improvements to those you've already unlocked. The craft are pretty different from what I experienced in my preview and in more than just base statistics. The Sparrow, for example, is the first craft you pilot and offers almost no protection for the people you rescue as they sit exposed on the skids, so you have to be careful about the hits you take or they're going to die in transit.

The gang at inXile should be pretty proud of themselves. From the very beginning, this feels like a logical extension of Dan Gorlin's original Choplifter! into the modern age. It may have flashy HD graphics and be full of cool explosions, but it's still Choplifter and that's a good thing. Make sure you check it out when it releases this holiday season on PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade and Steam.

Taking to the sky in Choplifter HD photo
Taking to the sky in Choplifter HD photo
Taking to the sky in Choplifter HD photo
Taking to the sky in Choplifter HD photo
Taking to the sky in Choplifter HD photo
Taking to the sky in Choplifter HD photo







Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.






timeline following:
Choplifter HD



3:00 PM on 01.11.2012
Choplifter HD to get free helicopter DLC

inXile Entertainment has released their HD re-imagining of Choplifter for the PC, PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade today for $14.99/1200 MS Points. Choplifter HD is just the latest in a long line of games to get the m...more



2:00 PM on 01.11.2012
Review: Choplifter HD

There has been a fair share of '80s arcade titles that made the transition to the current generation. From Pac-Man: CE to Galaga Legions, the downloadable platforms have become a haven for games that try to capture that nosta...more



7:00 PM on 01.04.2012
Choplifter HD confirmed for XBL and PSN release next week

Konami's upcoming Choplifter HD has now had its release date confirmed and it's coming really soon. The game will be available to PlayStation Network users on the 10th of January, with the Xbox Live Arcade version arriving on...more



6:30 PM on 11.30.2011
Choplifter HD: Konami is getting to the chopper

Choplifter HD, the re-imagining of the 80s classic, is getting close to take off. It has recently been picked up by Konami, who will be co-publishing the XBLA title with developer, InXile Entertainment. Prospective rescue pil...more



8:20 PM on 08.28.2011
Poor chickens: Hands-on with Choplifter HD

It's been awhile since we've seen a game in the Choplifter series, about seven years if my calculations are correct, with the PlayStation 2 title Choplifter: Crisis Shield. So you're forgiven if you thought the classic series...more



11:15 AM on 08.23.2011
Choplifter HD making debut at PAX, get an early look here

Rebooting a classic franchise isn't anything new. But who'd have thought Choplifter would get the high definition treatment? That's exactly what inXile Entertainment is doing with Choplifter HD, which will get its first publ...more




Exclusive on Destructoid

1:00 PM on 05.23.2014
Video: E3 2014 secret leaks revealed!

We've gotten our hands on some verifiable official E3 2014 leaks and secrets and we're spilling the beans. Find out what's in store from Microsoft, Nintendo, Ubisoft, Epic Games, EA, and all the other big companies making important announcements. Get a sneak peek at news about Battlefield 5, a new Nintendo MMO, Destiny, and all every other E3 reveal and announcement.more



9:00 AM on 04.13.2014
Chop up and equip your enemy's body parts in Severed

Severed is the next game from DrinkBox Studios, the creators of Mutant Blobs Attack and Guacamelee! Severed follows a distraught warrior trying to piece together a mystery, such as how she wakes up missing part of her arm. Y...more



8:00 AM on 04.08.2014
Silent Horror soundtrack is back from the dead and ready to download

Back in 2005, a small team made Silent Horror, an independent film homage to survival horror, with obvious nods to the legendary Silent Hill franchise. Before he was Destructoid's Editor-in-Chief, Dale North composed the soun...more



View all Exclusive on Destructoid






Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more