playstation homepage   Playstation > Whats New > PlayStation Reviews > Staff Review
PlayStation Game and Hardware Reviews




Screenshot No.1
Screenshot No.2
Screenshot No.3



Get your PSX games HERE!






1 Player

Game Type

Flight Sim

Mem. Card

Review Date

Nov 19196

Setting the Scene

In this game you get to pilot a helicopter around various scenarios (Central Park, Mid East to name a few), shooting all kinds of air and land based objects, in an effort to save hostages.

It seems that the world has become overrun with terrorist activity and it's up to you to eradicate them! Sound like fun? You bet it is!


Black Dawn is a helicopter flight simulation game...Well, not really a flight sim, more an arcade helicopter sim.


In a word, awesome! Never before has a flight engine been done this nicely on the Playstation and included all the nice little goodies. The graphics are crisp and clear. Objects are very well detailed as is the landscape. Fogging effects are put to good use, presumably to conceal any polygon pop-up, and there are even night missions that use extensive light sourcing to create shadows, and wonderful explosions.

Vehicle animations are equally as impressive. Enemy bombers need to take that long lazy turn for a reutrn engagement, leaving them nice and open for your attack. Helicopters buzz in and out and missles look really nice as they come at you! The ground based vehicles look as they get to blow-up jeeps, hummers, trucks, tanks and various other ATV's. You can even blow up the trees and surrounding landscape! It's pretty cool when you shoot at something, miss and watch your missile splash into the water.

The colors have been nicely selected are appear quite realistic on screen. Everything on your display screen is well laid out, helpful and intuitive. You can change views on the fly from behind the copter, to wing view to inside the copter...While in the copter view, you can also look left and right in addition to straight out the front. I did notice some slowdown in the behind the copter view, but this was only when there were a lot of objects (20 or more) moving around the screen at one time. From the cockpit view, I never noticed any slowdown.

The animation used for the hostages running towards the copter is also well done...just make sure you don't land on them!!! Truly the graphics are superb and really need to be seen to be appreciated.

Sounds and Effects

Great helicopter sound effects when taking off. All of the explosions are also done very nicely. Incoming transmissions really get you into the game. When under heavy fire, it's hard to make out what the message coming through is saying, but hey, war is hell!

Again, in the sound effects category, everything is as it should be in a game of this type, nothing extraordinary, but everything is just right. The music is quite dramatic and moody throughout the game. It's done so well, it could have be pulled from a motion picture soundtrack...


Bottom line...the game is a lot of fun to play.

You are presented with a handful and a half of missions, with submissions that take place seamlessly, one right after the other within the main missions. The missions are not a cake walk and take time complete, although a few more would have been nice. Challenges include hostage rescue, destroy selected bases and equipment, extraction and surviving! The landscape and scenarios are varied and realistic. You really get to enjoy the ride.

As with most flight games, there are a lot of controls to master. When I was first presented with the gamepad configuration, my first thought was "whoa! how the hell am I gonna figure this out"...It soon became apparent though that the main controls (forward, back, fire) are easy to remember as they use the O, X, square and triangle buttons. Multiple button combinations are used for things like altitude adjustment, cockpit/outside views, etc. After a little practice you'll be zipping around and cutting up the landscape like a pro.

You can save the game after the completion of each main mission and select to go back and redo a mission at this point at a higher difficulty setting to see if you can survive.

I really enjoyed this game, but couldn't help but find myself thinking that there was something missing. Everything flows so damn nicely, but still after an hour or so, I always find myself popping in another game. Perhaps for me, flying around in a helicopter, regardless of the challenge, just doesn't have the appeal to hold me for very long. I do still go back and play the game frequently though, just not for any long duration.

Value for Money

An A-1 flight game! If you enjoyed Agile Warrior, Warhawk, Gunship, chances are pretty darn good that you will like this one. You get a good amount of missions with lots of diversity. Flight characteristics and control are tight but challenging. Graphics, sound effect and music are really well done and add depth to the game. If you remember (and enjoyed) the old Choplifter game, this is it in 3D!





A good solid flight game. I like it!











While I didn't play this game for months and months, it still provided me with lots of enjoyment.








Get your PSX games HERE!