When an evil group of terrorists known as the UES (United Eastern States) begins plotting several dangerous attacks against the West, Fireblade is sent into action. Fireblade is an anti-terrorist military force formed by Western nations. Their goal is to eliminate rogue terrorists all around the world. They had hoped that all of the time and money that was spent on Fireblade would be a waste. They hoped that all of the effort would be for nothing. But they soon found out that this wasn’t the case. As long as there is good in the world...there will always be evil.
FireBlade’s gameplay consists of several attack and defend-style flight-shooter missions. Your main goal is to wipe out the enemy, but there are times when you’ll have to collect items (such as weapons), carefully dodge enemy attacks and, in the most severe cases, retreat. When you come back, you’d better have a lot of extra ammo, full health or whatever you may have been lacking before. The enemy will expect you to return, so if you’re not prepared, don’t bother coming back.
The controls are simple and easy to learn. As with most flight/combat games, both analog sticks are used to control your helicopter. The left analog stick controls your speed (forward and backwards) and allows you to turn left or right, while the right analog stick us used to control your altitude. You can also strafe by pressing the right analog stick left or right. These controls make it easy to jump into the game and start kicking some major butt. However, if this control setup isn’t for you, you can always reverse the analog stick controls and make other changes from the options menu (accessible before or during a game).
The explosions are cool and the vehicles look nice, but the special effects are what really stand out in this game. Turn on the Thermal Imaging goggles and prepare to be blown away! The screen changes from the normal game colors to a unique, purple aesthetic that has a cinematic flare. As you move around the area, your vision is cinematically blurred. The vehicles and buildings look especially impressive in Thermal Imaging mode, streaking a faint image of the object in the opposite direction. For example, if you move to the left, the objects will streak to the right. This is by far one of the most impressive cinematic effects that I have ever seen in a video game.
As you complete your missions, take a closer look at the ground. Several animals can be seen frolicking in the mountains, while ally and enemy troops stand guard at their bases. Despite being extremely small, the animals (and humans) have stellar animation.
FireBlade is an excellent arcade shooter with more than enough explosive action to enjoy. I loved the Desert Strike series, and FireBlade is very reminiscent of those games. The first mission starts off slow, preparing you for the crazy warfare that is headed your way. That crazy warfare is great though. I was sucked in by this game immediately after I played it for the first time. Flight/combat games like these don’t usually receive the attention to detail that they deserve, but the developers of FireBlade came through for us, giving gamers everywhere the kind of experience that they have been longing for.
I’ve played a lot of flight/combat games over the years, and this is by far one of the best. Everything the competition has to offer cannot compare. Top Gun, Dropship, F-16 Tomcat...they’re all cannon fodder for FireBlade. I have never been so addicted to a game like this before! FireBlade is fast, exciting and challenging. The missions are terrific. Buy it, rent it or borrow FireBlade from a friend as soon as you can. You’ll be glad you did.