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How I learned to start worrying and hate the helicopter

I hate helicopters.

Honestly. The things have become the bane of my virtual existence, with my vitriol lived out vicariously through every generic shooter released this generation. I don’t enjoy flying the things in games, cumbersome and clumsy as they are, and certainly don’t enjoy shooting them down.

Early this week, much to my dismay, I realized every single boss battle in Call of Juarez: The Cartel involved encounters with helicopters. As the game’s levels are generally poorly designed across the board, it’s very difficult to hide from the things. They have the upper-hand as quick flying vehicles of mass destruction while all we’re given are rocket launchers which don’t follow the most important rule with rocket launchers: they don’t lock on or track the target. I nearly quit out on the first level, enraged by the aerial threat, but persevered out of some morbid obligation to destroy the series of incredibly cliched, uninteresting helibosses.

And today, I’m playing SOCOM 4. It’s a better game than The Cartel by leaps and bounds, but I’ve just encountered a battle with a helicopter I’m seemingly incapable of taking the thing down before it flies off-screen; just a quick reminder of a tired, long drawn-out cliche. But hell, at least the thing doesn’t linger around. Then, after clearing out a number of enemies, it swings back around, that devil. Enough is enough.

As much as I enjoy the Battlefield series, this is ultimately one of its few woeful contributions to the industry, set apart the many things it does well. Its influence has provided us with helicopter-obsessed games like 50 Cent: Some Fittingly Gangster Adjective I Can’t Remember and a slew of shooters that are simply along for the ride. That’s fine, but I’m no longer on board with that and this trend has long worn out its welcome.

Please, get these helicopters out of our shooters.

The author of this fine article

is an Associate Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in July 2007. Get in touch on Twitter @Calvin_Kemph.

Gentle persuasion

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