Released for DOS in 1997 by Novalogic. In my opinion it was a pinnacle of the Comanche series, as it was the most realistic attempt - Comanche 4 was still a good arcade game. In 1998 there was a Windows based version released - Comanche Gold which added more features like weather effects, 4 new camapaigns, mission editor, more control over your teammate and higher resolution options.
This video is covering all the training flights. Also you can see the intro, Comanche overview and credits @41:34 (oh that music!). I'm playing on max realistic settings - advanced flight model with no vertical stabilizer, although you still can use your sophisticated fly-by-wire system to lock your altitude and help you with the colective control.
Even if considered bit arcadey, the flight engine was pretty solid and modelled several characteristics related to helicopters, like retreating blade stall at high airspeeds, ground effect and translational lift.
While the missions were canned they still provided good amount of fun and were immersive thanks to plenty of comms chatter from friendly units and sometimes even from the enemy.
Voxel Space engine by Kyle Freeman was updated from previous Comanche versions. In its 2nd revision, it was utilized very well to model convincing rolling terrain for you to fly through and take cover behind. Compared to first VS it allowed for higher resolution and true 3D objects (VS1 used sprites for that purpose). It was also used for Armored Fist 2 and was continously updated - VS3 was used in Delta Force series.
One cannot forget the sound design. While the sound effects were pretty solid, the MIDI music during missions passable, the digitized one in the intro, menus, overview and credits was phenomenal. Really put you into the mood to smoke some tanks from behind the cover. One thing to add - that music was lost in Comanche 3 Gold, that version got different music score.
Joined: Aug 2005
That brings back memories too Damson! I loved Comanche as well as the earlier Delta Force games. I really liked that voxel engine. There's something about it that was very organic and was more detailed in some ways than other 3D environments and its a kind of engine that lends itself to the imagination filling in everything else. Its amazing to me that even after so many years, watching that intro brings it right back to my memory. Back in those days company logo/sound effects and game intros had a lasting impression on me. I also remember now watching your video, how I would play with the flyby camera and try to get my Comanche right up close to the camera and slowly move back or forward or do a heavy, violent yaw while going past the camera to achieve some cinematic views. It was pretty amazing to me. I also miss the days of training with a voiced trainer in the cockpit like this and Longbow.
What's also kind of funny, not too long ago I was going through my box of guitar and song books and found inside a folder, a receipt from when I had purchased Comanche 3! 21 years later and I find that and who knows why I still have it. Maybe I can take a picture of it and show it. Apparently I bought the game at our local CompUSA(unfortunately no longer around) on February 15, 1998 for $46.64.
I did the same with the fly-by cam back in the day LOL.
And yeah that voxel engine was truly remarkable at the time. I remember reading an interview in Computer Gaming World with Kyle Freeman (lead programmer) about how he coded VoxesSpace (the first one for the Comanche) in assembler! Just to make it more efficient so it could run faster on the hardware. Seeing first Comanche running on 386 (or was it 486?) for the first time left me speechless.
Nowadays seldom there is so huge leap in graphics.