The DCS: Mi-24P Hind is out and I’ve had a few hours with the helicopter now which means its time to write a bit about my first impressions with this new module.
Makes a great first impression
The Hind really makes a great first impression. A quick look around the cockpit and then at the exterior and I’m taken aback by just how much attention to detail there is on every texture, on every surface and on every 3D modeled component. If there’s something unfinished here… it wasn’t noticeable to me.
Flying the Hind is also feeling really good right now. Taking off for the first time, I noted that I needed more collective than I might have assumed based on my experiences with other helicopters. Then again, the Mi-24 is a big helicopter. Despite that size, it’s quite fast and very responsive in most maneuvers.
It’s much more responsive with faster reactions to most maneuvers than the Mi-8 of which it is a descendant of. Get it up to speed and the Mi-24 is impressively fast with almost aircraft like handling. It rolls and banks confidently and has good initial turn in. We had some discussion in one of my flight sim circles that the Mi-8 might turn more tightly which I think I agree with but the Mi-24 can turn at a faster speed with far more confidence.
The sounds on this are also extremely good both inside and out.
Let’s talk Petrovich and the challenges of two seat helicopters
Eagle Dynamics has implemented their first AI assistant in a DCS module and called that AI ‘Petrovich.’ I like the control scheme where you can bind a hat switch to issue orders and commands to the AI. There are some graphical elements but I’m already missing the como-rose UI elements of Jester on the DCS: F-14. Something more contextual, popping up briefly on the screen, might help.
Petrovich does seem to be quite competent using the ATGMs to engage targets at a distance and the spotting mechanics are quite good. What the AI doesn’t do right now is a IFF check so you have to make sure that you’re engaging the correct targets.
I haven’t tried it in multiplayer yet but I have heard that there are desyncronization issues that can happen where aircraft state is not the same on each crew members screen. That’s problematic and I hope that things can be solved there. Although the Mi-24 isn’t the first module to get a more significant multi-crew capability, it is a premier one that has just released and will have a lot of eyes on it. I hope it pushes ED to invest more in that technology.
There’s another practical issue with multiplayer that is problematic. The forward observer position is responsible for countermeasures and right now it’s not possible to tell Petrovich to prepare countermeasures or to deploy them.
You can bind controls and try and memorize the positions but in multiplayer you cannot hop into the forward position and do it yourself. Eagle Dynamics would do well to enable position swapping for when a player is not in the seat. To be clear, you can still deploy them as the pilot but you can’t easily select which row of countermeasures to employ and that is vital on complex missions.
So, there are some challenges here to be solved and that is representative of this being both an early access module and one that is helping to blaze a path for future multicrew aircraft.
It’s no F-16 early access launch
The DCS: F-16C launched in a rough state when it came out in the fall of 2019. Although there was a lot to like about it, there were a few notable omissions that we really should have had from the start and the Hind, fortunately, doesn’t have those issues.
A big issue with the F-16 was not having a damage model. Not the case here.
From what I can tell, the damage model is sophisticated and damage will cause pieces to break off when hit. The Mi-24 can take a surprising amount of small arms fire from the ground and systems will being to fail as they are compromised. I haven’t had enough damage taken yet to say that this is feeling final state but I can say that it’s already working well enough.
The Hind also comes with a couple of skins which is nice too. There’s a pair of Russian skins, there’s a UN skin, a Syrian skin, Georgian and perhaps some more that I haven’t spotted yet. I’d ultimately like to see some more before final launch but I am happy with the initial compliment.
Finally, the Mi-24 already comes with an ample supple of instant action missions and a few more significant single missions. A campaign is also planned but in the interim, these are good single player experiences. The one mission puts you just a dozen kilometers from target and provides for an open ended experience engaging a vehicle convoy across a river. If you only had 15 minutes available, you could easily boot that up, fly the mission, feel like you did something and land at the FARP again.
Early access review to come
I’m going to spend a lot more time over the next several weeks with the DCS: Mi-24P Hind before writing an early access review. Over that time, we’ll see how much Eagle Dynamics smooths over a few of the rough edges but in the meantime I think I’m going to enjoy every moment with the Mi-24. It’s really well done already.
10 Comments Add yours
So far I’m enjoying the Hind. I really like how it flies. Great visibility and fast, it’s a scenic pleasure. Looking forward to the tech advances this thing will bring. For my part, though, I find the skin selection to be downright poor; it’s thin and generic. The Ka-50 had the right idea; include basic skins but with a lot of nationalities. It came with a Canadian skin right out the gate.
Love the Mi-24 front cannons, good BRRRTTT! when set to fast. Would like see more “Oompf!” on the wing mounted weapons though, like 4x S-25 rockets and 4x S13 pods. That said, the MG pods are good fun. I like going back and forth between the Ka-50 and the Hind, and seeing the similarities and differences. But I’m still a Blackshark fan first.
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I find the Hind to be a masterpiece, plain and simple. I’ve never just clicked right off the bat with a DCS module like I have with this big bruiser.
Try the Ukrainian skin, it has the same yellow eyes as the Mi-8 skin. Overall a great aircraft but it can be tricky taking off and landing. I am having a hard time with the hover or taxi and controlling the nose.
Ka-50 or Hind? What do you like most at the moment? (I know, different designs)
The Hind has already become one of my new favorite modules in DCS, Great looking cockpits (I can read almost everything easily with the Rift-S), great FM (it really feels like a flying tank), great sounds.
It’s sooo satisfying to fly.
Also worth of notice is that despise the Hind been a dual cockpit chopper, it’s performing very well in VR as regards to fps. Even with the mirrors on, it’s a very smooth ride for me.
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Happy to hear that you are enjoying it and have fun!
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Thanks Wags! The team did a great job on this one. This is a really solid early access release. Looking forward to more updates as time goes on.
Thanks for sharing, another iconic module by ED!
What a beast. I loved the Mi-8 and the Huey, I’m sure this one is on par with them.
It’s interesting that it’s more reactive than the Mi-8, I was afraid it would actually feel heavier. It’s a good comparison point.
Good to know about the missions and the general advanced state of the module too!
psst: “supple” => “supply” 😉
Some are saying to me that they feel like the Mi-8 is the more responsive one but for me I feel like you can be more aggressive and get more out of the Mi-24 than the Mi-8. I think its more aggressive anyways!
Definitely an iconic module and generally one that’s been done right. Full early access review in a few weeks while I get more time with it.