Black Dawn fulfills a few childhood dreams by putting gamers in control of a military helicopter. Terrorists have grown powerful in the world and it is up to you to restore stability and peace throughout the lands. Assigned to a variety of campaigns, you must fly the AH-69 Mohawk (sounds like something Jan-Michael Vincent from AIRWOLF would pilot) as you battle through enemy territory across different global locales.
Black Dawn (no relation to the other Saturn helicopter flight combat game Black Fire) is a helicopter flight combat game that originally came out on the PS1 in 1996 by developer Black Ops Entertainment. The Saturn port came in 1997 and was outsourced to Point Of View (Rampage: World Tour, Mortal Kombat Trilogy). Point Of View was a really good porting developer (if you look up their body of work a good quantity of it were ports) and Black Dawn was no exception. It's just it's a real shame they are no longer around as they closed their doors in 2010 after the disastrous Damnation.
In Black Dawn you'll pilot your chopper through 32 levels as you blast away at enemies, land to rescue hostages and drop them off at safe points, go on seek and destroy missions, etc. It has a nice variety of objectives throughout the stages though be warned as it can get pretty challenging as the missions have no checkpoints, so if you're at the tail end of a mission and get shot down then it's back to the beginning of said mission. Yes it can be and get very frustrating at certain times but you know..."GIT GUD" and all that. Graphically it isn't as good as the PS1 version as the PS1 handled 3D better but overall it still looks fine. Controls take a bit of getting used to but it's nothing you should haven't a good grasp on within a good 15 minutes or so. While on your missions you'll also have to keep your eye on your fuel and weapons gauge so when destroying enemies make sure you pick up the power ups they may leave behind so that you're always stocked up.
Overall Black Dawn is a solid flight combat game and IMO well worth picking up as it still honestly holds up pretty well all these years later. What's great is that it can still be had on the cheap so it won't dent the wallet. If you're in the mood for a good challenge and haven't added it to the Saturn collection yet you may want to give it a shot. Overall I'd give it a 7.5 outta 10. Good job all around by Point Of View.
This is a great game, though its difficult anyone who is looking for the best helicopter action game for the 32bit consoles look no further than Black Dawn.
Pros: Realistic controls.
Above average graphics.
Great re-playable missions.
Cons: Hard Difficulty.
Frame-rate issues when using the "Chase" view.
Bad Draw Distance, lots of fog!
Overall: 4/5 Though this game suffers from hard difficulty and frame-rate issues, this will be the best helicopter action game you can play for the 32bit consoles. Sega Saturn is the superior port of this game when it comes to controls only!