THQ Nordic is bringing back Comanche as a multiplayer online shooter

Continuing on its well-established and apparently successful path of acquiring and resurrecting mid-tier game series you remember enjoying when you were in high school, THQ Nordic announced at Gamescom that Comanche, NovaLogic's 1990s helicopter flight sim series, is coming back.

The series debuted in 1992 with Comanche: Maximum Overkill (voxels!), and ran through a half-dozen-or-so expansions and sequels before wrapping up in 2001 with Comanche 4. Overall, the series was actually quite good—Comanche 4 holds a 74 aggregate score on Metacritic, which includes a 78/100 review from PC Gamer—and it sold well, but it ran into problems when the real-world RAH-66 program was canceled by the US government. (I don't know if there's a direct connection between the two events, but "The Army decided this helicopter sucks" is not a great back-of-box tagline.)

Part of the reason the military decided to scrap the Comanche program was so that it could focus its resources on UAVs, and that's the basis for the new game: After the real-world Iran-US RQ-170 incident in 2011, the Army (in game lore) decided that UAVs suck even worse than the Comanche, and so—a bit like THQ Nordic—they brought the old girl out of mothballs, slapped a new coat of paint on it, and turned it loose on the world.

The new Comanche will continue to serve as a stealth recon and attack chopper, as it was originally designed, but will also carry a "specialized, non-hackable short-range drone" intended to operate in particularly high-risk environments. There will be multiple Comanche variants and drone types to choose from, each designed to fill specific roles, with unique strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately, there's no mention of a single-player campaign: The new Comanche is "a team-based online multiplayer helicopter shooter" in which teams of four square off in helicopter and drone dogfights in objective-based attack-and-defend missions.

If all goes according to plan, Comanche will launch on Steam Early Access in early 2020.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.