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Nuclear Strike is a helicopter-based shooter game with a blend of both strategy and action, which the player views from outside the helicopter from an overhead perspective. It is similar to previous games in the series but has 15 playable vehicles, a larger number than any of its predecessors. The main helicopter is a fictional Super Apache, with additional helicopters including the Cobra and other Hueys. Playable jets include the Harrier Jump Jet and a fictional VSTOL version of the A-10 Thunderbolt II. The player can use surface vehicles including the M1 Abrams tank, Bradley armoured vehicle, the Multiple Launch Rocket System and a PACV hovercraft. The game features five different terrain settings with each level being played on a large map divided into several missions. These missions include seek-and-destroy, search-and-rescue, escorts, the destruction of bridges, supply drops and air support. In some sections the player forms part of a coordinated attack with AI-controlled allies, while in others the player directs ground troops in the style of a real-time strategy game. As well as engaging in combat, the player must monitor and replenish his fuel and ammunition supplies by picking up ammo crates and fuel drums. A lowering hook will automatically lower when near supplies to pick them up. The heads-up display shows this information, along with intelligence on missions objectives and on friendly and enemy units and their locations. The compass indicating mission objectives is a feature new to Nuclear Strike, as is a radar showing the positions of nearby enemies.
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