Exhibit - IL-2 Forgotten Battles
Release Date - 2003
Developer - 1C Maddox Games
Publisher - Ubisoft
In collection - Yes
Comments - The sensation of speed at low level is the best yet in a flight sim. I enjoyed whizzing past excellent ground textures, individual trees, small stands of trees and whole forests of trees, vast cities (Moscow alone has 500,000 buildings in the sim), flying through clouds, fog, rain and snow, and all with a smooth frame rated with no s-s-stuttering at all on the test system. All this would be an impressive achievement for a civil flight sim, to create a world in such detail and still enjoy a sedate and fluid sensation of flight. But IL-2 is a combat sim and once you add multiple aircraft manoeuvering vigorously, tanks, trucks and ships, bombers, anti-aircraft fire you would expect the sim performance to take a severe hit. Not so.
Without a doubt the most outstanding World War 2 flight sim of the 2000's.
BugsStarting the (sim) engine
Users have reported installation problems and my case was no exception.
The sim simply refused to start on the first five attempts. Thereafter it would only run on every second booting of my PC. Go figure? Sometimes the sim locks up at the menu screen, requiring an Alt-Tab out of the sim and a an encounter with the blue screen of death. Sometimes you can escape this, sometimes not. If IL-2 wasn't so exceptionally good I wouldn't persist with it, as it is I'm resigned to the 'Ritual of the Two Boots', but not happy about it.
Quite a few bugs have been reported. That in itself is not unusual for a PC game and the track record of Maddox Games engenders confidence that the issues will be patched promptly. Bear in mind that this simulation is about as complex as a PC program can get.
What is a worry though is the difficulty that I and others have had even getting the sim to run in the first place. The irony is that once IL-2 starts it is rock solid. These difficulties will put some people off purchasing the sim - and so it should. There is really no excuse for this level of quality control. This sim and it's enthusiastic user base deserves much better.
The in-cockpit map adds modern functionality to the sim without disrupting the period feel.
Check out the walled city with detailed docks in the distance and fully animated surf and wave effects.