MiGMan
 IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover BLITZ | First Impressions - October 2020

IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover BLITZ: First Impressions - October 2020

I bought this sim on Steam in October 2020 for $AUD 35.95, that's about 1/3 the price we've been conditioned to pay for games. So my expectations were not super-high despite it boasting the IL-2 pedigree, which was the gold standard for prop sims back in the 2000's.

My expectations were about to be subverted!

Screenshot from IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover BLITZ - First Impressions - October 2020.

Despite the horror stories I had read, my HOTAS Warthog controllers were easy to set up. Yes, it would be nice if the interface notified you of double entries, that's for sure. But I only wanted a basic setup, so within 10 minutes I was flying.

Apropos of configuration - it's super convenient and quick to hit Esc in flight and go map a function to the keyboard or HOTAS. This is great. I remember the groanfully bad days of having to exit the sim entirely to remap a control. Alt-Tabbing out to add an axis or function to the HOTAS via TARGET didn't cause any crashes either, so that was a bonus.

IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover BLITZ - First Impressions - October 2020 - Thrustmaster Warthog Throttle.
I quickly decided to uncouple the Thrustmaster Warthog Throttle's throttles and use the right for throttle, the left for prop pitch and the large wheel on the right for elevator trim.

I mapped gear and wheel brakes to the nearest toggle switches and I was good to go. All that left hand work could be done by feel, enabling me to keep my head on a swivel with TrackIR, which worked wonderfully well out of the box.

I found myself craning my neck to see up and over my shoulder, and leaning to see past the canopy rails. Fantastically immersive!

IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover BLITZ - First Impressions - October 2020 - Sightseeing.
Sightseeing is great fun and I was reminded that the IL-2 series had enormous numbers of trees and buildings, and complex terrain about 15 years ago, while managing to deliver good frame rates.

IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover BLITZ - First Impressions - October 2020.
There are so many easter eggs in the missions, and it's relaxing just to go on a free flight and look around.

IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover BLITZ - First Impressions - October 2020.

IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover BLITZ - First Impressions - October 2020.
The lighting effects and atmospherics are spectacular in aerial shots, achieving a photo-real quality.

At this point I only have about 6 hours in this sim, which puts me 3 missions into the RAF campaign. The MiGPit Mk.VI is running it like a dream at 3840 x 2160, and if the frame rates hold up in more complex missions I can only give this my highest recommendation anybody hankering after intense BOB action!

Oleg Maddox and the team at 1C have carved out a major swathe of the flight sim space. Due to other committments I'd been away from it since the release of IL-2: Forgotten Battles , and I look forward to exploring the rest of their enormous flight sim fun-land!