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.
Without a doubt the most outstanding World War 2 flight sim of the 2000's.
IL-2 Sturmovik enabled the player to get some 'virtual experience' of what it must have been like for pilots flying in the Soviet and German airforces on the Eastern Front in World War 2. It did this while setting new standards for the fidelity of flight models and realism of the perspective and speed portrayed in the graphics.
IL-2 Forgotten Battles sets a new standard in the quality of sequels. PC games in general have led us in recent years to expect from sequels a bunch of missions that, two days after purchase, leave you looking at the end credits and thinking "I paid 50 bucks for that?!?"
In contrast IL-2 Forgotten Battles, if it's your cup of chai, will still have you turning and burning 2 years down the track, as you work your way through the hundreds of included missions, play online and enjoy the publisher's updates and user-created extras.
This makes for immense replayability even before delving into the plethora of user created extras.
The list of enhancements over the original IL-2 Sturmovik is absolutely huge - note that this is only a very small selection of them:
What was already a the industry standard for fluidity and fidelity has been improved further.
Fans have been raving for a couple of years now about the standard of AI in IL-2. It easily passes the "Flight Sim Turing Test" - which means in practical terms it is hard to tell whether you're flying against a human or computer controlled opponent.
Note that like most of the sim options - the option itself is optional! Many players don't want to fiddle with engine management in the heat of battle, but it's there if you want it.
Record, edit, play back and share your most glorious victories and defeats including selection of camera angles.
Enemy skies just got busier!
(Don't shoot ! Don't shoot !)
The pop-up map makes navigation a breeze. Press 'M' and a windowed map appears which you can manipulate with the mouse, dragging and zooming. It shows
All this without obscuring the main view! This care and attention shown to the map implementation is typical of IL-2 and shows the focus on the needs of the user.