First impressions, 1998
Like most Janes sims this one pushed the PC hardware available at the time of it's release (1998) to the limits. L
A year and a half down the track it ran very well on the average new machine - provided you had a 3D accelerator fitted of course.
The first thing which came to my attention in WW2 Fighters was the extraordinary attention to detail in the damage modelling. Most parts of the aircraft seem vulnerable... I seemed to break everything at least once!
Flames and smoke with 3DFX.
Flames and smoke without 3DFX.
Most of my damage was incurred in combat. Unusually for me in a WWII sim I didn't have a lot of difficulty landing.
Well, okay there were a few kangaroo bounces down the runway and into the snow!
But these guys had it fixed in no time at all.
The cockpits in World War 2 Fighters are a total joy to fly in. The cockpit is 3D and scrolls easily up and down - check out the P-51 Mustang cockpit - and the instruments are very readable and so well rendered I felt like polishing and dusting them.
You can even adjust your seating position up, down and forward/ back. This doesn't change your field of view but it does mean you can adjust the set so the instruments you want to see are right there in front of you.
A very user-friendly feature is the ability to turn the cockpit off, giving you an unobstructed field of view. You may want to display primary instruments as windows along the bottom of your screen. The sim can even remember your favourite settings!
The Me-262 cockpit has the most instrumentation due to the twin jet engines. Thankfully Janes decided not to model some of the more perverse aspects of these powerplants... like their tendency to catch on fire if you advanced the throttle too fast!
Clocks in Cockpits
I was so pleased to find a working clock in the Mustang cockpit I thought it was 'time' for a mini survey.
Clock testing proceeds apace. No effort is spared.
The clock actually works! I first noticed this when I was making my own missions and getting particular about the time - NOTE - the sun appears to move accurately through the sky too - i.e. it goes up and down and casts long and short shadows - anyway
Back to the clock :
1. The clock starts at correct mission time.
2. The second hand moves.
3. The minute hand moves.
4. The clock looks good.
SuperMarine Spitfire Mk IX. No clock at all! Can you believe it!
Messerschmidt BF-109 has a lovely clock - A lovely timepiece with precision craftmanship.
Lockheed P-38 Lightning
Lockheed P-38 Lightning
Peter "Murdock" Robbins informed me:
"you can actually hear the "ticking" of the clock in the BF-109. Watch the clock closely and turn your sound up a little....... I was taken aback by that initially. I do not know if it is the same in the other models - that or the frequency of the other engines drowns it out."
Your pilot's head turns LEFT when you're banking LEFT and RIGHT when you're banking right! BIG DEAL! ... I heard someone say.
Well these are the sorts of little details that make a supergeek's day.
The level of cultural detail is astounding and, combined with the cloud and haze effects, makes some of the vistas post-card perfect! Yes, you can fly between the buildings. In fact if you're chasing tanks, you'll see them drive right through the towns!
Plenty of juicy targets too... depending which side you're on of course!
Smoke and atmospheric effects
A picture says a thousand words...
A lone Fockewulf 190 banks forlornly into the drifting smoke... the aftermath of a right set-to with an infantry division!
There are cute little deer that run around, and even across the runway if you're unlucky! Some people have been known to strafe them.
.. not me!
What sort of animal do you think I am!
Giant tank battles
No no ... not battles between giant tanks...! Set the plane on auto-pilot, sit back, press the N key and enjoy the action... there's usually a giant slugfest going on somewhere in World War 2 Fighters!
Use Shift - N to cycle through the ground objects. then use the mouse to rotate the view and zoom in and out (mouse buttons). I still load up World War 2 Fighters and enjoy a brew over a good tank battle!
The Tanks have muzzle flashes which light up the surrounding area and the turrets turn, the barrels elevate. The tank battles are almost a sim in themself.
The tank turrets turn and elevate! Not to mention the great sounds..... play it loud!