Ok, so this isn’t a new game these days but it is being developed into new, and hopefully, exciting things. We’ve already had the first expansion – Battle of Moscow – and there is Battle of Kuban on the horizon. Yet I don’t feel in the least bit interested in the game anymore; so I thought I would write about why this is.
I had high expectations for Battle of Stalingrad, I had heard good things and it looked pretty decent and like the original IL2 you could see that there was work on expanding the planest. I’m not opposed to having the Eastern Front at all, it’s a good perspective to have – one that gets overlooked all too often in the West. The aircraft models look superb, they fly well, the damage model is good, there can be a feeling of inertia based on the weight of the aircraft and plenty more good stuff. All good so far.
Right now though I do not play it. According to Steam I’ve played 10 hours on it. This is despite EAF flying in Battle of Stalingrad. Why is this?
I didn’t like the unlock feature. Like playing Call of Duty you rank up and this then entitles you to upgrades to the aircraft. The thing is, to do this you have to go through the full single player campaign – which were poor – or you can pay to rank up by purchasing the full whack premium version – or buy each DLC aircraft individually and unlock it through the website. It was too much of a faff, and just isn’t what I look for in a sim. It makes it feel like an arcade game.
There is no clickable cockpit. Ok, so for most people this is not a deal breaker and in some of the aircraft there isn’t a lot to click, but it seems a backwards step from Cliffs of Dover to remove this feature.
There is no facility to assign Axis commands to trim, landing gear, flaps, but there is for some bits. Again, this seems like a backwards step from Cliffs where I could use my CH Throttle Quadrant to control all of the above. Now things have to be done in 5% increments on a button – this is in spite of the controls being on levers in the aircraft cockpit. This to me is saying that the game is aimed at a casual player with an X-Box controller more than someone who is into flight simming that’s taken the time to invest in decent kit.
Controls. So, as I’ve said I had (have) a full HOTAS system and a throttle quadrant. These have all worked well in DCS and Cliffs of Dover, not to mention IL2 1946 and earlier versions. So I have no idea why in Batle of Stalingrad it just will not retain the control settings. As a result I seem to end up reassigning controls every time I launch the game. This means I never get consistency in the controls and they’re a mess. I don’t have to do this with any of the other sims so when playing on the most recent of them all I don’t expect to have such problems.
To top it off I thought I would see how I got on now that I have the Thrustmaster Warthog, see the review, and see whether or not this would retain the commands. I never really got that far. I assigned all of the commands bu mt now BoS does not pick up my Track IR, at all. I’ve updated the software, updated the game lists, made the changes suggersted to the config file to recognise older Track IR version (I still use the 3 Pro). Nothing. Track IR is working fine in all other sims.
I have now fixed the Track IR issue after an uninstall/reinstall. No idea why it stopped working, there were many reports on the forums about it, but none of their solutions worked for me.
It just feels as though Battle of Stalingrad is out to frustrate me. It is determined not to work. There may be some light at the end of the tunnel for me in that they are updating the game to run on Direct X 11 and support VR, so I can use the Rift instead of Track IR, but after all the grief I have gone through with the game and the seemingly growing list of complaints I have with it I don’t know if even this would get me into the game. I really want to give it another go, but every time that I do it lets me down on something new. It’s not selling itself to me as a fun experience, all I seem to get from it is frustration and maybe the odd glimpse of what could be a fun way to spend an evening, if only it would work.