So, I put up a post a few weeks ago about IL2 Battle of Stalingrad. It wasn’t very complimentary. I’ve had issues each time I have tried to run the game, some of them my hardware, some of them the game itself.
I have now fixed my biggest issue, getting Track IR 3 Pro to work. It took an uninstall and re-install to get things working again. However, now that it is working and I’ve been able to spend a little time on it I feel a little more able to write about it.
Externally it looks excellent. Compared to DCS and IL2 Cliffs of Dover the spotting of targets is far superior. Online for the first time last night I was able to spot both fighters and bombers at a good distance and be able to identify them – despite not being overly familiar with the Russian aircraft.
Internally not so happy with it, it’s ok. The dials are on readable the controls are all visible and the gunsights are clear. I still think that the cockpits look a bit too cartoony though. I can’t put my finger on what it is, but they don’t have the crispness of the cockpits in either Cliffs of Dover or DCS. The onle thing that I do like is something that always drew me to DCS, and it’s kind of daft really, the way the sunlight is shown through the canopy with the scratches and marks on the plexiglass. It looks excellent; it’s present in DCS and looks really good but it is not included in Cliffs of Dover.
The aircraft fly well, it has been said to me quite a lot that, there is a feeling of inertia when on the ground and in the air. The aircraft do all ‘feel’ different. I know in IL2 1946 aircraft handled differently, but there wasn’t really a ‘feel’ about it. I don’t have force feedback, but there is something about the perception in the sim that gives it a feeling.
These are definitely better than the current DCS versions (1.5 and 2.0). I know these are being worked on in DCS so this will not necessarily be a valid comparison in a few months or so (going to be more than two weeks!). However, the Russian aircraft seem to take a hell of a lot of damage – when you consider a lot of them used wood in the construction it’s odd. Also you see a lot of aircraft flying around for quite some time with smoke, vapour and fuel streaming out. The German/Italian aircraft seem to have their engines stop a lot quicker and they end up gliding down.
I had constant problems with this before. I was using my old CH Products stick, throttle and pedals -the quadrant was (and still is) no good for anything other than the switches. I still don’t like that controls like the landing gear have to be assigned to a button and not an axis, same for flaps, radiators etc. It’s still a backwards step in my book. It’s not the end of the world that the cockpit is not clickable. I don’t mind that really. I just want to be able to assign trim to a slider.
I am now able to get the assigned controls to stay each time the game exits, at least so far. However, I have still had issues when switching between aircraft. For example, my guns worked fine in the Mc.202 when I was flying last night, I moved over to the Bf109F-2 and suddenly I can not fire anything. It was armed, it had ammo, the buttons should be the same but nothing came out!
Maybe I was harsh on Battle of Stalingrad/Moscow in the last write up. However, I think the write up was justified given the issues that I have had with the sim. How much of it was down to the hardware I do no know, but it should not have mattered and I did try a range of things and set ups to try an get things working.
There is definitely an active Multiplayer community, I don’t follow the forums for BoS/M but I do follow the Facebook group. It would be good to see something along the lines of Storm of War in Battle of Stalingrad as there is more potential with the ground units and there are (effective) ground attack aircraft for both sides.
I’d like to get into BoS&M more, time is the problem though. I would recommend the add-on aircraft like the Fw190 and the Mc.202 – I definitely like the Mc.202!