Realistic flight sims are extremely rare on consoles... and I'm afraid that IL-2 Sturmovik is no exception. Authenticity and realism take a back seat to accessibility and good old fashioned cinematic fun, but it's still a great way of getting your flight sim thrills on a next gen system. Based on the air battles of the Eastern Front, you'll find a surprisingly deep selection of planes and missions to engage in with some impressive graphics to boot. Scramble!
IL2 Sturmovik has proved to be an extremely stubborn little game. So far, only a short-lived Play sale and Tesco's one-shot FTSL 15-1 voucher code have provided a sure-fire way of getting a copy for less than £20... but ShopTo are now retailing for £16.85. This will only save you a few pennies compared to Tesco Entertainment's FTSL 15-1 price, but this way, you get to save the v0ucher code for something special and save 3-4 quid into the bargain.
Named after the infamous Soviet ground attack fighter, Il2 Sturmovik delivers an uncompromising and authentic World War 2 combat flight simulation experience. You'll fly a selection of fighters around six major theatres of war (including The Battle of Britain and Berlin), whilst enjoying some impressive graphics and atmospheric visual effects. Damage models are especially convincing- and are great to see considering that most flight sims just add some cosmetic smoke and flames as planes take damage.
The only real problem is that of challenge. The difficulty curve teeters uncomfortably between insanely tough and ludicrously easy, since Gaijin Entertainment have slightly overcompensated on player assists to facilitate the shift from PCs to consoles. Having said that, I almost always prefer fun to realism in my simulations... unless mechs are involved. Give me Steel Battalion any day. Back on topic, IL2 makes up for it with a deeply enjoyable Arcade mode and well-featured multiplayer options.
Basically, IL2 is generally considered to be one of the finest console WW2 sims out there. Casual gamers should stay away- but flight fans should seriously consider snaffling up a copy.
Combat flight sim game IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey has dropped in price only very slowly since its release in summer last year. It's still very rare to see it for less than £25 but if you use a promotional code you can get it from Tesco Entertainment for just £17 which gives you a pretty awesome saving. The next best price is £24.98 from Gameplay, Gamestation, Game and possibly a few others so you stand to save at least around £8!
To get the game for just £17, you need to use the ubiquitous Tesco voucher code that's been doing the rounds. In case it hasn't been indelibly drummed into your head by now, the code is: FTSL15-1.
The game is a depiction of World War II aircraft combat. The main, single player, campaign sees players take on the role of the allies, flying against the Axis, while multiplayer modes allow you to select either faction. You'll make your way across the skies of Europe in battles which range from Stalingrad to Berlin to the Battle of Britain.
The graphics are pretty much fantastic, from the perfectly designed aircraft and the realistic damage they take, to the skies which you will fly them through. While there's not much of a narrative to keep your mind engaged, the combat is a lot of fun and cleverly caters equally for newcomers and flight sim veterans. It would have been nice to see a wider selection of planes and less repetitive missions but overall this is probably the best WWII simulator you're likely to get anytime soon and well worth a try if you like that sort of thing.
Thank to Worfthedog at Hotukdeals!
If you've had enough of high tech computer guided missiles taking the challenge out of air to air combat then Play are offering IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds Of Prey for just £18. IL-2 Birds of Prey takes players back to WW2 to dogfight with cannons or attack ground targets with unguided bombs.
Unlike previous IL-2 games on the PC, Birds of Prey takes a more "arcadey" approach making it easier for those new to air combat games to hop into the cockpit and start taking down enemy planes with unlimited ammo, no stalls and assisted targetting. The game also offers more settings with less assists leading to a cockpit only view mode, no radar, limited ammunition and less forgiving handling. While the basic gameplay mechanic is solid the game does suffer from a reasonably short single player and a lack of variety.
If looking for more precision than the control pad can offer, the Saitek AV8R is now available for the 360 which supports IL-2 Birds of Prey. For the times you want to tear through the skies in a supersonic stealthed fighter that can carry a few hundred guided missiles the Av8r also support Ace Combat 6 and Tom Clancy: Hawx.