IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad, was kind of rescued from demise by 777 Studios, the guys who made Rise of Flight. The Rise of Flight franchise has the ingredient I hate the most in my simulators: optional DLCs. And sure enough you can see 777's marking in the two IL-2 Sturmovik editions now featured at Steam. But I am digressing.
I bought the Steam version of IL-2 Battle of Stalingrad and it is awesome to be back in the saddle of the Sturmovik!
It is a development version with very little single player content, as it has become the new custom for many genres I like. But it was refreshing to see that the hardcore aspects of IL-2 have been maintained and improved.
|The briefing of one of the 3 single player missions available. The red icons are the targets (enemy armor, mechanized forces and their support weapons) and represent just approximate positions.|
|Taking off from my airbase. One eye on the ground, the other on the compass. There are no map icons showing my updated position, the snow storm hampers the visibility. Great navigational challenge.|
|The cockpit of the IL-2 is simple enough for a newbie. I have those cyrillic characters so ingrained after the many years of flying the original IL-2.|
|Everything is so white! Note the ice floating in the river below. This river offers a great navigational aid, so it is best to fly low to note the difference between ice and snow.|
|Bingo! The crossing over the Donets river (lower left, the bridge is blurred by the movement) ... The area of interest should be to the west (right).|
|All I could see in the ground are friendly forces (tank and AT guns on the sides of the road below), no sign of the enemy.|
|I tried my best to navigate back towards my home plate, but ran out of fuel. I had to drop all my bombs and rockets before crash landing.|
|Physics and damage models will always be IL-2's best aspect. In this screenshot, I am revving up my engine to avoid those trees (colliding with them is devastating).|
|A careful approach and descent and I am on the ground with an intact aircraft.|
The sim is allegedly 70% complete and making steady progress. On the meantime, it is good to be back flying in the eastern front.
Bonus screenshots. Ground units I didn't get a chance to spot during my mission.