Sunday, November 1, 2015

DCS Black Shark 2: Republic Campaign

DCS Black Shark 2: Republic Campaign
Published by: Eagle Dynamics
US $9.99 Download

A DCS World 1.5-only campaign DLC with 20 missions for DCS Black Shark 2.

The Republic Campaign is a playable-content only (i.e. no new aircraft or weapons are included) set of 18 or 20 missions brought together in a non-linear campaign in which the player pilots a Ka-50 attack helicopter.

The story line is of a mercenary pilot who flies for the "Republic" which is starting to receive assistance from the powerful northern neighbors. The story sounds pretty much like a campaign played from a separatist Abkhazian side, with support from Russia. The awesome supply of anti-tank Vikhr missiles during the first missions at least makes it kind of obvious that a powerful big brother is indulging the budding Republic's war materials needs.

The campaign puts the player in a very small war (own and enemy forces are scraps of full-sized regiments/brigades) and that's part of the charm of the offering.

There are plenty of recorded voice-overs (a very sought after thing by DCS pros, who knew!) and some of the radio traffic is close captioned. Many missions are CAS and the FACs do not have the means for relaying targets via the datalink. I had to help myself to find out the targets in such missions, always under the stress of not starting a friendly fire incident. The lack of specific arrangements for CAS requests by ground based FACs is realistic for the Ka-50, by the way.

As mentioned above, the Republic campaign can be played only the (still in beta) DCS World version 1.5. So, no luck for those still reluctant to install the shiny new beta 1.5. The new eye candy included in version 1.5 should be a reason enough to make the upgrade. I don't think that this campaign offers a reason enough to endure the 1.5 beta download if that is what is stopping you.

The Republic campaign is a high quality DLC that is worth much more than the meager $10 that is being sold for. I am always eager to have more scenarios to play in DCS World and if it is for the Black Shark, even more.

As a totally aside point, Eagle Dynamics is seemingly moving into the direction of eye candy and steady releases of payable content at the expense of their original vision of a digital battlefield. There are way too many partnerships with third party developers that diluted such vision with aircrafts, many of them still in beta status, that are totally irrelevant to the only (!) theater of operations. The more the merrier, they say, and it may be true if monthly new beta aircraft rock your world. But I am mortified to see that you can't collide with trees, that the AI can see through them, that I can't have a Ka-27 to datalink targets to my Ka-50 ... I don't want a new trainer aircraft to fly acrobatics, I want a highly detailed fighter jet to fight a war.



Grizzly said...

"I don't want a new trainer aircraft to fly acrobatics, I want a highly detailed fighter jet to fight a war."

Could not agree more.
And they should focus on one thing at a time instead of 5 different theaters with non-matching planes in a random order.

GH65 said...

Completely disagree with your last paragraph. The reason third party developers have been developing those "trainers" and such is to become acquainted with the DCS code. They are learning how to work with it and what can be done with it. Babies must take small steps before they learn to walk and run, correct? These simple aircraft are the first "baby steps" in the bigger scheme of things. The same goes for the map makers. Also, they (third party) developers are not going to tackle the more complex issues and features until the actual base game can offer them those features in the code. The release of 1.5 in open beta is a signal and sign that this simulation has now crossed into a more promising future. As these third party developers continue to learn and develop their skills with the code base and as ED continues to add more features and capabilities to base code, you will see more theaters to fly in, better aircraft with multi-radar capabilities etc. (ex F/A-18C), F-14A/B etc., better ATC. Only the sky and "time" will be the the limit. It is going to be fun again in the virtual skies.

JC said...

GH65, unless you can prove it, I will continue to disagree with you. The virtual combat part has started lagging behind everything else.

I still have that absolute turd of the Hawk stuck in my hard drive, which it doesn't even trim properly. Is that code for modeling simple flight control surfaces too complex or something?

I am a virtual combat pilot who needs soul-eating sex with a mistress, not a kiss with a college sweetheart.

I really want Eagle Dynamics to succeed. But the DCS World is aiming towards X-Plane or MSFlight Simulator.


Grizzly said...

"The reason third party developers have been developing those "trainers" and such is to become acquainted with the DCS code"

I see. Like Belsimtek decided to start with a pretty serious and complicated MiG-21?

GH65 said...


Virtual combat lagging behind? I have not experienced this. Have you not seen the changes in the update logs, specifically those pertaining to combat with AI and missile weaponry? The combat has been superb IMHO, depending on who you play with and how good the mission editor is utilized. Come fly with us and see for yourself. We fly Tuesday and/or Wednesday nights. You will experience carnal combat. ;)

Regarding the "Hawk." Can't really speak to that because that is one of the few modules I do not own. Some third party developers will undoubtedly not make the grade and ED will have to learn to weed them out better. Again, I don't know specifics of "Hawk" developer and/or whether they will fix their product. Let us hope so. I have been very happy with the modules I've bought and they keep getting improved with new features.


Belsimtek did not produce the Mig-21, that was Leatherneck, the same people who will be providing us with the F-14A/B and some secret airplane to be announced later this year. Some Third Party developers will be made up of real pros, others may not be as good in utilizing the DCS code. Obviously Leatherneck and Belsimtek have their shit together. Can't really speak to "Hawk" developer's issues.

JC said...

Hi GH65,

Carnal combat! :) Love that reply line.

What's your unit/group?

When I say lagging I refer to those things like trees and loopholes in combat features (like the Ka- to Ka- datalink ...

The Hawk is a freaking mess. Stay away from it as long as you can.


GH65 said...


Not a specific unit, just a loose knit group of older guys (only two of us right now but we are open to people joining us with a mature attitude) who get together every week and fly various modules and missions in DCS 1.2, we are waiting for 2.0 before we transfer to that. Our missions are two parts, first part is us usually practicing formation take-offs, formation training including tactical combat formations, air-to-air refueling, comms with one another etc. Second part is us then moving to AO and fighting the AI. Missions are highly randomized so each time it plays out differently to make it exciting and unpredictable. The goal is to practice, practice, practice to get us working as a superb team in order to prepare for the organized battles in multiplayer when DCS 2.0 comes out.

Lately we've been learning the Sabre and how it performs against the Mig-15, we've also been flying the Huey and Su-27. We try to play as real as we can but also make sure everyone has fun. Serious fun like Shack Tactical in ARMA 3. :)

Here are some YouTube videos of us in multiplayer: There are more you can view on my YouTube page.

If interested, come try us out, you might like it. Let me know. We are actually meeting tonight for a flight.

Regarding your reference to "lagging;: I thought I had read and heard somewhere that trees would be collidable in 2.0. So I went searching for some official quote and found one just one month old.

Quote from FAQ on NTTR and DCS 2.0:
I heard we can crash into trees now?
Yes, trees are collidable (not for the Black Sea Map), as with many features in 1.5/2.0 these are always a WIP, trees in urban areas can be hit, but larger forests out in the wilds may not be yet. Depending on performance and such, will determine if and when these get added. Right now only the trunk is collidable, this means the AI can see through most of the tree, and weapons may pass through a tree if they dont hit the trunk, again this is a WIP and its known how important this is.

**EDIT: As of 9/16/2015 forest have now been given the ability to ruin your day, look out for all the trees now. Unquote:

So trees will be collidable, just not in the Black Sea map.