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.