IL-2 Sturmovik Series: Complete Edition

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a game by Ubisoft
Platform: PC
User Rating: 9.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: Airplane Games
IL-2 Sturmovik Series: Complete Edition
IL-2 Sturmovik Series: Complete Edition
IL-2 Sturmovik Series: Complete Edition
IL-2 Sturmovik Series: Complete Edition

Unless The Man lied to me, my granddad fought in World War II. He fought, as many Irish people did, for the British Forces in Africa. He manned, as many soldiers did, artillery. He was captured, as many soldiers were, by Nazis, and imprisoned in a prison camp for a short while. He smoked all his life, died of natural causes at the age of something in the very high 90s, and he reminded me of the 'very, very drunk' old man from The Fast Show. I have his eyebrows, not his actual ones, I'm talking about genetics - and at some point in his life I'm sure he saw an operational WWII fighter plane.

And that's my tenuous link to IL-2 Sturmovik Series: Complete Edition, a compilation of the original IL-2 Sturmovik game, plus every ounce of content that has dripped from it's historical orifice subsequently. Forgotten Battles, the all make an appearance on the DVD, and combine to create the most comprehensive and enjoyable World War II fighter simulation you could imagine.

A typical mission sees you start at the end of a runway, sitting silently n your fully-3D cockpit. You hear the listant clicks of your wingmen's engines coming to life, before scrambling for the manual and finding out how to do the same yourself.

Graphically, IL-2 Sturmovik is still npressive. You can look about the ockpit at any time, which in a functional ense allows you to scan the horizon for nemy planes; and in an aesthetic sense, eminds you that you're 2,OOOft above he snowy Russian plains in a 1,680-orsepower cannon with wings. What's tore, tiny details in the cockpits of older danes such as tears in the leather seats, dents, scratches and peeling paint all nail down that sense of realism.

Canine Combat

Once airborne, missions (and maybe your desire to play 'properly') expect you to keep formation, but never punish you for taking on objectives yourself. Gentle adjustments of engine power, slight movements of the joystick, memories of shows you saw on the History Channel -all of these keep you zooming through the sky at 300kmph in a vague sense of peace. The drone of each engine is recreated perfectly in the fantastic sound engine, with Doppler effects, distance muffling and sine waves all being calculated with dramatic effect. You see, even the boring parts of being a WWII fighter pilot become special in this game.

Then you spot them. The Allies, the Russians, the Luftwaffe, whoever you've been sent out to kill. IL-2 Sturmovik's realism will come as a sharp slap in the face to fans of arcade-equivalents such as Secret Weapons Over Normandy or Blazing Angels: Squadrons Of WWII.

You have extremely limited ammunition and a very fragile plane. The only chance you have of coming out of a dogfight as victor is to get as close to your foe as possible, staying on his tail until you're sure every round of the singlesecond burst of machine gun fire waiting under your thumb will hit its target At any moment, seven or so bullet-holes may spatter across your plane from an unseen gunner, your cockpit window may become peppered with bullet-holes, you may lose an aileron and damage your fuel tank. IL-2's dynamic damage system alters the flight model, meaning you're piloting a wavering time-bomb, a black streak of flaming aerodynamic metal shooting through the sky. You eject, hopefully in one, unflaming piece.

No other WWII flight sim can boast such a comprehensive experience. The expansions up the plane count to over 200 (including the amazing Go 229 German flying wing bomber and their other forays into jet technology), and online play is available for up to 128 players on 29 maps. This is as good as WWII simulation gets, and if you even have a passing interest in the ramblings of an old veteran with false teeth who deliberately took them out to scare me, then you need to play this.

Download IL-2 Sturmovik Series: Complete Edition

PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

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