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Old 26-Mar-2012, 05:47   #26
Acert93
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So far I am pretty happy. They have 4 training tutorials that include torpedo bombing as well as dive bombing. You also get an opportunity to test out the gunner position. The only real complaint is that the air brakes is Dpad LEFT and Right Stick CLICK. You have to reduce speed to 30%, engage the air brakes, dive, release your bomb, release your air brakes, and climb. Not so bad except remembering 2 buttons for air brakes. Another little annoyance is how your throttle sometimes will increase when diving. Maybe realistic but I want it to stay put at, say, 50%.

On 4 player coop: You can use 4 player coop on (1) the Dynamic Campaign (essentially the campaign but branches depending on whether you win/lose I believe...?) (2) Customer Missions and (3) some of the Stand Alone missions. There quite a few conflict zones to fly in: Eastern and Western Europe, Malta, Hawaii, Guadal Canal, Wake Island, Midway, etc.

The campaign is essentially 3 parts: Part 1 training missions (4 missions), Part 2 is the US campaign in the Pacific (12 missions), and Part 3 is the Japanese campaign in the Pacific (10 missions). There are also 27 stand alone missions in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, and Pacific Theaters bringing the total missions to 53.

The Customer Mission Editor is super deep. You get to set where, when, weather, the exact sector of a theater, where friendlies/enemies are (e.g. front or rear, surrounded by friendlies or hostiles, etc), mission type (a large variety including defensive and offensive missions including all sorts of bombing and aerial combat), etc. You can set how many slots for players, what planes can be used, ditto wingmen, and then enemy fighters and bombers. I wish there were more slots for mixed fleets but oh well. As a side note, for Single Player play you need to make sure on the first series you set it to OFF LINE. If you select Private or Online you cannot start. Anyways the editor is very robust. There is pretty much no end to what sort of missions you can fly.

One side note, why flying level over open ocean it looks very realistic. When I was on a flight crew and not on shift I used to go to the rear and watch the ocean pass underneath. It was always so beautiful seeing the ocean, glint of the sun, waves, clouds, etc. Never got old. This game captures that very, very well with their lighting engine and clouds. And the ocean overall looks good and at times looks great. Aliasing and not-1080p are the only major visual hang ups. After that everything else is just about ramping up IQ (texture quality, slight increase to shadow resolution/filtering, etc). It is really hard to complain about things in this game. Accessible but HARD. The nice thing is the Simple Flying Model flows naturally into Realistic and Simulation. Same controls and same general feeling. Simple gives more visual aids on screen, offers less sway from using the rudder, and pretty much allows you to do tight turns without blacking out, makes stalling hard (you can but you have to try to stall), and you can do some maneuvers that would in Realistic/Sim result in tail spins. But Simple isn't an "arcade" mode. I have seen a couple complaints from people because it isn't which is unfair IMO, especially as they now allow the 3rd person camera and Virtual Cockpit in all flight models.

A nice feature is the ability to swap to the wingmen. Are you out of position? Switch to a wingman. Are you out of ammo or waiting for the unlimited ammo to "reload" (20-40 seconds)? Switch to a wingman. Thankfully it is a nice built in "difficulty" aid for when you are shot down or, ahem, run into debris of a shot down bomber... your mission is not terminated but instead you can change over to the wingman.

Gaijin has done a really good job of listening to user feedback concerning IL-2 S: Birds of Prey and addressed a LOT of the issues with the previous title (which was a good title; I didn't pick it up due to the lack of coop). Birds of Steel is Birds of Prey on Steroids. A GREAT example of a developer listening to consumers and making the right changes to the right things while leaving the core in place. The fact it is a discount title at $40 makes it a steal for anyone remotely interested in flying, combat or otherwise.
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Old 26-Mar-2012, 23:46   #27
Scott_Arm
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Tried to find it after work. No luck. Will have to try again tomorrow.
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Old 27-Mar-2012, 03:54   #28
Acert93
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You may need to do Amazon (I am linking because there are 2 entries, one is NOT an Amazon entry). I finished the American campaign the Americans win . Midway was just plain great. You have to make attack runs in an SBD against a carrier with no fighter cover as the fighters are covering your own carriers. There is easily 50+ planes in the air plus a ton of ships. The mission is pretty cool because you are tasked with using the sun to obscure you visually--if you don't AA fire rips you up. Once you land your bombs you have to escape which then entails using the tail gunner. The tail gunner set up is a LOT of fun. I could do that just for hours. My plan was sooo beat up coming home that I couldn't maneuver enough to land on the carrier... boom! It was pretty cool seeing how bullet hole riddled my wing was. One nice thing the devs did was once you do your objective you can basically ignore the next objective and continue fighting or bombing. I also did a Mt. Pass convoy mission called "Hunter" in the Stand Alone missions... yeah, hitting 10 lightly armored trucks going down a Guadal Island pass is freaking HARD!

One thing I don't like is the Warpoints and level unlocks. It is looking like passing the American campaign will get you through lvl 5 on Simple pretty easy which unlocks half the planes but I hate unlocks with a passion. Oh well, the game is really fun. And it is cool reviewing WWII history and learning new things.

I have not paid much attention yet but I guess on Simple your airframe has a set hit points but on Realistic and Sim vital components all have their own damage so the fuselage portion from the rear of the cockpit to the wings and the wings can take a lot of machine gun fire but your engine, fuel tanks, etc are more vulnerable. I guess the Zeros and American planes are different in that the American ones have self sealing fuel tanks.
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Old 27-Mar-2012, 20:45   #29
Vitaly Vidmirov
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To be fair, Birds of Steel is not a part of "il-2 sturmovick" series (even if it is a sequel)
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Old 27-Mar-2012, 21:05   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitaly Vidmirov View Post
To be fair, Birds of Steel is not a part of "il-2 sturmovick" series (even if it is a sequel)
I noticed that when I was looking for the game and checked the cover art. "Il-2 Sturmovick" is not featured on the cover title. Makes sense, since it is no longer predominantly an Eastern Front game. This one is basically a Pacific War title.
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Old 27-Mar-2012, 21:53   #31
Acert93
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I have updated the thread title.
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Old 27-Mar-2012, 22:30   #32
Scott_Arm
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No luck again today, but one store said to call them each of the next couple of days. They get them regularly and they sell out. Small numbers but still positive.
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Old 27-Mar-2012, 22:43   #33
Acert93
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Mods can you change the title to: Birds of Steel (awesome sequel to IL-2 Sturmovick: Birds of Prey, 360/PS3)

vB is not allowing me to do such. Thanks!

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"In games I don't like, there is no such thing as "tradeoffs," only "downgrades" or "lazy devs" or "bugs" or "design failures." Neither do tradeoffs exist in games I'm a rabid fan of, and just shut up if you're going to point them out." -- fearsomepirate
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Old 28-Mar-2012, 00:04   #34
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I've been a flight sim fan since the days of sublogic, microprose, and spectrum holobyte. Gaijin are obviously kindred spirits. I've gone out and purchased all their flight sims for the PS3 (Apache, IL-2, Birds of Steel) after being blown away by a demo of IL-2 Sturmovik. I feel like the flight sim market's so small on consoles that I need to personally fund them so they can continue to produce games of this ilk.
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Old 28-Mar-2012, 00:23   #35
Acert93
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Support them even more by getting the 360 version... so you can play with Scott and me

Btw, phat, that is the reason I bought it too. At $40 and being a great game in a genre I enjoy (but I am NOT hardcore) it was one of those, "I want to see this genre survive."
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"In games I don't like, there is no such thing as "tradeoffs," only "downgrades" or "lazy devs" or "bugs" or "design failures." Neither do tradeoffs exist in games I'm a rabid fan of, and just shut up if you're going to point them out." -- fearsomepirate
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Old 31-Mar-2012, 23:24   #36
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I like it. The community is really small, because I see the same gamertags over and over again, but that's ok. I seem to be pretty decent on the realistic setting. I shoot down more than I get shot down, and I'm averaging about 2 kills a round, which seems to be very respectable. There's a lot I can learn. Some of my approaches are probably bad. I stall my plane every once in a while. Simulator would probably be a rough experience for me.
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Old 03-Apr-2012, 02:39   #37
Acert93
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Star Thunder: Independence Day meets Pearl Harbor. I am thinking this may be an April Fool's joke but the date is wrong and ... anyways if this was BoS DLC I would buy it!
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