Combat Air Patrol 2 v0.815.0 Release Notes
AGM-88 HARM MFD displays Flight model AGM-84 Harpoon Flight model SA-2 Smoke effects improved TrackIR, enabled Z rotation Star rendering brightness issue fixed, constellations are now recogniseable :) Mission Editor Fixed parsing issue when loading a user mission Added Satellite Imagery view Pan view uses mousewheel button Objectives displays include vehicle or location names if relevant Cameras Weapon Camera (F8) updated, travels with weapon till impact Impact & Launch Camera modes added (Enabled in Game Settings) Added 'interaction' with road vehicles - they can be blown up :) Improved terrain loader performance Fixed an issue with eject sequence Fixed a threading issue, reduced CPU use Fixed an issue with weapon water vs land impacts Fixed an issue with land vehicles not visible in VR non-pilot cameras Several Crash bugs fixed
After a few weeks spent with IL-2: Battle of Bodenplatte plus the intervening two years of development, I wanted to present to you my full review for IL-2: Battle of Bodenplatte.
This latest title is more evolution than revolution that iterates on the series while giving us some legendary aircraft to fly. I think the developers made the right choice picking a late war western front scenario and I think the features and iterative evolution of the series over these last two years have made the IL-2 series stronger than ever.
I hope you enjoy the review and I of course welcome others to share their own take on reviewing IL-2: Battle of Bodenplatte!
We wanted to drop you a round-up of what’s been happening with CAP2 development over the last few months. As you can see from the summary below, update pace is gaining momentum. This is due to continue as we bring you a run of smaller updates, focused on all aspects of aircraft AI.
We are excited about December as we finally start to bring the missions to life!
Current work is focused on all aspects of aircraft AI. This will improve things such as:
AI aircraft mission integration (taxiing, AI flight member roles)
AI airbase traffic
AI aircraft weapon deployment (AA & AG)
AI awareness of aircraft state (fuel, weapon state, radar, RWR)
This means for example, in a training mission you might see a tanker takeoff while your flight taxis to the runway. You takeoff, form up and hit training area targets line astern, refuel and return to base. Another example, for the Mach Loop you may be in a flight of four aircraft transiting the loop where you may be lead or following the flight leader.
We’ve dropped four patches over the past couple of months and the current version (v810.7) is now live across all branches (including VR).
Here’s Ed’s posts from the Steam community hub detailing what these these four patches included:
Terrain editor - We've completed a lot of background work on the terrain editor which means we can now rapidly improve areas of interest from the base imagery and OSM data. We intend to make the editor available in the future for people to customise and share terrains, together with a mission editor.
Training missions - We've used the improved editor to begin building the Yuma training missions. You may discover the newly populated target ranges.
Mission planner Improvements - We've fixed some of the issues with the mission planner and it also now shows elevation as well as coast line. You will see that the map now includes most of the UK and the Yuma Map extends up to the Grand Canyon. In the future we will also extend the satellite imagery and OSM data - either through DLC or a future update.
Easter Egg - Many players have now found this in the UK map, well done!
Richer environment - As you can see from the screenshot below of the Harrier leaving Khasab we have added thousands more buildings and lots of additional vegetation. You may be aware (and have contributed - thank you!) that this is done by adding more OpenStreetMap data. It's been done as an aside and hasn't impacted general development. Abu Musa and Kaneohe Bay are also now more significantly built up. We've also added a host of custom objects including power lines, lighthouses, water tanks, ATC towers, rigs etc.
Fuel Tanks - As you can also see from the screen above, the Harrier now has external fuel tanks, including associated fuel flow logic and displays, you’ll be able to mod them soon.
Terrain Lighting - We've added lighting to roads, runways, taxiways and buildings, illuminating villages and cities which really adds to immersion. In case you missed it here’s the promo from a few weeks ago showcasing this. You will also see that we’ve improved vegetation, adding different trees and increasing their density.
Cockpit illumination - As you can see from these before and after shots, the Harrier cockpit now has night illumination. It's easy to see dials/gauges around sunset. You can separately adjust the lighting intensity for self illuminated instruments and the cockpit floodlights. The full day/night cycle will come in a subsequent update. We've got a sky shader to complete which bounces a lot of rays through the atmosphere and produces great sunsets and sky throughout the 24hr cycle.
Mostly a bug fix build, notable changes include:
Controls: Control and shift on mapped control keys are now saved.
Controls: OEM keys are labelled correctly.
Controls: Added default mappings for keyboard, gamepad, joystick.
HARM: firing crash fixed.
HARM Mission: mission starts.
Terrain LOD: settings bug fixed. You can select Low, Medium, High, Ultra.
Flight model: fix for a drag calculation.
Time Of Day controls: added to adjust current time and environment lighting.
Added fixes for fullscreen monitor selection. When in fullscreen mode, changing the selected output monitor is immediate. Also the monitor label has an index added to distinguish between identically named monitors (generic pnp display...)
While working on default controls I realised none of the controller manufacturers seem to use the correct USB usage codes for controller buttons or axes/sliders which have a specific function. There are codes defined for controls such as throttle, chaff, flaps, trim etc. It'd be great if they used them where relevant as auto mapping a controller would be pretty simple. Anyway, I'm adding default settings for common controllers which will be included in coming updates. I've also begun work on the axis response curves UI.
The TOD/lighting controls are pretty cool. Give them a try, you'll probably find yourself constantly tweaking the light levels. Once the updated day/night sky shader is complete you'll be able to adjust the full 24hr cycle, plus advancing mission time will be added.
The terrain LOD settings fix/update improves the appearance of distant lights popping into view and fixes an issue where extra scenery was being drawn.
The debug keys for time shifting and cloud regeneration are available in Controls->Misc
You can accelerate time from 4x to /32 (decelerating 32x was useful for testing things like gear animations)
A crash on starting Hawaii free flight is fixed.
You can now add your own cockpit photo. There's a directory 'Mods - Examples' in the game folder which details how to add your photo.
Should you buy CAP2 now?
If you don’t yet own CAP2 obviously we’d love for you to join the crew. We encourage you to read the store page details carefully first, particularly with reference to what features are currently enabled so that you have the correct expectation from the current build.
If you are enjoying CAP2 we would appreciate a quick Steam review as it greatly increases visibility within the store.
Killerfish Games's PC version of its iOS WW2 naval simulation/wargame takes the high seas by storm!
I started playing PC games on a system with a 14" screen and an early Pentium, and I'm not about to go back there, so I watched with interest but from afar, when I saw Fred 'Heinkill' Williams's affectionate and very favourable SimHQ review for the iOS-based Atlantic Fleet. Sometimes, though, dreams do come true, it seems, for a PC port has just arrived, after the developers completed the work and updated the graphics for the new platform.
Since the release of Fighting Steel and Destroyer Command in the late 1990s, it's been a bit of a famine for WW2 naval simmers, broken recently by the arrival of the rather good Victory at Sea. Well, now we also have Atlantic Fleet, so it's time to cast off, put to sea again and enjoy the feast that's followed that famine. And Atlantic Fleet is indeed a veritable multi-course meal of a feast, for anyone who remotely fancies tugging on his (or her) virtual seaboots and taking to the high seas to fight out some of the classic sea battles and campaigns of World War 2. Your mission is to preserve, or sever, the vital sea-lanes which kept Britain fighting against Nazi Germany, bringing vital supplies of food, weapons and raw marterials of all kinds to the British Isles...or not, if the Kriegsmarine has its way...
Atlantic Fleet iOS was the sequel to Pacific Fleet, and while our US cousins might regret it, I for one am very happy that Killerfish decided to get their PC feet wet with a port of the more recent, more modern game. I was brought up on a happy diet of Airfix 1/600 warships from the same theatre and the great little Eagle 1/1200 kits, released in themed sets like the Battle of Narvik, complete with accounts and maps of the relevant action. I soaked up films like Battle of the River Plate and Sink the Bismarck!, and later Ludovic Kennedy's excellent BBC TV documentaries on WW2 warships and battles - his later, excellent book Pursuit - the sinking of the Bismarck is on my desk as I type this. It was probably in the 1960s BBC documentary series The Valiant Years that I first heard Winston Churchill's famous observation that '...the only thing that ever really frightened me during the war was the U-boat peril'. Of course, while he was talking about the submarine threat to the supplies that kept Britain alive and in the fight, for much of the war the Kriegsmarine's surface units were also part of the threat that so concerned the great British war leader. And the air power of both sides played an important role. One of the joys of Atlantic Fleet is that when you step back into those dark and dangerous days, you can re-fight the Battle of the Atlantic and its most famous historical actions on, above or below the waves.
Installation and features
At time of writing, Atlantic Fleet is distributed via Steam - at a mere £6.99 Sterling. As we will see, for a game with high production values, engaging gameplay and an historical depth and coverage that would put many a full-price simulation in the shade, if not to shame, this is a very considerable bargain, to put it mildly.
I gather there are no plans to offer a different distribution channel and while I prefer the 'good old days' of standalone game installation, I have had no bother at all with any of the excellent Steam-based games I have purchased (Victory at Sea, Wargame: European Escalation and Wargame: AirLand Battle being the others) and would not consider passing up on a good game merely because of that.
I must start with Atlantic Fleet's high production values - these you will see from the moment the game loads. Here's the main menu screen. The ship seen here is the famous German battlecruiser Scharnhorst,* lost fighting against the odds at the Battle of the North Cape - which you can re-fight in Atlantic Fleet. Scharnhorst's brave showing prompted Admiral Fraser in Duke of York to say afterwards to his officers "Gentlemen, the battle against Scharnhorst has ended in victory for us. I hope that if any of you are ever called upon to lead a ship into action against an opponent many times superior, you will command your ship as gallantly as Scharnhorst was commanded today". Such is the world of steel ships and iron men that Atlantic Fleet re-creates for us. But I digress...can't help it, I feel the hand of history on my shoulder, as TCB once said.
*...and yes, before you start posting corrections, I know the ship above is actually a Hipper class heavy cruiser - Prinz Eugen, probably - not Scharnhorst, but I couldn't resist the quote above and don't have a menu pic of Scharnhorst, to hand .
The point is, it looks great, it's animated, with camera pivoting around the ship, and there's a different ship each time. See, here's another menu shot, and this time, it's one of the big German destroyers, several variations of which appear in the game:
Atlantic Fleet is single-player only, so you will not find here any way to blow up anything other than an entirely virtual foe-man. You do, however, get a sombre but really effective musical theme to accompany the menu, and you can have music in-game, too.
Taking the menu options from the top, first there is 'Training Missions'. These missions are actually rather useful, and a good way of ensuring that it is the enemy who ends up like this, and not you:
And again yes, you heard right, you can drop the camera below the waves, to get this view, complete with rather scary grinding and booming ship sinking sounds;
As for those training missions, which will hopefully reduce the frequency with which your own ships feature in such scenes, here's what you get. Again it's nicely presented, with good artwork and a clean, crisp interface. I did mention the high production values, didn't I?
Here's the intro screen for the torpedo training mission. I really like Atlantic Fleet's artwork and the general design:
Load the mission and you get a little scenario, here a Royal Navy destroyer steaming alongside a hapless German merchantman. You click your way through a series of topic boxes, to learn the lesson. You can toggle the topic box on and off, for a better view. They each do a very good job of taking you through the relevant drill.
This is where you may first get to see the Atlantic Fleet mode of gameplay, and its most prominent feature is that it is turn-based, like a wargame. The sequence is: You move-You shoot-The enemy moves-The enemy shoots. We'll see how this works in more detail, later. Continuous gameplay would be better, and certainly more simulation-like, but it is what it is, and I soon got quite comfortable with it.
Jumping ahead to the last menu option, we come to 'Options/Help', and here's what you get:
As the menu title suggests, some of the things listed on the right of the screen above are options screens, others are help. The 'home' screen, above, lets you tweak various gameplay and difficulty options, as you can see. The 'Default controls' screen lets you re-map keyboard commands, like this...
...while the 'Damage Report' is a help option and looks like this:
I find it all very well-presented and impressively thorough, very well up to the standards of PC sims and better than many I've seen, including the very best.
My main interest in a WW2 naval sim or game is the ability to re-fight historical or hypothetical battles, and it's that option we will look at next. Here, we will see how Atlantic Fleet's gameplay comes together, when the shells, torpedoes and bombs start flying.
...to be continued!
Brought to you by Sim155 Ltd, Combat Air Patrol 2 (CAP2) is a flight and naval combat simulator game for PC (Steam/Windows) where you pilot the AV-8B Harrier II. The trailer above is in-game footage.
The AV-8B Harrier II is a battle proven powerhouse of the US air force. With its history, iconic look and it’s ability to hover and land vertically it requires no explanation as to why it has become a widely used military aircraft and trusted by scores of highly trained pilots. Here is your chance to become one of those pilots!
Might be worth getting some more info on this before deciding to back.