Back in 2012, Thirdwire fans awaited with baited breath the latest release of the Strike Fighters 2 series and what new goodies it would bring to everyone.
As it turned out the game was quite a departure from the previous four titles and wasn’t just the old engine with a new terrain and new objects. For most, many of the new features and changes added to the series and bought some hope for the future, whereas some features were less promising.
Starting off with the good points then..........
The game takes place primarily over Iceland with its cold war airbases such as Keflavik NAS and perhaps gives us a bit more options for Cold War scenarios than doing the South Atlantic (Falklands) which some may have thought the obvious choice.
The real Keflavik in real Iceland! (Wikipedia)
New with SF2NA came a bold new attempt at a more modern LOD based terrain engine utilising DX10 instead of the older DX9. The water looked amazing:
Iceland's man made shoreline!
And the runways are even shaped like the actual ones on Iceland instead of the generic bases from the previous four titles. More on this later……..
Fed up with the hot weather the RAAF decide to holiday in Iceland
For a fresh new start, new menu music, that wasn’t too bad actually – I never replaced it!
Yes I realise that is a post cold war shot!
With this release we got the first F-14A from Thirdwire, although this in itself was not ground breaking because there was a very good Mirage Factory F-14 set available as well. It was the Avionics this brought that was the big plus, including support for Active Radar missiles, and a TWS mode that could support multiple simultaneous shots. On the other hand Soviet bombers now came with a ton of anti-ship cruise missiles, jammers and countermeasures.
Catch us if you can!
Join the Navy
Okay so a load of new ships and weapons in this release………and not just a set of new objects, but new ways they could be used in game:
· Carrier groups and support groups in campaigns and single missions
· Static aircraft on decks
· Ships firing missiles and guns to shoot down cruise missiles and aircraft
· More roles for aircraft including AWACs and Naval recon
If you liked flying the TW A-4 then the TW F-14 is rather less agile and more difficult to fly in comparison
Here is a list of the new objects the games came with:
· CGN-36 California class Cruiser
· CVN-68 Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier
· Gearing FRAM IB class Destroyer
· Kashin class Destroyer
· Kiev class Aircraft Carrier
· Knox class Frigate
· Krivak I class Frigate
· Krivak II class Frigate
· LCC-19 Blue Ridge class Amphibious Command Ship
· LHA-1 Tarawa class Amphibious Assault Ship
· LPD-4 Austin class Amphibious Transport Dock
· Oliver Hazard Perry class Frigate
· Oliver Hazard Perry (82) class Frigate
· Spruance class Destroyer
· Spruance (82) class Destroyer
· AIM-54A Phoenix
· SA-N-3 Goblet (M-11 Shtorm) SAM
· SA-N-1B Goa SAM
· SA-N-4 Gecko SAM
· RIM-2F Terrier SAM
· RIM-7E/H Sea Sparrow SAM
· RIM-66B Standard SAM
· K10S (AS-2 Kipper) Cruise Missile
· KH22 (AS-4 Kitchen) Cruise Missile
· KSR5 (AS-6 Kingfish) Cruise Missile
Bears with Flares!
The Campaign and missions
A big change from the previous titles and perhaps more game like in some respects in the way it was essentially fleet verses fleet. The single missions were more limited due to engine changes and lack of relevant land based targets. If you like Naval intercept missions or ones where you attack the Soviet fleet then it should be right up your street.
F-4K - More challenging in the intercept role than the F-14
A-4G - Even more challenging!
New Aircraft with SF2 NA (Drool)
Grumman F-14A Tomcat
Grumman F-14A_77 Tomcat
Vought A-7E_74 Corsair II
Grumman A-6E Intruder (No Pit)
Grumman A-6E_79 Intruder (No Pit)
Grumman E-2C Hawkeye (No Pit)
Grumman EA-6B Prowler (No Pit)
Tu-16K-10-26 Badger C (No Pit)
Tu-16K-26 Badger G (No Pit)
Tu-16K-26_73 Badger G (No Pit)
Tu-16P Badger J (No Pit)
Tu-16P_72 Badger J (No Pit)
Tu-16RM-1 Badger D (No Pit)
Tu-22KD Blinder B (No Pit)
Tu-22M2 Backfire B (No Pit)
Tu-22M3 Backfire C (No Pit)
Tu-22PD Blinder E (No Pit)
Tu-22RD Blinder C (No Pit)
Tu-95RT Bear D (No Pit)
Yak-38 Forger A (No Pit
Yes the game can still be merged with the other 4 titles, expansion packs and DLCs! You may also find that a lot of my DLCs live in Iceland exclusively.
That is a Yak-38 Forger landing on the Kiev don't you know
Now lets look at some of the more controversial additions.
Mr AWACs controller
Rejoice for Red Crown woman has been replaced by Mr AWACs controller guy!
I don’t know how many were pleased to see the E-2 AWACs get blown out of the sky on a regular basis (or even shot it down yourselves) – if they were it was probably down to the guys somewhat laid back voice. How exactly Thirdwire managed to find or even consider using this guys voice for this role is known only to them but it was not on any kind of professional level.
Luckily there is a set of modded voice files to replace this blight on the series.
We really don't care about your situation.....
The Terrain Engine
Despite DX10 and gorgeous sea there were a few issues with the terrain which you could surmise were due to having to release the game earlier than expected.
· The frame rate was considerably worse.
· You needed DX10 capability to run it.
· The land was a barren wasteland with unrealistic looking terrain and coastlines – not befitting a sim or a game.
· The files for modding it were locked away so potentially no more 3rd party terrains. Whether Thirdwire intended to sell us future Terrain DLCs is still an unknown.
But the sea was nice.
Luckily the game still supported the older terrain format so Gerwin did put out an old format Iceland terrain and Stary put out some enhanced tiles that I use to this day without the new sea. This mod worked in DX9 and had far better frame rates all round.
Some related Mods: