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Found 18 results

  1. The Single Player campaign The SP campaign is nicely tied into the historical battle. When you kick it off, you get a campaign selection screen; this lists only Stalingrad but the fact there is such a screen suggests other campaigns could be added later. Having selected the campaign itself, you get this screen. From it, you can see that BoS divides the battle into 'Chapters' (which though not totally sequential, historically, could have been more militarily termed 'phases'). You must make a certain amount of progress in each Chapter, before you can move on to the next. However, you can continue to fly missions in completed chapters, even after you have moved on. Each Chapter has an introductory video. These consist of an historical summary narrated as a voiceover to a highly-stylised animated representation. I'd have preferred the more conventional historical newsreels here, but hey, you can't please everybody. Having started the Chapter 'Prelude to Counter-Offensive', you're invited to 'Choose [a] mission' from a map which shows that the 6th Army has pushed a salient into the Soviet lines, occupying all but the eastern fringes of Stalingrad itself. This corresponds to the operational situation just before 6th Army was trapped in the city by Operation Uranus. The attention to the historical detail here I find most immersive. Even if, like me, you're not a particular student of operations on the Eastern Front, to see a well-researched map with the positions of each side's armies and divisions marked out helps draw you back in time, as you look at an authentic military representation of the battlefield at the start of a momentous campaign. You're prompted to click on an airbase, to begin. But most bases are either inactive map markers or greyed out. In fact, at this point, you're in training, and you can only start at one airfield, flying one type of plane, and on one type of mission. Click on the only 'unlocked' airfield - Rakhinka - and all is revealed, step by step. Your aircraft is a LaGG-3, a neat but somewhat underpowered Soviet machine which realised its full potential only when given a big radial, becoming the La-5. Below is the campaign 'Select mission template' screen, illustrating the different options and the range of available campaign missions. Let's run through the options, starting with 'Duration'. A 'Short' mission - note the clock icon - is an air start, requiring you only to fly from a starting or entry waypoint, on to the mission objective area, and then to a finish or egress waypoint. A 'Full' mission includes the same basic sequence but starts you on the airfield, requiring you to fly to the entry waypoint and from the egress waypoint, fly back to the airfield and land. You get fewer 'experience points' for flying 'Short' missions, incidentally. The 'Difficulty' options enables you to have, or to dispense with, Complex Engine Management and in-flight markers or aids - though in 'Normal' mode, which was my choice, you can hide these visual aids, in-game. Below that, you can see the types of mission available. For your very first sortie, you are restricted to a 'Short' (air start) duration and have only to fly two legs, from entry waypoint to objective waypoint, and then from objective waypoint to egress waypoint. You only find out that this is a training mission when you start it and after the mission has loaded, see the full mission 'Briefing' map, as in this one: Here's a shot taken in-mission, with the visual aids turned on. It's nice to see that my LaGG now has a winter scheme, with moderately-weathered temporary 'whitewash' finish. I'll now run through all the mission result screens you get, when you complete this first, simple mission. I'm devoting all this space to these screens because they neatly illustrate just how the Single Player campaign progression/unlocks/experience points thing works, in practice. First, you get this, which is self-explanatory... ...then come these screens, showing you how many 'experience points' you have been awarded and how far you are, on your way to the next 'Level' of pilot... Next comes this, telling you that your 'EXP' has unlocked some goodies, in this case a 23mm cannon: Even though you haven't made 'Level 2 pilot' yet, mission completion has earned you a 'Young Pilot Certificate', which I'm sure is fictitious but sounds corny enough to have been real in the 'socialist paradise' that was the 1940's USSR. Finally, here's the mission results summary. I believe the 'In service' factor is a modifier, in this case giving me 100% of the earned points as I'm still 'In service' - alive and un-hospitalised as the conclusion of the mission, at a guess. What can I say? Not a pilot persona in sight; no option to join an historical squadron; no logbook. Not quite what most of us would expect from a combat flight sim, what with pilot 'levels' and unlocking stuff. CFS3 awarded not-dissimilar 'prestige points' which affected some pilot skills but at least there were no unlocks (apart from new planes arriving on their service entry dates) and you had a pilot persona, although you could not directly choose his squadron and the campaign itself was in an alternative WW2 universe where German shipping sailed the English Channel in daylight. This isn't what I'd have preferred and I hope that we will at some point get something like a Rise of Flight-style 'beta Career' and/or a Pat Wilson-style campaign generator. At the very least, I think we can certainly expect a more conventional approach from themed sets of single missions, built using the upcoming Full Mission Builder, so far just open to a few but at some point, to be on general release. I have to say that - unconventional though it is - I find the current BoS approach is in most respects both neatly designed and well executed. For example, the 'Select mission template' screen is liberally provided with on-screen tips, which guide you through the setup process. I'm not saying I like it, mind, but I can't help but admire the execution. Some players may actually favor the radical BoS take on delivering a Single Player campaign experience. It did actually get some votes in a developer poll, though many more wanted it either taken away or made by-passable. Anyway...subsequent training missions expand your repertoire, taking you on ground attack and intercept sorties and introducing full duration, ground start missions. Like beating up this convoy of Open Blitz trucks, complete with Hollywood-style German crosses on the doors. This driver made a run for it but he'll be needing a new truck, as well as a change of underwear, most likely. ...to be continued!
  2. The environment, the options and Quick Missions The BoS 'map' covers what you'd expect - Stalingrad itself and a large swathe of the area around it, especially to the west, where the Soviet pincers struck. You can see the area covered by the map in the Quick Mission setup screen below. Stalingrad itself is centre right, in the great bend of the River Volga. The ground left of that is the area between the bends in the Volga and the Don, where the Soviet counterattacks came in. First in late November 1942 was Operation Uranus, when attacks from north and south trapped 6th Army. Then in mid-December, Operation Little Saturn, an even bigger pincer attack further to the west, threatened to destroy the whole German Army Group in the south. There's only one seasonal variation - snowbound/frozen in, which suits the later part of the battle, from about the time of the Soviet counterstrokes. The snowbound look is well done though a bit pristine. The overall effect is extremely bland and an autumnal variation would be very welcome. The city itself I find quite well done, complete with plumes of smoke from major fires. The ruins are a bit two-dimensional but maybe that's what we should we expect from ruined buildings, with the rubble itself covered by...you guessed it, snow. Here's how Stalingrad itself looks on the map, zoomed in. To the west of the city you can see the airfields of Gumrak and Pitomnik, which were the main bases for landing supplies and evacuating the wounded from the pocket, after Stalingrad was surrounded. This screenshot is from the in-flight, full-screen version of the mission map. If you compare BoS's Stalingrad 'in game' with battle maps or wartime aerial photographs, you can pick out most or all of the main landmarks in BoS, like the big factories such as the Barrikady, the heights immediately west of central Stalingrad at Mamayev Kurgan, Tsaritsa Gorge and the 'tennis racquet' railway loop around the Lazur plant, as seen below, 'in game' and for real. If anything, the real place looks more bland than the sim version at the point the recce photo was snapped, by which time the site appears to have been basically leveled and perhaps the rubble cleared. The bluffs on the western bank of the Volga, which provided some shelter in dead ground for the last pockets of Soviet defenders as the Germans closed in, are also well represented. Incidentally, the current edition of 'After the Battle' magazine, issue 166, is a 'special' on Stalingrad with lots of 'then and now' photos and a good annotated map of the city. BoS's airfields are a bit sparsely endowed with ground objects (my medium settings may not help here!) but the more famous landing grounds appear to be there, with many others. The generally snowbound look - even the rivers are frozen - makes it quite difficult to pick up landmarks, though perhaps that is, again, more or less what we should expect for the barren steppes of southern Russia in the winter of 1942-43. In fact, BoS already includes two additional, smaller maps, which are usable in Quick Missions. Both feature snowbound, Eastern Front terrain. First there's Novosokolniki, which Google tells me is near Leningrad/St Petersburg, and is rather more wooded than the Stalingrad area: The other map is called Lapino. I believe the map is a fictional one, representing 'somewhere in the Soviet Union', though there appear to be several places called Lapino in Russia, including just west of Moscow. Settings, options and performance Here's main menu again, listing the top-level options available. If you start BoS offline, without connecting to the 'net, the options for Campaign and Multiplayer are not displayed. I like the design of the BoS menu system; it's modern, clear and crisp. From the Graphics sub-option, you are presented with four graphics presets - Ultra, High, Balanced and Low. You don't have the ability (as in RoF, for example) to tweak features individually. This has provoked some complaints but I don't find it an issue. To be honest, I didn't notice a big visual difference between 'Balanced' and 'Ultra', except that the ground objects appeared to be rendered in detail further out. But that's based on a brief foray, with the FPS hit quickly quelling my curiosity. Performance at 'Balanced' on my 2.33 Ghz Quad Core and 1Gb 250 GTS is acceptable, but for a bit of a slow-down flying through or very close to the big plumes of smoke usually seen at Stalingrad. BoS allows reassignment of keyboard and joystick button commands via an interface similar to Rise of Flight's. However, unless I've missed it, you can't set up 'response curves' to fine tune your joystick, the way you could in the earlier sim. Quick Missions If you select 'Quick Mission', you get a setup screen very much like RoF's, enabling you to choose your aircraft, numbers, skill levels, location, time of day, starting height, weather and enemies (or none, for a 'free flight' option). This is where you may first encounter the difficulty/realism presets: three of them, 'Normal', 'Expert' and 'Custom'. I fly in the latter mode as I don't care for the 'Complex Engine Management' that seems to be the main feature of 'Expert' mode but don't want all the elements of 'Normal'. Here's what you can tinker with, if you chose the 'Custom' difficulty option. As with RoF, 'Allow spectators' is the quaint term for permitting an external view. Here I am in the Yak-1 with some of the visual aids turned on, via the 'Custom' option; and third down, in the 109F, with the 'minimap' zoomed in. You can clear the screen of all this at the press of a single key ('H') and have the 'minimap' itself, on or off, zoomed in or out ('M' key cycles through modes). From what I've seen when using the icons - and assuming distances are in metres even though my 'HUD' instrument display is in Imperial units - even against a clear sky background, fighters aren't visible at much over 5 kilometres, which is rather close. I don't know if aircraft visibility/rendering distances are affected by graphics presets. If they are, then this is a setting that it would be good to be able to tweak, outside of the presets. The 'O' key will bring up a full screen briefing with (non-mini-) map - as seen in the screenshot below. This is actually taken from one of the included 'pre-built' missions, not a Quick Mission. My task here is to lead another 109, escorting six Stukas from Pitomnik in an attack up on the north-eastern perimeter of the pocket. You can clear the text briefing panel from the map, for a clearer view. Quick Missions is where you may also first come across the 'unlocks' which have generated much of the controversy surrounding BoS's release. For each plane, there are loadout options, plus some extra 'skins', all displayed with a 'locked' symbol. The 'skins' and equipment options for the 109G2 are shown in the pics below. Some of these 'skins' are from other fronts or theatres of war. At least the 'skins' - when you can get at them - have the unit and individual markings that the standard ones lack. I gather than BoS doesn't support IL-2-style 'decals' to give different planes in your flight different numbers, squadron codes or other distinctive markings. Neither skins nor the equipment options - like 20mm underwing gunpods for the Gustav above - can be selected, until you have 'earned' them by gaining 'experience points' (XP). You can gain XP only through flying - and achieving pre-set minimum mission goals in - the Single Player campaign - even to unlock stuff for Quick Missions or Multiplayer! This approach may be what the developers had in mind, when they referred in the release announcement to incorporating 'the best features of other genres'. But - I think predictably - this has proved unpopular with players - myself included. MP folk in particular fail to see why they should have to play through much of the SP campaign, to be able to access these features. The concept of additional stores or weapons being in limited supply, or better pilots being given certain types of better kit (or a choice thereof) first, isn't inherently bad. And as the developers have said, the kit itself is basically historical, rather than the likes of 'power ups' (though the twin 3.7cm cannon 'unlock' for the Stuka, trials aircraft apart, is I think a bit too soon for Stalingrad). But the method of 'earning' this stuff - especially combined with the 'arcade game' terminology used - feels rather out of place in 'proper' air combat sim. It has certainly generated a good deal of criticism, some of it rather hostile. We can but hope that there will be some changes here! One thing you'll want to get the hang of in Quick Missions is the radio menus. There is no real interaction with ground controllers, apart from some seemingly event-triggered set pieces. So the radio option comes into play when you're a flight leader. You can make various pilot gestures, a leftover from RoF which the developers acknowledge isn't much, if any, use. Here are examples of the wingman (radio) commands available to you. We'll cover how well they're followed later, when considering the BoS AI. I think these win the prize for the biggest, most conspicuous wingman command menus in any sim I have played. Happily, you can assign hotkeys to wingman commands. For example I have set the 'H' key, familiar from CFS2 and 3 as 'Help me!', to issue the command 'Cover me!' which (I am hoping!) will elicit a broadly similar response. There is also a set of useful commands for air gunners, for those planes which have them. In Quick Missions, as in RoF, while at the mission setup screen or while flying, you have some control over displaying or suppressing on-screen visual aids like labels, waypoint markers, sim messages, gauges and what's displayed on the in-flight 'minimap'. This gives you the ability to vary the difficulty 'presets' for a Quick (or user-made single) Mission. There's an eight-a-side limit in Quick Missions, which is not too bad for the Eastern Front. Reading pilot memoirs like those of Norbert Hannig of II/JG54, it's fairly clear that fighters at least often operated in fours or even pairs. Anyway, Quick Missions is where you can get your 'quick fix' of Luftwaffe -vs- VVS action. Like this effort - four Gustavs chasing three Pe-2 twin-engined light bombers. Not being into head trackers and using the padlock, I find the latter too infallible, able to track targets hidden by my airframe or clouds. Still, rather that, than no padlock at all. As in original Il-2, my wingmen needed no bidding to go for the bad guys, which is just as well as I'm still getting the hang of the flight commands. I'm seeing an odd visual effect where aircraft in or near clouds have their outlines a bit 'broken', as you can see from the trailing 109s in this shot. Apparently this is a known issue, said to be related to the way clouds are rendered. I was keen to find out if BoS's AI gunners are as dangerous as some say, if you give them an easy shot by attacking from the rear...which is precisely what my AI flightmates did, sad to say. So far, presented with such targets, the gunners have proved quite good shots, though perhaps not as much so, as the original sim. And my planes, though far from bullet-proof, aren't showing signs of 'glass engines' or anything massively odd, damage model wise. Unlike in original IL-2, where seemingly magic bullets would pierce (or spin around or underneath?) my Gustav's armourglass windshield and knock askew my Revi gunsight, with depressing predictability. After I broke up from my own firing pass, having taken some hits - notice the glycol vapour streaming from my port radiator and the holes in the starboard upper mainplane - my right undercarriage unit promptly fell out of the well. Fortunately, I didn't need it. If there's an emergency jettison key to dump the canopy on the 109 - as opposed to doing that and jumping out, or just hinging it open sideways - I couldn't find it. So I had to take my chances on the thing not jamming shut, when I hit the deck. Luckily, there was no fire. Maybe all that snow isn't such a bad thing, after all. Most of my flight fared no better, I have to say, like this fellow, who hit the silk. The AI gunners, like their immediate forebears in RoF, like to sit comfortably until the very last minute, before manning their weapons. As with the rear gunner in this Pe-2. He's sitting quietly facing sideways, despite the fact that his comrade below, in the ventral position, is already in action against the enemies coming up from behind, as you can see from the trail of spent cases. Come on, Tovaritch, buck up your ideas, before you get a cannon shell in your lap!!! At least the ventral gunner in the Pe above and ahead is also on the ball, having opened his little 'trapdoor' under the fuselage and generally standing by to repel boarders. Unless I'm missing something, there is no Quick Mission debrief to present the results, though the ability, while you're in the game, to tab around other aircraft is useful. The Pe which I attacked was smoking steadily and the other two were both holed. But I think they got three of us. I reckon that maybe I made the mistake of leaving the friendly skill level at 'Novice' when generating the mission; anyway, I trust that the BoS AI at higher settings can do better than attack from dead astern, otherwise it's going to get pretty bloody, pretty quickly. There is also a set of pre-built missions available, accessed from the main menu's 'Missions' tab strangely enough. Below, you can see most of them listed. I believe these were made by some Early Access guys using BoS's 'Full Mission Builder', which isn't on general release yet. The 'Flight Records' main menu option is where you manage the 'tracks' you have recorded during missions. So, now we come to the feature which will be the beating the heart of the sim, for many players. …coming in part 3 - the Single Player campaign!
  3. 'There is no land behind the Volga!' * * Red Army 'no retreat' slogan during the Battle of Stalingrad Well, it's here! IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad ('BoS') is the latest in a long line of WW2 air combat sims to bear the illustrious IL-2 name. The last major iteration, Cliffs of Dover, forsook the Eastern Front for the Battle of Britain. But with BoS, it's back to the (here, frozen) steppes of Mother Russia and the Great Patriotic War, as the Soviets dubbed the bitter conflict in the east. As you'd expect from the title, BoS is based around the momentous and decisive battles around Stalingrad in late 1942 and early 1943. The Wehrmacht's 6th Army, fresh from its triumph in the Second Battle of Kharkov, had swept south in the major German offensive of 1942, to the banks of the River Volga and the city which bore the name of the wily and feared Soviet leader. After slowly grinding down the epic Soviet defense of the city, the German forces there were cut off by two successive pincer attacks which overwhelmed the less well-equipped Romanian, Italian and Hungarian allies holding the flanks. Manstein's attempt to break through to 6th Army fell short while Hitler forbade withdrawal, lulled by Goering's assurances that the Luftwaffe could repeat its success in supplying by air the earlier (but much smaller) Demyansk pocket. Despite herculean Luftwaffe efforts, galvanized by the highly-capable Erhard Milch, the supplies delivered were never enough and when the major airfields inside and outside the Stalingrad kessel at Gumrak, Pitomnik, Morosovskaya and Tatsinskaya were over-run, the writing was on the wall for the battered and ultimately starved 6th Army, which surrendered in February 1943. This famous Soviet victory stands with the few battles that can claim to have dictated both the outcome of WW2 and the fate of Europe for many years afterwards. So, set against this epic background, how does BoS shape up? Let's find out! The review will be in several parts, a real CombatAce team effort, with 'Founders' CowboyTodd41 and Jedi Master providing an Early Access participant's insights on different aspects of the new sim. To wrap up the review in style, Hellshade will provide a video finale showing BoS in action! Availability and installation BoS is available by download from both the Publishers and Steam and on DVD. Each format comes in two versions - 'Standard' and 'Premium' - which differ in the number of flyable aircraft provided (eight versus ten, respectively). There is no manual with the sim. Apparently, one is being worked on but for now, it's a case of diving in and working your way through things for yourself. Much of the interface and controls will be reasonably familiar, if you've played the sim's progenitor, which is actually Rise of Flight (RoF). There are some enthusiast-produced aircraft guides available already and of course you can find material covering instrument layouts, performance and handling online, if not also in books - for example, Eric Brown's most excellent 'Wings of the Luftwaffe'. On the battle itself I would highly recommend William Craig's 'Enemy at the Gates' (the film only covered the sniper duel, a tiny part of the book) which won't tell you which Kampfgruppe, Tank Brigade or Jagdgeschwader went where and when but it's a gritty, memorable and powerful picture of the battle as seen by those who experienced it. My review copy of BoS is the Premium edition and was downloaded from from the Publisher's website. The download and installation process was entirely painless, the slow part being downloading the 'game client' via the 'Launcher' app that is your point of entry into the sim. Though different in some details, this Launcher will be familiar to players of RoF. BoS's Launcher is illustrated below (the desktop background pic is from IL-2 '46). As you can see, amongst other things, the Launcher lets you configure some graphics options at this front end, though few, compared to RoF's Launcher. As in the older sim, the Launcher will update BoS over the 'net, but automatically, rather than manually as before. Once you start the sim itself, you are invited to log on. As with RoF, some features require an internet connection. You can fly Quick Missions offline but not the stock Single Player campaign. This I believe is because online servers generate campaign missions, track your progress and use this to apply BoS's 'extensive in-game achievement system' (as the developers describe it) which we will come to, later. I don't especially like this connection dependency but - though there was a glitch one weekend when a server issue prevented player achievements being recognized - having a decent broadband connection, this requirement doesn't much affect or concern me. The developers have said that the bandwidth required for this is low. The sim's main menu screen is the 3d aircraft view familiar to RoF fliers, displaying the last aircraft you flew (or the IL-2 Sturmovik by default) as rendered in-game, now in a hangar setting as seen here. For me, the interface is a bit choppy, with a bit of mouse lag, which I gather is a known issue for some though a minor one. We'll go through the options it presents, later on. The planes The aircraft featured in BoS are listed here. Those asterisked are flyable in the Premium version, only. German Soviet Bf 109F-4 LaGG-3 Bf 109G-2 Yak-1 FW 190A-3* La-5 * Ju 87D-3 IL-2 He 111H-6 Pe-2 So we have a decent mix of fighters, bombers and attack aircraft, out-of-the-box. The FW 190 was apparently not in action at Stalingrad but is presumably included for its popularity and to provide an alternative German single-seat fighter to the two visually very similar Bf 109 variants. The developers have said that the Ju-52 transport may be added later, possibly AI-only. While this slow tri-motor transport would be a popular mount with only the bravest (or most foolhardy) players, it really is an essential aircraft for Stalingrad and a good choice for an AI plane. The Luftwaffe used every available type that could carry cargo or personnel in their desperate 'air bridge' operation including bombers and FW 200 Condors, but the 'Tante Ju' was the mainstay and the sooner it's added, the better. A Ju 88 and a Bf 110 would also be very welcome, on the German side. In my book, the more major types a sim can feature from the get-go, the better, even if only the AI gets to fly some of them (or you have to pay to activate the cockpits). But apart from that Ju 52 - and the fact that a Bf 110 would have been a better choice, historically, than an FW 190 - BoS already comes with a respectable planeset, for the time period featured in the sim. Here are some of the stars of the show, inside and out. They are gorgeous, with accurate outlines and detail, readable stencil markings, panel lines & rivets visible in relief ('bump mapping'?) and animated aircrew, RoF-style. Heinkel He 111H: (note the subtitled radio comms from the 'tower' at Morosovskaya airfield, in the cockpit pic) Messerschmitt Bf 109F (top) & Bf 109G: Focke-Wulf FW 190A: Lavochkin La-5 (in a snowstorm): Petlyakov Pe-2: ...and finally, the star with the top billing - the Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik: As well as flying these birds, you can man other crew positions, including bombardier and air gunner. Here I am in the dorsal position of the elegant Heinkel 111, manning my MG 15 and ready to ward off the Ivans. You can see the neat panel and rivet detail, especially running out along the main spar of the starboard wing. The aircraft has the correct 70/71/65 colour scheme with factory finish pattern on top and the appropriate theatre markings, comprising yellow rear fuselage band and lower wingtips. Having closed my canopy to keep out the slipstream and looking down into the fuselage, I can see two of my comrades below, one standing by a waist gun, the other ready to go prone in the sterbebett (death bed) ventral position, should the need arise. The cocking handle on the MG 15 reciprocates when you fire the weapon but I haven't yet fired off enough rounds to see if the reloading of the saddle drum magazine is animated, which if so might look a little odd as I am invisible, in the 'cockpit' view. Luftwaffe aircraft had a semi-gloss finish and this is nicely captured, along with the correct factory-applied camouflage colours and patterns. As you'd expect, the aircraft have dynamic self-shadowing, inside and out. Perhaps the cockpits are not quite as sharp as Cliffs of Dover's...and they're not 'clickable', for those who like fiddling with such things rather than hitting a key. But they look good enough to me and combined with 'head bobbing' (which you can turn off), those moving shadows and minor canopy scratches catching the sunlight, the effect of being up in the heavens in a real aircraft is superb. Externally, the lack of individual or unit markings creates a certain blandness, my only real criticism here. And I understand why there aren't swastikas on German tails, but the vestigial ones provided perhaps look worse than none - better no marking than an inaccurate one. I recall the old Revell 1/72 FW 190A, in its 1960s incarnation, had a normal cross for a tail decal with a note in the instructions acknowledging the inaccuracy and stating that portraying the correct markings (and I quote) '...would not be in keeping with the spirit of democracy.' But I digress...instead, I should add that all screenshots were taken at medium graphics settings (the 'Balanced' pre-set). My PC is slightly below the recommended specs for BoS but flies RoF, a recommended benchmark for the new sim, fine at medium settings and is ok with BoS. Engine sounds are distinctive and realistic, much better than the original IL-2. Your guns could be louder though. Some have reported your airframe being hit is barely audible but that hasn't been my experience. Radio transmissions can be a tad repetitive but sound like...well, radio transmissions (they are in the original language, with subtitles available). In short, the BoS aircraft are exceptional; they look and sound great. The contrast is a bit high between the 70 (Schwarzgrun) and 71 (Dunkelgrun) upper surfaces on the Ju 87 for my taste and I think the 109s should have little fillets either side of their lower radiator flaps but those are very minor quibbles. Coming in part 2 - the environment, the options and Quick Missions!

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