IL-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles is as realistic as it gets for a WW2 Flight Sim. Set in the ’40s during the heart of World War 2 you get to fly one of 31 different types of Russian, German or American planes.
You can fly pilot or cause some havoc as the rear gunner. Air to Air and Air to ground combat is possible, and pretty much you can blow up anything, planes, buildings, bridges and the like. My hat goes off to Oleg Maddox who put together arguably the best team of programmers to ever work on a Flight Sim.
If you are new to flight sims, stay far away from this game as IL-2 Forgotten Battles is not an easy game to play for the novice. However, the programmers were generous on the amount of toggle switches the player can activate/deactivate to make the game easier. They included a manual, which is helpful, but tiny. I would recommend opening the PDF file on the game’s CD which goes into great detail on flying and learning how to accurately hit targets.
The developers have done an excellent job creating the look and feel of a real cockpit. While flying using a joystick, you can look around by using the mouse. This may not sound needed, but when you are able to look behind you and see an enemy plane stalking you, you quickly change your tune. Don’t have a joystick? Want to use your keyboard and mouse? If your answer is yes to either of those questions, do not buy this game, stick to your 1st person shooters.
You can play it alone or try out one of two multiplayer models, dog-fighting or cooperative missions. The multiplayer mode allows up to 32 players in dogfight and 16 in cooperative. Of course there is also voice communications using a mic, which is pretty important, as it would be impossible to fly, look around and type to your teammates. I myself am a dogfight man so find me online and be very scared. BE VERY SCARED.
Five words explain it all: perfect, flawless, stellar, awesome and amazing. Forgotten Battles has the best graphics in a WW2 Flight sim to date. The environments are impeccable, and to be honest the effects are some of the best I have ever seen. There is nothing better than to take a flight and admire the scenery on a beautiful sunny day, when some NAZI starts shooting at your wing and large chunks start flying off. Maybe you can get away, but only to find that your damage is worse than you thought. How would you know? Grab that mouse, look towards your wing and see the amazing smoke and fire effects. Remember to take notice of the water and reflections. I can’t stress enough how great these graphics are.
No problems in this department, the sound does exactly what it should, add to the realism of the game. POP, POP, POP, pssssssss???? That’s the sound of your plane getting riddled with bullets. One seems to have penetrated the metal and air is seeping in. Pretty amazing stuff here!
IL?2 Forgotten Battles is the best World War 2 Sim period. So if you’re into Flight Sims you need to rush down to your local software store and fork over the $40. You will not be disappointed.