IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey Impressions

We take a look at this World War II flight game at E3 2009.

Many games are being shown at E3 2009, including IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey, a new console game based on the cult-classic PC flight-combat simulator. Birds of Prey will let you jump into the cockpit of 12 different Allied fighters and bombers and take on some of World War II's most crucial air battles.

Who's Making This Game: 505 Games, a European publisher that does not appear to be affiliated with Oleg Maddox, the creator of the original PC game.

What the Game Looks Like: Birds of Prey is actually a very good-looking flight-combat game that seems to have very realistic modeling for both its various fighter planes and its environments. The special effects for explosions, machine-gun fire, and smoke contrails behind rockets also look good.

What There Is to Do: You play through six Allied campaigns along both the Western and Eastern Fronts of World War II as an Allied pilot in the British, American, or Russian air force. The game has 50 missions that seem to offer a good variety between sky-borne dogfighting and close-to-the-ground bomber missions.

How the Game Is Played: Birds of Prey has both an exacting Simulation mode in which your planes are tougher to handle (and become extremely difficult to manage once your plane gets damaged) and can run out of fuel, as well as a much more-forgiving Arcade mode that has easier handling that lets you perform barrel rolls and loops much more easily.

What They Say: Birds of Prey will offer both a highly realistic and a more-forgiving arcade experience in a World War II game modeled closely after the real-world battlefields and engagement rules. There will also be competitive multiplayer in the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PSP versions, though the details aren't yet clear.

What We Say: Birds of Prey is a good-looking game, but it remains to be seen whether it will be too hardcore for the couch audience. The game is scheduled to ship this fall.

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Discussion

31 comments
aaroquesi
aaroquesi

ill wait for demo or review, i don't trust console simulator games!

crackers24
crackers24

The point is, if you have it pre-ordered, why worry about the launch date? Call me a dumbass, but I honestly don't see the point of worrying if you have the game preordered. Someone enlighten me.

redtiger02
redtiger02

gee, crackers, why didn't I think of that several months ago when it was first announced? I did? Oh wow, you're the smartest 12 year old alive crackers! Why answer a question with an intelligent and informed answer instead of saying anything you can to make yourself look like a dumbass, right crackers?

crackers24
crackers24

Screw the couch audience, this looks AWESOME!! redtiger02: if you think the game will be a good buy, why don't you just pre-order off of Best Buy or someplace?

redtiger02
redtiger02

What is the actual launch date? It was Sep 8, now Gamestop says Sep 2, some sites say Sep 15, given all the conflicting information, what is the actual launch date?

sunsetcrakcer
sunsetcrakcer

Looks pretty good. I may have to download the demo now.

redtiger02
redtiger02

a small addition: I just went back to the demo on simulator and tested out a few advanced maneuvers and the plane handled exactly the way a real plane would. The plane doesn't magically stall and instantly recover. You get to see and feel the buffet in the controller, then just like reality, drop the nose and power forward. The spins are accurate, though honestly the planes seem to enter them faster than it actually would. However, spin recovery is perfect: level the aelerons, apply opposite rudder. The 2 planes we have to work with so far show the actual characteristics of each instead of a standard model. The P-51 could climb like a champ but in a high-speed dive it had a controlability issue. The Spitfire could stand on the wingtip but any over or under ruddering would put it into a harsh spin that is difficult to recover. The fact that the plane reacts to the guns being fired already puts this game miles ahead of anything else out there for consoles. Can't wait to play multi the first night just to hear all the kids b*tching and crying because they can't magically fly like they could in Blazing Angels. That being said, if you don't actually fly, don't get on here and start making comments about the realism because you have no idea what a plane will and won't do.

redtiger02
redtiger02

Is there any word yet on whether or not this game will have a co-op feature? I am to the point in my gaming where I care much less about competetive multiplayer and more about the co-op. The demo is great. I am a pilot and I can tell you with certainty that on simulator and to a degree realistic, the planes handle exactly the way a single-engine piston aircraft handles. This game may be too hardcore for the kiddie crowd but who cares? They have made games for 12 year old little Jimmy who thinks life is too hard already. Give the real gamers something to be proud of with this game. And give us co-op, it adds a lot of depth to a flying game when you can coordinate tactics and watch out for each other. Just a 2 player co-op, let's not overdo it. They never flew solo in WW II so why do it now in a realistic game? I have never been shot at in my plane, but I do know what it means to fly, and this game has it nailed. No crazy Blazing Angels hold down the trigger and spin moves. Try that in this game and you enter a flat spin you can't recover from. Like it or not, that's reality kiddos.

Jrollcrazy
Jrollcrazy

looks like it could be some great hours wasted on the couch

gamehog5
gamehog5

been playing the demo non stop very satisfying simulation mode

martinkilner
martinkilner

Finally a REAL SIM for us old PC guys to enjoy on the BIG TV! Whoever is responsible for the design and implementation of this deserves a few pats on the back!....I thoroughly enjoyed playing the Demo this morning in Simulation mode and am very happy to see it was worth the wait, this is a def purchase for me, THANKYOU!!!!! :)

Langway
Langway

I just played through the demo, and loved it. About time the consoles got a decent flight sim.

inunison
inunison

Too hardcore for the couch audience? I really hope it is!

Moonfast
Moonfast

The inclusion of the simulator-mode is the only reason I´m going to buy this game. Thats what made me so excited about the 360-demo. Would it have been only arcade I wouldn´t even have looked at it!

ucc_aplomb
ucc_aplomb

FINALLY... What looks like it a good flight sim for consoles (if the pc orinigal is anything to go by). I don't see why publishers didn't see that there was a community looking for a non-arcade flight sim til now. Blazing angels was a real let down and don't talk to me about hawx!

UpInSmoke0803
UpInSmoke0803

Finally a true WII themed flight simulation game to come out on a next-gen console, but as much as I liked the original series on the PC, it worries me to find out that Oleg Maddox is not affiliated with this game what-so-ever.

HOLIDAYdoc360
HOLIDAYdoc360

look at this game, look at its audience, the fans have spoken we want flight sim on the counsels not just the pc. the only draw back is controlls but we the gamer will overcome this obstacle we all ways do. we will buy build make what ever is needed. I HAVE A DREAM THAT ONE DAY A FLIGHT SIM WILL COME OUT THAT WILL TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PLANES. ONE THAT KNOWS A ZERO WILL OUT MANEUVER A CORSAIR, A BF109 WAS THE PLANE OF MANY ACES OF WW2. AND THE SPITFIRE WAS A GREAT HANDLING PLANE. AND THE V12 ROLS-ROYCE ENGIN WAS NOT ONLY IN SPITFIRE BUT WAS IN P51 AS WELL. sorry i got carried away. but i hope you got the point.

gamehog5
gamehog5

agreed this is the first decent looking WW 2 flight sim for consoles yet blazing angels 1&2 both kinda blew (no ryme intended) to easy and crap/ rascist voice acting have high hopes for this one tho

davejudge
davejudge

I just want them not to "%$###%^*( up the audio not weed wacker noises they used V12 merlins ...not some cheap nasty sound ...Blazing angels was a complete let down and so was just about every other FS there are a lot of us out there who want difficulty..we dont want a loser arcade game....

frogman666
frogman666

I sure hope they dont mess this up I have been waiting for a good dogfighting game I just wish the gpx looked as good as the show on the history channel

Death_Masta187
Death_Masta187

@FlashCharge its on the 360, PS3 & PSP so i doubt it...Im guessing they are going to have to "arcade" it up a bit to get the game to feel right playing with a controller

FlashCharge
FlashCharge

Flight simulators are not the easiest games to control. Most likely this game is for the hardcore fan of the series.

sargint
sargint

Wheres a video guys come on.......

pakhair
pakhair

@RGDT021 I Agree.......

sefros
sefros

well I gotta say that if this game is even half as good as the pc versions. it will be the definitive plane sim on consoles.

RGDT021
RGDT021

Love it! This will be the closest to a true flight sim for a console, which I've been waiting for forever!

Chonsie
Chonsie

Cant wait for this. This will be the first sim air combat game to come out to counsels.

BatThink
BatThink

this game looks to be shaping up nice, hope it come off good on the 360 though

BatThink
BatThink

this game looks to be shaping up nice, hope it come off good on the 360 though

eggmcmuff
eggmcmuff

What?! No comments? Bring on the hardcore flying! It's about time console stick jockeys get a real sim. I can't wait for this one.