IL-2 Sturmovik Details

We take a hands-on look at Blue Byte's World War II flight sim.

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Today, Blue Byte gave us an opportunity to look at its upcoming flight simulator, IL-2 Sturmovik. Based on the air battles between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during World War II, IL-2 Sturmovik is being developed by a Russian team that is paying close attention to historical accuracy. The game's hallmark aircraft, the Soviet IL-2 Sturmovik, was an integral part of the eastern front air war and quickly gained the nicknames of "black death" and "flying tank." In addition to the standard IL-2, you will be able to select from 16 other planes in both the single-player and multiplayer mode. Each major plane in the war is at your disposal, including everything from the US P-39 and MiG series to multiple types of IL-2 Sturmovik that let you select either the gunner or pilot position.

Il-2 Sturmovik also adds a number of customizable options. Along with the standard preset missions, you can build your own missions with the included mission builder. With this tool, you can create missions for single and multiplayer co-op missions simply by placing ground troops and enemy fighters on existing maps. The team plans to add more functionality to the tool, depending on the reception it receives in the gaming community.

Thanks to the 3D cockpit, you can look in just about any direction. This becomes especially helpful when attempting to track a plane that has flown right by you. Also, the camera can be changed from an internal cockpit view to an external view of the plane, which gives you a broader look at the landscape and the surrounding area. The cockpit, the plane models, and the landscape all look incredibly detailed. In the external camera view, you can see the flaps of your plane move up and down as you activate them, and, while in the cockpit, you can see the surrounding light reflecting gently off the glass of the canopy. The terrain makes excellent use of bump mapping, and a number of buildings are strewn about to give a better sense of scale.

Multiplayer is playable through LAN and the Blue Byte Game Channel, and it features two different modes, co-op and dogfighting, which support 16 and 32 players, respectively. Interestingly, the development team plans to include support for actual voice transfer, giving IL-2 eerily realistic radio chatter.

IL-2 Sturmovik is slated to be complete in early 2001.

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