IL-2: Sturmovik: Birds of Prey
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    IL-2: Sturmovik: Birds of Prey
    Release date: Sept. 9, 2009

    IL-2: Sturmovik: Birds of Prey brings the hit flight game IL2-Sturmovik to console owners for the first time, with all new graphics, missions, physics and planes. The game includes large-scale aerial combat and ground based military operations from World War II. Players will participate in some of the war's most famous battles piloting fighters, battle planes and heavy bombers across a range of thrilling missions.

    There are five areas of war to engage in -- The Battle of Britain, Stalingrad, Berlin, Sicily and Korsun' representing the main airborne battles of World War II in Europe. As well as advanced environmental visuals enriching the game play, IL-2 also boasts an all new damage effects engine. Players can see real time damage to the aircraft such as holes in the wings and trail lines during dog fights. Hundreds of airplanes will take part in air battle in IL-2: Sturmovik: Birds of Prey and the unique environmental engine produces highly detailed, realistic landscapes that allows players to see breathtaking ground support actions. The difficulty levels will range from arcade to simulation.

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    After having this game for a little while, I finally opened it and tried it out...and man-o-man...what an awesome game it is!

    I do have to note, however, that this is NOT a game for those short on patience or are not willing to put a LOT of time into learning the controls and how to properly control your plane. This is very much a simulator, and one must be precise and aware of your surroundings and the instrumentation of you plane at all times.

    The tutorial took me a good 5 hours to complete.

    There are 4 modes of game play: Arcade, Simulation and Realistic.

    Arcade: The arcade mode is the simplest of the three, and even then it takes some time to master the flying of the airplane, weapons and various maneuvers such as take-off & landing, simple and advanced flight maneuvers, bombing, dog-fights, etc.

    Simulation: Just as it sounds, Simulation mode puts you in more control of your aircraft with less help and much less forgiving. You must now control ALL aspects of flying, including setting your trim, prop-pitch, mastering yaw, learning to correct stalls and spins, in addition to mastering your weapons.

    Realistic: There is a reason this mode is aptly called Realistic. You get NO help whatsoever. It is you and your aircraft. Mistakes are usually fatal and your precision must be absolute.

    There are several Allied and Axis planes that you learn to control (I have yet to unlock others as of yet), and you have the option of equipping your craft with a variety of weapon sets that are unlocked as you complete missions and all are based on historical data based on the particular aircraft at hand.

    You can play the Campaign, or choose single missions, as well as hop online and test your meddle against other players.

    The game appears to be quite big, the graphics are exceptional, and all aircraft and missions are historically accurate, based on the many air battles between the RAF and Nazi Germany.

    If you are willing to spend some time to learn this game, it will reward you plenty!!