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The IL-2 community is 20 years old this month


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Oleg started the source code in 1998 (I think), but before the official release of the game was on sale in November 2001, a demo had been left available for the simmers community as of February.... and this happened 20 years ago exactly. I'm a combat flight simmer since 1992, but I never played one game in this series before 2005 (I started with Pacific Fighters). Nevertheless, our community is 20 years old this month: happy birthday. On the below image, please see an advertising of the demo release:

 

210202011941614782.jpg

 

 

Also, within less than two months, annother anniversary is about to happen: the gem of gems... "Cliffs of Dover"... TEN YEARS OLD VERY SOON, IN MARCH 2021.

 

210202014212169010.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by 343KKT_Kintaro
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Ohh I remember playing the demo. Didn‘t run too well and I remember I couldn‘t fly the P-39 without stalling aha Coming from Janes WW2F.


I got the ATI 9700 Radeon (non-pro) after the game was released. Had a Voodoo 3 3500 then a Voodoo 5 before that. Ran the game well enough but I was shocked how much better the 9700 was.

 

It‘s been long enough 😁

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There was a track call "black death", a sunset duel between a P39 and a 109G(?) that became my benchmark for system performance. I dont think i got the magic 30 fps at 1200x800 on that until the ATI X800 came along in 2004. And even then I had to hack the GPUs firmware to make into work like a X800 Pro.  Back then I was full auto baby. I couldn't get my head around rpms and ATAs or the fact that the throttle wasn't an accelerator. 

 

I remember it ran on Open GL too. 

 

The sounds in the first version were stunning for the time. Forgotten Battles seemed to loose that though. The Ace Expansion Pack was pretty good but Pacific Fighters was a dirge and by the time 1946 came along its had lost all semblance of what it started out as.

 

IL2 always worked best for me when it concentrated on the Eastern Front. Same with GB. Personal preferences not a criticism. 

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18 minutes ago, 9./JG52_J-HAT said:

Ohh I remember playing the demo. Didn‘t run too well and I remember I couldn‘t fly the P-39 without stalling aha Coming from Janes WW2F.

 

 

That game was the biggest mistake Jane's Simulations ever made. They were most likely the best developers for combat flight sims in the 1990s (in 1997 I got one original copy of their "AH64D Longbow ", my first "study"). Maybe they wanted to seduce arcade-style simmers so this is why, I guess, they made "Jane's WWII Fighters". A friend of mine gave me one copy and I loved it for the graphics... but I never considered it as a very serious simulator. The flight model wasn't very convincing for a Jane's product.

 

 

18 minutes ago, 9./JG52_J-HAT said:

It‘s been long enough 😁

 

 

20 years, my friend 😆

 

 

3 minutes ago, BOO said:

The sounds in the first version were stunning for the time. Forgotten Battles seemed to loose that though. The Ace Expansion Pack was pretty good but Pacific Fighters was a dirge and by the time 1946 came along its had lost all semblance of what it started out as.

 

 

I've always been happy with the progressive evolution of the old good IL-2 (in 2007 I purchased the original game so that I can compare the 2006 DVD with the 2001 CD-Rom).

 

 

3 minutes ago, BOO said:

IL2 always worked best for me when it concentrated on the Eastern Front. Same with GB. Personal preferences not a criticism. 

 

 

IL2 works better with two fronts: the English Channel in 1940/1941 and North Africa in 1940-1942. Personal preferences not a criticism. 😉

 

 

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That it is a long time. In 2001 my family did not have a computer so I played IL-2 for a bit on my friend's computer no joystick just arrows. I started playing regularly in 2004 or 05 when parents bought us a computer. So that means I started with Pacific Fighters.

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Yep, I started playing the series with 'Forgotten Fighters' too (in 2003) but didn't know there was a demo.

Later there I had CDs or DVDs from a 3rd party studio containing several 'endless' campaigns through the whole WW2 with hundreds of missions. Not bad.

I still have them somewhere.

And 1946 installed. 😁

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I remember the original demo (not the current one, but the one that came on CD) 😄 The one which had both 'light' and 'heavy' anti-aircraft guns in the QMB and had gunners that fired at ground targets!

 

I actually bought the demo on CD even though I couldn't run the game and took it over to my violin teacher's house... blew the engine off a Fw-189 with a cannon shot... it blew my mind.

 

People online were busy shedding the main landing gear off the P-39 and then doing touch and goes on the runway (the physics of the gradual hitting stall speed and sinking while the front of the aircraft was supported by just the nose wheel was something entirely new to most people)!

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I wish I was twenty years old this month. :( 

 

I remember IL-2 at the start: also remember wondering why it was so amazing looking, but somehow less enjoyable (SP) than EAW.  Being barely playable on my PC at the time had something to do with it. But once you have got used to a new higher level of graphical fidelity, it is very hard to go back.  

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14 hours ago, 343KKT_Kintaro said:

That game was the biggest mistake Jane's Simulations ever made. They were most likely the best developers for combat flight sims in the 1990s (in 1997 I got one original copy of their "AH64D Longbow ", my first "study"). Maybe they wanted to seduce arcade-style simmers so this is why, I guess, they made "Jane's WWII Fighters". A friend of mine gave me one copy and I loved it for the graphics... but I never considered it as a very serious simulator. The flight model wasn't very convincing for a Jane's product.


It may have been a business mistake, but their online lobby was the first time I did multiplayer. I remember shooting my first plane down and thinking, “Holy cow, that was another person flying that plane!!”

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9 hours ago, WWChunk said:

It may have been a business mistake, but their online lobby was the first time I did multiplayer. I remember shooting my first plane down and thinking, “Holy cow, that was another person flying that plane!!”

 

I was trying multiplayer on a dial-up connection. It was too unstable for me to really do it... but I did manage a successful sortie. I remember I was flying a Fw-190 because everyone at the time was luftwhining about the Fw-190 being terrible.

 

Someone got on my tail and I did a series of reversing turns (following a defensive maneuver I'd read about in a book on Fw-190 pilots)... and successfully escaped my attacker.

 

It was great (until it crashed).

 

By the time I had a stable and high enough speed internet connection all the servers were either Pacific Fighters or late war (mainly Western Front) servers... so I never got to really fly the Mig-3, Fw-190A4 or Il-2 in multiplayer. It was sad because I preferred the early war combat (weaker cannons, lower wing loadings, lower speeds = more elaborate dogfighting). So... I lost interest in MP almost entirely :) Although I did get a couple of kills in a Zeke and Ki-43!

 

 

2 minutes ago, Trooper117 said:

Played the demo and bought all things IL2 since then... Oleg gave me some of the best combat flight sim experience ever!

 

I remember... I must have been 13 or 14... making my first forays onto forums... and Oleg Maddox replied to me 😄 Someone should erect a Stele in honour of that man (and the modern Il-2 team for that matter).

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Still have my original boxed  dvd sets ...but those dvd's have acquired a bit of Patina over the past twenty years...like old "78's"

( It also marked the beginning of the still ongoing struggle to buy new PC's and components to try to keep up with the technology curve these sims started way back then and I still am:does anyone have a 3080 card they might like to part with???)

IL-2_Sturmovik_1946_Box_art.jpg

220px-IL-2_Sturmovik_-_Forgotten_Battles_Coverart.png

IL-2_Sturmovik_Coverart.png

Edited by Blitzen
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I was Beta tester back in 2001. IL-2 was an absolute game changer in comparison with CFS1 and European Air War. Remember Forgotten Battles in 2003, it came with a nice campaign engine. Today we have the 2nd generation of IL-2 thanks to Team Fusion.

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S! all

 

I got the demo on the cover of a PC mag, still have the review in the original game box. Unfortunately, because I had never heard of a graphics card, my pc would only let me play 1 of the 4 missions, the Fw190 taking off from a snow strip and shooting down Il2s.

 

Luckily an IT manager who lived round the corner sold me and fitted his old card for £30 (and so the game driven upgrades progressed), the 1st time I joined MP in any game (I got the internet just to be able to fly online), I was gobsmacked thinking that there were ppl from all round the world on this airfield. I remember a pilot with the name Dove of Peace who flew an Fw 190 in a default (all white) skin from my 1st night.

 

I once flew on the same server as Oleg, he was a lovely bloke, always willing to talk to other flyers.

 

I miss the VOW, waiting for Hyperlobby to fill the mission board, that was when there were 100s of ppl on different servers.

 

Good times :fly:

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20 years, yet it still feels just like yesterday.

 

I was an avid CFS1 player back then, I loved that game dearly. I don't know where exactly I heard it first, maybe it was a friend of mine telling me, maybe I read about it in some gaming magazine, but I somehow learned that there would be a new WW2 flight sim called "IL-2 Sturmovik" soon to come.

 

But could this be any good? Would it even stand the slightest chance against CFS? Unlikely. Would it be the better at simulating the "real deal"? Hardly. Would it have the better graphics? Not a chance!

 

I was a reader the rather popular German gaming magazine "Game Star" back in the day, where I actually got my first eye contact with IL-2. They had a whole page advertisement that showed three different screen shots. While all three looked rather impressive, one of them captured my attention the most: It showed a Stuka flying in front of a cloud, the lighting hinting that the time of the day was either dawn or dusk.

 

My jaw dropped. There was not the slightest chance that this could be actual ingame graphics. Or maybe it was, just at least heavily manipulated graphics. It just looked way too real, especially compared to CFS1.

 

Yet, I gave it a try. And I had to admit that I was wrong: Nothing was altered about the screen shots from the advertisement. The game just looked this good, yet running totally smooth on my old rig.

 

20 years later and I'm still here. CFS1 was uninstalled just days after trying out IL-2, never ever coming back to my hard drive. I still gave CFS3 a shot upon its' release, only to feel completely unimpressed about it.

 

IL-2 was, is (GB series) and will be my go-to WW2 flight sim. Here's to the next 20 years to come!

Edited by Fritz_X
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57 minutes ago, Fritz_X said:

IL-2 was, is (GB series) and will be my go-to WW2 flight sim. Here's to the next 20 years to come!

 

 

Cheers! But I'd have said "IL-2 was, is (GB series AND Dover series") and will be... [etc.]"  😉

In fact, Fritz, GB is a port of "Rise of Flight", the true continuity of this series IS Cliffs of Dover. GB and the original IL-2 only share the name, thisis: the registered brand.

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Just now, 343KKT_Kintaro said:

 

 

Cheers! But I'd have said "IL-2 was, is (GB series AND Dover series") and will be... [etc.]"  😉

In fact, Fritz, GB is a port of "Rise of Flight", the true continuity of this series IS Cliffs of Dover. GB and the original IL-2 only share the name, thisis: the registered brand.

 

Hmm - more like CoD is a direct descendant of UrIL-2, sadly crippled by excessive in-breeding, while the GB series is the healthy offspring of an exogamous mating between IL-2 46 and RoF. ;) 

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21 minutes ago, unreasonable said:

sadly crippled by excessive in-breeding

 

 

No. Oleg Maddox got that ridiculous and imposed "request" of an epilepsy filter... which started to spoil his source code... not to mention subsequent problems not even related to that epilepsy filter. Oh, by the way, please be careful when using terms such as "in-breeding"... this may be offensive.. think about it.

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I very much doubt that the addition of something as simple as an epilepsy filter would have 'spoiled' the code to the extent that a team of developers with the sort of experience they had would have had problems of any lasting significance. The problem seems to have been much more fundamental, and from what I've read, probably down to feature creep resulting in delays that the investors weren't prepared to keep funding, more than anything.

 

Anyway, this is a thread about '20 years of IL-2', which is something that should be celebrated. We don't need yet another pointless thread going over old arguments over what might have happened differently. It didn't. We are where we are, and I see good reasons to see plenty more to come....

Edited by AndyJWest
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24 minutes ago, AndyJWest said:

I very much doubt that the addition of something as simple as an epilepsy filter would have 'spoiled' the code to the extent that a team of developers with the sort of experience they had would have had problems of any lasting significance. The problem seems to have been much more fundamental, and from what I've read, probably down to feature creep resulting in delays that the investors weren't prepared to keep funding, more than anything.

 

Anyway, this is a thread about '20 years of IL-2', which is something that should be celebrated. We don't need yet another pointless thread going over old arguments over what might have happened differently. It didn't. We are where we are, and I see good reasons to see plenty more to come....

+1🙂

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Just now, 343KKT_Kintaro said:

 

 

Oh, by the way, please be careful when using terms such as "in-breeding"... this may be offensive.. think about it.

 

I will give you some unsolicited advice too: get off your high horse.  Whether you like a metaphor of biological descent for game titles or not, "In-breeding" is a perfectly neutral and well understood scientific term. If anyone finds it offensive in this context, that is their problem. It is not as though I said that players of CoD were inbred.  

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29 minutes ago, unreasonable said:

 

I will give you some unsolicited advice too: get off your high horse.  Whether you like a metaphor of biological descent for game titles or not, "In-breeding" is a perfectly neutral and well understood scientific term. If anyone finds it offensive in this context, that is their problem. It is not as though I said that players of CoD were inbred.  

 

Come on, mate. Don't you see that EN is obviously not his mother tongue? - it's not mine either. Maybe you should get off the high horse too and

be a little bit more tolerant?

 

Cheerio

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1 minute ago, THERION said:

 

Don't you see that EN is obviously not his mother tongue?

 

 

Thank you Therion as English is not my mother tongue, indeed, but if I asked that question about "my" high horse, it's because I wasn't being aggressive to the point of deserving such a comment. If Unreasonable loves IL2GB more than IL2CoD, this is fair enough... but denigrating the game ("in-breeding" denigrates the game) is not acceptable. We are strongly involved in the things we really love, such a combat flight sim for example. This is why there are so many heated discussions in so many gamers' forums...

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Just now, 343KKT_Kintaro said:

 

 

Thank you Therion as English is not my mother tongue, indeed, but if I asked that question about "my" high horse, it's because I wasn't being aggressive to the point of deserving such a comment. If Unreasonable loves IL2GB more than IL2CoD, this is fair enough... but denigrating the game ("in-breeding" denigrates the game) is not acceptable. We are strongly involved in the things we really love, such a combat flight sim for example. This is why there are so many heated discussions in so many gamers' forums...

 

Denigrating a game is perfectly acceptable, if the comments are accurate. I purchased CoD like many people here, and found it a disaster. Simply not ready for release, and fully deserving of all the criticism it took.  I have no idea about it's current state or that of the paid add-ons, BTW. My comment was about it's state at birth.

 

"Inbreeding" in the context of PC games and my post is clearly a metaphor meant in jest - but it refers to the undeniable fact that the evolution of IL-2 had gone very badly wrong at some point, while GB has benefited from the introduction of new ideas and people.   

 

Denigrating people is much more objectionable: you may not have intended it as such, but your advice implicitly denigrated me, as it implied that I might start calling people "inbreds" or commit some other similar solecism, unless I gave it some thought. I found that offensive. If you do not like aggressive posts, don't make them yourself.  Telling off a native speaker for his choice of words, in a language you do not fully command, is not something I would dream of doing.    

 

(My last word on this subject).

 

 

 

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It is kind-of interesting... 'thorough bred' has a positive connotation (related to race horses etc.) while 'in-bred' has very negative connotations (especially in the U.S.)... English is an interesting language. Anyway, it is nice to try not to offend people or to take offence (if none was intended) or to be offended that someone else is offended... but, well, that is all very off-topic.

 

I will say that Cliffs of Dover is more the 'Irish Elk' of Il-2... it isn't inbreeding but taking something good and trying to take it too far... Oleg Maddox tried to create a definitive flight-simulator engine that would last for 15 years... and to do it all at once... everything got larger and more magnificent... but much like the extinct Elk's antlers... it was a bit too much to be successfully carried.

 

Back on topic - another memory:

 

Shortly after release people discovered that they could set up trains and have them collide... or park aircraft on the train tracks. This was relatively new and I recall even a humorous track that was made of someone bailing out just before the train hits.

 

Another track from the time had an Il-2T take a position directly above an Me-323... the track then humorously zoomed in on the top gunner of the Me-323 (as viewed from the Il-2) and then showed the Il-2 drop the torpedo on the Me-323...

 

This was all before youtube (Il-2 releases in 2001... Youtube appeared in 2005... and not many people had fast enough Internet connections for streaming video anyway)... so tracks mattered.

 

 

Edited by Avimimus
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7 minutes ago, unreasonable said:

I purchased CoD like many people here, and found it a disaster.

 

 

Same as me! I purchased the collector's edition in March 2011 and I didn't "reconcile" with the game until July 2020! That's last year! I simply spent a so long time not understanding that the 2017 "Blitz" edition is a dream... The current edition of the game, this "Blitz", does not solve all the problems, but it blows apart the serious bugs. The time when IL2CoD was not even playable... is over. Now the game is absolutely playable and, furthermore: enjoyable.

 

 

7 minutes ago, unreasonable said:

My comment was about it's state at birth.

 

 

You didn't say "Hmm - more like CoD was at the time a direct descendant of UrIL-2" (etc.). You said "Hmm - more like CoD is a direct descendant of UrIL-2, sadly crippled by excessive in-breeding". I answer messages on forums on the basis of what it's being said. What else can I do? I thank you for this aditional clarification you are bringing now but, again, I was simply answering to what has been said as it has been said.

 

 

Oleg and his team created the first IL-2  in 2001 and then started working in the second by 2003.... and something went wrong with the second, I know. "Storm of War: battle of Britain" was finally announced in May 2006 for release in November 2006. Then the release started to be postponed as we know, so yes, something was wrong with the game at the time. Oleg resigned far before the release I think... Anyway, in-breeding has nothing to do with games. For whatever reason this happepend, they encountered too many problems, whatever problems those problems were... and, again, in-breeding is not an appropriate term.

 

 

7 minutes ago, unreasonable said:

"Inbreeding" in the context of PC games and my post is clearly a metaphor meant in jest - but it refers to the undeniable fact that the evolution of IL-2 had gone very badly wrong at some point, while GB has benefited from the introduction of new ideas and people.

 

 

Bold letters are mine: you talk about the past my friend. And this is when it comes to talk about the main problem with "IL2 Cliffs of Dover": both the reputation of the game and the bad memories we have... are, still in the present day, a burden that still prevents "Cliffs of Dover" from being rediscovered by the community as the great game it really has become in the meantime. Yes, there are still a few bugs inside... but those problems are insignificant if we compare them with what we have since 2017. The sim works fine now... and in its category (a survey flight sim, not a study sim like DCS),  "Cliffs of Dover - Blitz" is a master piece.

 

 

7 minutes ago, unreasonable said:

Denigrating people is much more objectionable: you may not have intended it as such, but your advice implicitly denigrated me, as it implied that I might start calling people "inbreds" or commit some other similar solecism, unless I gave it some thought. I found that offensive. If you do not like aggressive posts, don't make them yourself.  Telling off a native speaker for his choice of words, in a language you do not fully command, is not something I would dream of doing.

 

 

Forget where I'm from or the level of English I'm able to deal with. Now you simply try to reverse reality. You started with this in-breeding thing... and everybody knows that, in English (oh my god, your mother tongue?), "in-breeding" carries negative connotations, especially as a metaphor.

 

 

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My IL-2 "first online kill"  in il-2 COOP, with the "leaked" demo in September 2001, using dial up connection and playing in a Celeron 600@900, 512 Mb RAM, Riva TNT 16 MB.

 

2065594118_il-21stConfirmedKill.jpg.f3b099c46e76679d0548110fa56a9456.jpg

 

Coming from Warbirds 2.7x - 2D,  multiplayer "hay days", Sturmovik was a big improvement in the graphics department.  Not fan of end of 90's sims like EAW, WWII Fighters, SDOE - Fighter Squadron (bug'ged like CloD) and the "meh" MS CFS's.

Edited by Sokol1
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24 minutes ago, Avimimus said:

I will say that Cliffs of Dover is more the 'Irish Elk' of Il-2... it isn't inbreeding but taking something good and trying to take it too far... Oleg Maddox tried to create a definitive flight-simulator engine that would last for 15 years... and to do it all at once... everything got larger and more magnificent... but much like the extinct Elk's antlers... it was a bit too much to be successfully carried.

 

 

This is why this game is SO great. I'm glad somebody ended up by stating the above (thx Avivimus). 

 

 

Edited by 343KKT_Kintaro
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Everyone talking about the online play got me nostalgic for all the time I spent flying with a squad in COOPs and Sky of Valor/UK dedicated all those years back and just regular fooling around in single player. I will never forget how I messed up a carrier landing in a Corsair in such a way that the aircraft bounced like 30m into the air and inspired me to make this compilation of crashing and exploding.

Uploaded in 2009. How the time flies.

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Im right there with you fella!

 

 

1 hour ago, Blitzen said:

Il-2 had a HUGE hurdle or two to get past the sims I first enjoyed!

( only kidding...still they were fun at the beginning...)

0edc8b7a67af88561746ecfc596e8868.jpg

c1ad482ed5f824c9e45507eaf977ea11.jpg

 

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To Blitzen & Peachy9... I started playing combat flight sims at a friend's house in 1992. He was playing three games at the time : "Their Finest Hour", "Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe" and "Chuck Yeager's Air Combat". For my first victory I was a waist gunner on board one B-17 in "Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe" and the plane I shot down was a Bf 109. I remember the excitement I felt...

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I got started on SWOTL too (I saw the Ho-229 on it at a yard sale... then later got TFH - I was a bit disappointed by the fact that it didn't have the Defiant... and that it was older than SWOTL when I got it - it was a bit hard to get information prior to obtaining copies).

 

The most important thing about SWOTL was the manual: It contained statistics on the aircraft (including graphs for easy comparison)... history about the campaigns... and quotes on every page (which gave a sense of 'personalness' to the history). It was great for a kid.

 

The other neat thing about SWOTL - I eventually got the mods... downloaded from a college or libraries onto floppy disks. One of the mods was on the 'Eastern Front'... which became my favourite (along with the night fighting mod and Lucky Strikes). Having flown a La-7... a Fw-189... a Hs-129... and an Il-2 in this SWOTL mod... along with a bunch of interesting mission descriptions, and my first experience flying a Mig-3 over Stalingrad...

 

Well then - this mod meant I was already pre-sold on the Il-2 when Oleg announced it! I was actually exceptionally excited at a time when most people looked at Il-2 as an obscure Russian oddity.

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I remember biking around London trying to fin somewhere to buy IL2 - and finding it at HMV on the kings road in Chelsea - all gone now!

Many happy memories of SWOTL!

 

Edited by Peachy9
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10 hours ago, unreasonable said:

 

Denigrating a game is perfectly acceptable, if the comments are accurate. I purchased CoD like many people here, and found it a disaster. Simply not ready for release, and fully deserving of all the criticism it took.  I have no idea about it's current state or that of the paid add-ons, BTW. My comment was about it's state at birth.

 

Hello unreasonable


If you purchased CLIFFS OF DOVER,  are you aware you have a free upgrade to CLIFFS OF DOVER - BLITZ available to you?

 

Why not give it a try?... not only would you get the updated game with all the new versions of the original aircraft included such types as the Bf-109E-4N or Spitfire Mk I 100 octane, you also get completely new aircraft such as the Beaufighter, Bf-110C-6, etc.

 

Plus the improved graphics, improved sounds, accurate flight models, improved damage models, etc. etc.

 

Just install your original game in Steam or from CD, then go to Steam Library you will see the BLITZ update listed as a separate line.  Install it through Steam, then uninstall the original game before running the new BLITZ edition.

 

Before running please take the time to read through the 'Getting Started and Troubleshooting Guide' which is in the main IL-2 BLITZ folder inside the 'manuals' folder... there is also a link once you are in the game... also a link to the 'Joystick Wizard' program which allows you to set up your joystick.

 

I would urge you to actually try out the current version of the game.  Then perhaps you can get a real sense of where the game is now, not where it was in 2011.

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