Monday, July 27, 2009

On the near future of flight simulation...

Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of IL-2 Sturmovik show some beautiful scenery and plane detail

Cockpit details are amazingly good

Ok, do not panic. It is hard to admit, but it is happening. Finally a console game that looks like it could be called a simulation... The Sturmovik series is heading towards several gaming devices including Nintendo DS and Sony PSP - but we don't really care about those handheld toys :-)...
The main thing for us (us meaning responsible adults who spend a considerable amount of time pretending flying airplanes) is that the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions look really good. And if the previews around the internet are to be considered a serious indicator, they are probably the closest thing to a PC-sim ever.
Sure some compromises have been done, like 100x100km "chunks" of scenery or like some deviations from historical accuracy done for the sake of balancing the difficulty (the latter point has already started some "flame wars" in several forums).
I am still skeptical - but I have to confess it is mainly because I don't like WWII warbirds too much... if we were talking about a Korean or Vietnam wars scenario I would be completely sold on this one.
How will the X360 pad work? What is the actual level of realism? How deep and dynamic will the campaign mode be? Well, as PC simmer I must be skeptical. But, we have to confess that the PC-simulation genre is becoming more an more a "niche" in the videogame world (and it wasn't like that in the good-old-times) and the only interesting things in a while have been Rise of Flight and DCS:Blackshark (both from Eastern Europe like Arma II btw).
Maybe the console user-base can give new momentum to flight simming...
Official IL-2 Sturmovik:Birds of Prey here:
PS For those wondering about the F-35...Well, it is coming very nicely but I've got the main landing gear bay completely wrong. I will remake it and then make a wip update.


Garth said...

Unless there's a sim based on UCAV's it won't be bought by me...and anyway, a UCAV is controlled by a piot sitting an external cockpit with a joystick.

Flight Sim is still going strong and many new ideas have been brought forward such as A2A's accu-sim and accu-sound. VRS got some seriously new things done with their superbug and that was in FS2004... There's a weapons module that has been created which looms the possibility of realistic combat situations.
And lest we forget about Aerosoft maybe making a new simulator so that could be a turning point in the market.

It may be a niche market but there is still hope for it yet.

ScimmiaSpaziale said...

Well, sure there is hope for the simming market ! Well, at least I hope so as I am venturing into the payware (better say "I am thinking to venture")...

I am sure that true simmers will remain on the PC. It is the only platform that has the flexibility we need.

Still, what seeing Sturmovik being onto the X360 - and looking good - is surely an interesting move.
By the way, I understand a demo will be realeased tomorrow... I am very curious to give it a try.

ScimmiaSpaziale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Garth said...

Unfortunately no X360 here... just a lovely PC which does me fine :-)
But I'll certainly look at the website.