Three words: Combat, Flight, Simulator. Some gamers out there are already falling over themselves with glee at the very thought of this genre. Beware though, while it's easy enough to put a fighter plane in the air and make a game look good, it's in the details that the real pleasure lies. Fortunatley, IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey from 505 Games has the details down pat as well. IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey is a World War II sim' that features six of the major theatres of battle: the Battle of Britain, Stalingrad, Berlin, Sicily, the Bulge and Korsun. But it's not all about air war, as you also have to ensure that your ground crews are ready for action. As well as the battles the games features some of the classic aircraft from the WWII: the Messerschmitt Bf.109, the Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX, the P-47 Thunderbolt are included to scourge the skies as the heavy bombers make their way into action. These include the Bristol Blenheim Mk IV and the medium range Heinkel He 111 H-6. With a newly created damage system in place, you don't just fly these martial menaces, you also get to see real-time destruction of the enemy... of course, you also get to see again in real-time your own aircraft disintegrating around you as you take hit after hit. With 50 missions to play through as well as multi-player, IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey will keep avid flight sim gamers enthralled and in the action of months. But don't be worried if you're new to the genre. 505 has provided scalable difficulty levels, so if you've never taken to the skies under heavy fire with a mission objective to hit, this could be an excellent place to begin.
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