1CGS dropped a ton of information on the community this week including information about the Hs129, the Kuban map, shadows, and more. We’ve even got a brand new video to watch too. Let’s get to it!
Hs129B-2 coming sooner than expected
I’m jumping to the biggest surprise in the update this week – news that the Hs129B-2 attack plane for the German side is nearly finished and will be available soon.
According to Han, the work on the aircraft is nearly done with cockpit textures and flight model currently being finalized. Its expected to be finished in the next couple of weeks. Typically the team has then had a beta test period after everything is content complete that tends to last another month. So my best guess is that the Hs129B-2 will become available in September.
This is a great opportunity to remind everyone on exactly what modifications/armament options this ground pounding attack aircraft comes with:
Two fuselage mounted 7.92mm machine guns MG 17, 1000 rounds per each.
Two fuselage mounted 15mm guns MG 151/15, 250 rounds per each. They can be
replaced with 20 mm guns MG 151/20 with the same amount of ammo.
30mm drum-fed gun Mk 101 in the gun pod (30 rounds).
30mm belt-fed gun Mk 103 in the gun pod (80 rounds).
Four 7.92mm machine guns MG 17 in the gun pod, 1000 rounds per each.
Two SC 50 underwing bombs.
Four SC 50 underwing bombs.
SC 250 underbelly bomb.
These options make the Hs129 very good at busting tanks and generally good at attacking ground targets. Analogus to the IL-2 in many ways, this Collector Plane will be initially be only available to Premium pre-order owners of IL-2: Battle of Kuban. Standard edition owners can later buy it separately.
Kuban map and shadow updates
The Kuban map is coming in Update 2.012 sometime close to the end of this month (August). The map as I’ve said many times now adds a bunch of new terrain features we just haven’t seen in the series so far including mountains, rolling hills and open ocean.
Speaking of ocean, Han informs us that the team has been busy making the ocean look better. They didn’t say exactly what but I think the quality of the display has improved somewhat. It appears a little less shiny and takes on a richer set of colours in these latest images.
More shadow options are available now. Shadows can be rendered on objects further away increasing the immersion for people with high end video cards. Further sharpened shadows from the ones we were shown a few weeks ago are also now available.
These two screen shots are from the improved but not the ones that are even sharper. UI updates will enable people to toggle these settings as desired.
To keep us satiated for a couple more weeks the developers have shown off a new video flying over Gelendzhik bay – just kilometers down the coast from the port at Novorossiysk. The video shows off the updated water and shadows too.
There are some key moments in this video that are truly impressive.
Flying over the ocean and looking down beneath the clouds to the water is extremely impressive visually. With the Pacific theatre coming in future releases it was important to get this right and it sure looks like the team has got something that looks convincing.
The interaction between clouds and the mountains is also really good looking. I’ve seen the old IL-2 engine really struggle with getting the cloud depth right but here it looks smooth and seamless.
Taking off on a foggy morning and weaving through mountains and valleys should be an incredible sight. The wait is nearly over!
Career mode programming nearly complete
Another update today was about the new Career mode. Han tells us that its nearly complete with 90% of the programming finished and work is now being put towards filling the system with content. The release of this isn’t expected until closer to launch – October or November is more likely so we’re still a few months away.
Career mode will replace the current Campaign system that is not very well liked. The new system will actually be a lot like the old Rise of Flight Career mode which is encouraging because what I’ve played of it is definitely superior to what IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad shipped with.
Even better is that this new mode will come to Battle of Stalingrad, Battle of Moscow and Battle of Kuban all at the same time. So even users of the earlier releases will be gaining significantly when this new system comes out.
What we still don’t know
The news that the Hs129B-2 is nearly complete and ready to enter testing mixes up the release dates that we thought we knew fairly well. Up until now the release schedule has held together fairly well with some content being released only a little bit later or a bit earlier than originally anticipated.
Will the Hs129B-2 make the 2.012 Kuban map patch? I’m guessing that’s too many new things at once for a single update and usually a four week beta test period is usually observed before an aircraft becomes available. I’m expecting this one to arrive in September?
For the Kuban map we know its arriving in the next update but we don’t know which seasons will be available. Will spring, summer and autumn be available? At the moment we’ve only seen the summer map so perhaps that’s all that we’ll see at first.
And of course we don’t have confirmation on when the new Career Mode will arrive but we can guess that it will still be a few months out.
Stay tuned folks! This fall we’ll be seeing IL-2: Battle of Kuban come together in a big way with the final pieces of content falling into place including some highly sought after aircraft like the A-20 and P-39.