New content for IL-2: Battle of Kuban has been slowly been added to the early access version of the newest installment in the IL-2 series since December 2016. Now, nearly a year later we’re at the point where the series is about to take its next big step with the final release of IL-2: Battle of Kuban. We’re nearly there and we know a little about what comes after too.
A trilogy of Eastern Front releases
IL-2: Battle of Kuban is the third release in the next gen IL-2 developed by 1C Game Studios and 777 Studios. The team is a small yet dedicated one that has taken some impressive technology first pioneered in Rise of Flight, a previous World War I focused title, and made it into something even greater.
In the last year the series has added a DX11 engine upgrade, VR support, a half dozen new aircraft, a Caucasus based Kuban region map, and promises to add a couple more aircraft and major new features before its done.
IL-2: Battle of Kuban is likely the last of the Eastern Front based titles for the series in the immediate future. A jump to the Pacific has been announced with the 1942 Battle of Midway and 1945 Battle of Okinawa currently being the planned titles. More details will be released later but until then we look eagerly at the final couple of months of Battle of Kuban development.
Co-op, Career mode, new effects
Major gameplay and graphical changes are still to come. The new Co-op mode ports over a well developed gameplay mode from Rise of Flight and introduces it into IL-2. Co-op is designed around mission style gameplay where human and AI aircraft interact.
Career mode will offer an entirely new way to generate a singleplayer campaign experience. This time you’ll have persistent pilot “characters” belonging to historically researched squadrons across all three titles in the series. It offers continuity if you own all three titles as well – starting a career at Moscow you can progress to Stalingrad and ultimately Kuban.
New effects such as rain on the windscreen, new cloud effects, nearly 4-times the rendering distance for terrain, new metallic finish effects and other smaller changes and tweaks over the course of the last year have continued to improve the visuals of the series. Many of these changes are expected in version 3.01 and the will help bring a fresh new look to the series.
The real question is when?
It’s been a couple of months since the last major update. Jason Williams, Lead Producer for IL-2, had warned us that we wouldn’t likely see any more major updates until the team was nearly done with the remaining content. With a couple of major game mode changes, major graphical changes, and three remaining aircraft still due its likely we’ll see all of these arriving at once in version 3.01.
When will this happen? For the effects Jason says we’ll probably see these at the end of the year:
The environmental effects should be done by end of the year. The metal skins will be applied over time since it take a bit of effort for each one.
For the rest of the title it seems as if December or January will be when Kuban is finished and complete according to Jason Williams:
Kuban will be considered complete at the end of the year or sometime in January 2018. Since we are in Early Access you can enjoy the sim now as we finish the final bits. I suggest buying soon before the price goes up to $79.99. Early Access customers get a discount.
If I were to guess, we’ll probably see a huge Battle of Kuban patch coming at the end of the year but that may not be the final patch. We’ll probably see a polishing patch to come sometime in January.
This is not the end
Don’t forget, two additional Collector Planes are confirmed: the La-5FN and Bf109G-6.
The La-5FN is one of two Collector Planes due to be released. It’ll feature the highest low level top speed of any Russian aircraft currently available. Meanwhile, the ubiquitous Bf109G-6 is also going to be offered.
Similar (albeit slightly lower) performing than the G-4 before it, the Bf109G-6’s biggest feature is likely to be its MG131 heavy machine guns in the upper nose deck. These add to the weight of available firepower. It’s rumoured though unconfirmed that the MK108 30mm nose cannon may also be available as an unlock – giving the G-6 the heaviest available firepower of any of the Bf109 series to date.
After these two aircraft are complete, 1CGS will likely shift production towards the Pacific and the 1942 based Midway battle while maintaining and updating the core features of the title.