It’s been a long wait but today is the day that Heatblur took the wrapper off of their DCS: F-14 module and it looks like it was worth the wait. No more teasers, this is a full featured reveal of the DCS: F-14 and here are some of the details!
A fully featured module inside and out
Heatblur has ensured the players who buy the F-14 are getting the most out of their $79.99 USD price tag by including a ton of features that add to the F-14 experience. That starts with the DCS: F-14 including both F-14A and B models of the Tomcat although the initial offering will be a major feature launch of the F-14B with the F-14A coming a bit later.
Heatblur has spend some extensive time working with the flight model (using the EFM system that Eagle Dynamics provides to third parties) and using wind tunnel and test data along with input from former F-14 pilots and RIOs.
JESTER AI is an AI system developed by Heatblur to interact with the player while flying the F-14 in single player or by themselves in a multiplayer situation. JESTER AI operates the backseat controls and features hundreds of custom voice recorded calls. A command rose system lets you interact with JESTER and tell him what you want him to do.
DCS: F-14 is also launching with a full air-to-air arsenal including the AIM-9, AIM-7, and AIM-54, the later being unique to the F-14 and the AWG-9 radar system. The F-14 will also have its TV camera for long range visual identification and an air to ground capability with a variety of dumb and smart weapons including LGBs targeted by the RIO using the LANTRIN pod.
Two campaigns featuring the F-14A and F-14B on the Caucasus and Persian Gulf maps will also be included along with the the USS Forrestal (CV-59) and an AI A-6 Intruder for DCS World. All of this content helps round out the materials that Heatblur is building to support the F-14.
Heatblur has also worked with Meteor, an independent band, to create a full soundtrack for the F-14 that is very much inspired by the music of the Top Gun movie.
Heatblur has used photogrammetry and laser scanning of real F-14s in order to create what is likely to be the most accuracy and authentic looking F-14 in a simulator. The efforts have paid off and the F-14 in the available screenshots and video looks life-like. The cockpit images we’ve seen are also extremely impressive and its nice to see the whole thing coming together.
A unique feature announced during the live reveal is more of a detail that is nice to have where the different minor variations of the F-14s will be modeled. Over the years, there were small variations like different seat cushions, different weathering effects and so forth that Heatblur is apparently going to include.
Pre-orders available now, early access soon
Heatblur has opened up the floodgates on pre-orders for the DCS: F-14 charging $69.99 USD for the pre-order with $79.99 USD for the regular full price. Given the complexity of the aircraft, the systems involved and the added features that Heatblur are including in development, this seems to be on par with what Eagle Dynamics is charging for their F/A-18C Hornet.
We don’t have a specific date but Heatblur has indicated that their release date into early access will be “this Winter” which places the launch of this aircraft into DCS World between December and roughly February or March at the latest. Could it be in DCS World before the end of the year? It’s possible.
The F-14B will become available in early access first followed by the F-14A.
Watch the video and live stream
Missed the live stream? Check out the reveal here:
Or just cut straight to the trailer: