The next few months of development for IL-2: Battle of Bodenplatte are going to bring the project much closer to completion. Given what we’ve learned over the last couple of updates I thought it’d be good to take stock of the latest.
The next beta?
The next closed beta for the IL-2 series will, according to 1CGS, include the Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.G, Halberstadt CL.II, Bristol Fighter F.2B, and using my best guess, the P-51D-15. It’s possible the Mustang is not in but based on comments from Jason a couple of months ago, the P-51 was intended for a late June/July release and Jason was at the time fairly convinced it would slip into July.
With a typical 2-3 week testing period before release it’s possible that we might see the Mustang by the end of July.
The Bodenplatte map
According to the developers, the map for Bodenplatte is nearly finished:
The work on the Bodenplatte map is nearing completion and we’ll be able to show you the screenshots showing the result of this tremendous work soon.Han on Developer Diary #225
Is it in contention for being a part of the next release? I don’t feel very confident about that right now as almost finished usually means a lot of testing. At least when it comes to something that is as large and object dense as the Bodeplatte map. Still, it may be a candidate for release in late summer.
We haven’t seen the map show up in its seasonal variations for quite some time now so that may require some extra work too. You’ll recall that Bodenplatte’s map is intended to come in late summer, autumn, winter, and early spring varieties representing the campaign which is intended to run from September 17th, 1944 and ending on April 1st, 1945.
The Arras map
We haven’t seen much of the Arras map for Flying Circus. This WWI themed map needs not only the aircraft but also the buildings, the objects, and the vehicles to really be fully complete. From the screenshots we’ve already seen, they have made good progress on at least some of those objects already.
I suspect that once Ugra Media is done with their work upgrading the aircraft that they will then be working on things like vehicles, AAA guns, as well as various static objects.
The Tempest Mark V
Today was the first time that we saw the Tempest Mark V in-engine. It’s been a few months since we saw the Mustang so it may yet be a couple of months before we can fly the Tempest.
Sometimes aircraft come out in different orders depending on the artists and teams working on them and any technical glitches or difficulties that arise. So nothing is set in stone here.
And two others
We are of course waiting for the P-38J-25 flyable which will likely be the last aircraft to arrive for Battle of Bodenplatte and the AI-only B-25D. I know there’s a vocal group of fans that are excited for the P-38 and I can’t say I blame them – I flew the 38 a lot in IL-2: 1946 as it quickly became my choice American fighter mount for fighter and fighter-bomber missions. It’s long awaited return to the series should be well worth the wait.
The B-25D is less anticipated at the moment if only because its an AI aircraft and more part of the overall vehicle package. That said, it still has a vital role as part of the IL-2: Battle of Bodenplatte career and it is likely to become a flyable at some point. We just have to wait a bit longer for that to happen.
More tanks too
We are of course waiting for the PzKpfw V Ausf.D “Panther”, Sd. Kfz. 184 “Ferdinand”, SU-122, and SU-152 for Tank Crew prior to the vehicles being completed. The series will also be introducing its twin campaigns – one for each side of the Kursk tank battle. The campaigns got a mention in the most recent developer update with voice overs being recorded (something the series hasn’t done much of yet) for them so that should be interesting.
Finally… Battle of Battle of Rheinland Career
Bodenplatte’s “Battle of Rheinland” Career mode is underway now as the map itself nears completion. No doubt the excellent features from the Career for other IL-2: Great Battles Series titles will be recycled here (and I expect more of the same) but with plenty of new content in terms of unit histories and squadron emblems.
New mission types may appear as well. The RAF were famous for their “TacR” free-hunt style missions as well as for the ‘Rat Catcher’ missions chasing Me262s back to their base. Hopefully some interesting mission types along with the usual we already know will be part of this package.
Both near and far
Lots of content is still to come within 1CGS current plan with some of it due potentially within the next few weeks while others may not be coming for at least a few more months. Certainly we’ll see much of this content before the year is through and that’s very exciting as the current vision comes to term.
What 1CGS plans to do next is the subject of much debate and speculation. I will weigh in with some ideas in a future post but feel free to make your guesses below. One way or another, things are pretty exciting for fans of the series coming in the near future.