1C Game Studios has revealed their next big IL-2: Great Battles Series title in the form of IL-2: Battle of Normandy. This western front themed title is directly complementary with the just released IL-2: Battle of Bodenplatte and brings the series up to two western front themed expansions for the series. There are plenty of details to uncover and a lot to talk about here so let’s get to it and look for continued coverage as we look to the future of the series!
New and familiar tactical aircraft
The skies over Normandy before and after the D-Day Operation Overlord invasion were filled with aircraft. Though the Luftwaffe failed to make much of an impression on D-Day itself, the days and weeks that followed featured an intense aerial war. Months before the conflict also saw an incredible amount of tactical air war action – something the IL-2 series does incredibly well.
With that in mind, 1C Game Studios has chosen the following aircraft to develop for this new series including a few familiar types as well as a good number of aircraft that have consistently made the top of many wishlists.
Let’s have a look:
- P-47D (early Razorback version)
- Typhoon Mark IB
- Mosquito FB.VI
- Spitfire XIV (Collector Plane)
- C-47 Dakota (AI)
- B-26 Marauder (AI)
- Bf109G-6 “Late”
- Ar234 (Collector Plane)
- V-1 Buzz Bomb (AI)
The announcement was keen to mention that this list is preliminary and if for some reason their research hits a snag, they will deliver a suitable replacement. To date, 1CGS has not needed to do that so with luck they will be able to make this all happen.
I intend to write a full analysis of the aircraft list in a follow up post but suffice to say that I’m very excited by many of the types on the list. Fan favourites that have been repeatedly called for include the Mosquito, earlier P-51 and P-47 versions, the Spitfire XIV (which has seen a dozen multi-page discussions on the forums over the years) the Me410 and, yes, even a bunch of diehard Bf109 pilots calling for a late model Bf109G-6 variant.
Slightly different than earlier efforts, the team is also intending to bring in a few AI-only aircraft. The C-47 Dakota was essential for operations during D-Day and so it makes sense for this troop transport to make an appearance. The B-26 Marauder is also coming which will help fill out the USAAF medium bomber line-up and to my knowledge is the first time we’ve seen a B-26 in any modern sim.
While these types are AI-only for now, 1CGS has a habit of doing their best to make these flyable types in the future. If in a couple of years time we had both B-25 and B-26… I think a great many bomber pilots would be happy.
Absent the list is the B-17 and the B-24. The large, multi-station heavy bombers remain a challenge. I will have a whole article devoted to that coming soon too.
Also included in the update is the proposed Normandy map. This is not necessarily the final borders but is an interesting arrangement at 410km x 270km for 110,000+ square kilometers.
The developers are intending to release both pre and post D-Day variants of the map. The post version undoubtedly will feature the various temporary airbases that the Allies setup in Normandy in the days following invasion.
Just as Bodenplattte wasn’t just about January 1st, Battle of Normandy doesn’t appear to be just about D-Day as the map favours a wide variety of operations both in the months before and the months after invasion. Allied Supreme Commander Eisenhower directed that twice as many Allied missions be flown in areas away from the planned invasion area so as not to arouse suspicion or tip the Germans off to their plan.
Included in the post is mention of the Pilot Career spanning not just D-Day but possibly even going back into 1942 and 1943. That would potentially include some minor upgrades to the existing Spitfire Vb model and the use of assets from other titles.
Digital Warfare engine moves forward
Also mentioned in the announcement is the intention to move forward on even more features for their core Digital Warfare simulation engine. These updates won’t just benefit Battle of Normandy but will also support prior titles too. Those include:
- Air Marshal
- Improved multiplayer lobby
- GUI-based object viewer
- New rendering techniques
- Drop tanks
Many of these are exciting including the still somewhat mysterious Air Marshal and the long asked for multiplayer lobby updates. New rendering techniques sound interesting and indeed we’ve heard from Jason Williams in the last few months talking about engine updates. Will IL-2 get more sophisticated PBR rendering technologies? It’s possible.
Pre-order starts today
IL-2: Battle of Normandy pre-order starts today. It’s slightly up in price at $89.99 USD (up $10 from Bodenplatte) and will have a $10 discount maintained through the pre-order and early access period.
Look for much more coverage on this new title, it’s aircraft, it’s features and a host of other items following up as soon as I am able (it’s a busy time of year for me right now so these will come when I can write them). Stay tuned!