Flying Circus Vol 1 has been out for long enough that I’ve started to give some more though towards what the future might hold for this series within the IL-2: Great Battles collection of titles. Although Flying Circus Vol 1 isn’t perfect (read my full review here), nearly every time I fly it, I am filled with a desire to see this title expand and so I am hoping for more with Flying Circus in the future. Here are some key items that I’d love to see come to fruition this time around.
A bigger map
First on my wish list is to see a larger map space than the current Arras map. I have no trouble understanding why 1CGS decided to go with a smaller map as there were plenty of time considerations and Yugra media were creating their very first map for the series so smaller scale is nearly always better when it comes to these kinds of things.
Arras’ smaller size hasn’t been a huge issue for me as both multiplayer and single player experiences can fit well enough inside the map space. On the other hand, we’ve been spoiled by much larger maps in the past both for Rise of Flight and for the IL-2 series and so it’d be wonderful to have more variety and versatility in a future map.
I have an idea how that could work as well. IL-2: Battle of Normandy will be releasing with a Normandy focused map that also extends well to the east including places like Dover, Calais, and more. Coincidentally, part of this map is covered by Rise of Flight’s old Channel Map. Would it save time for the map team(s) to create a WWI and WWII variant of this map? It’d certainly be interesting to see if something like this happens.
More aircraft variety
The ten aircraft selected for Flying Circus Vol 1 were absolutely the right aircraft to choose for a Vol 1 release. Representing most of the top aircraft purchased and flown in Rise of Flight, these aircraft are all competitive and iconic representations of the late WWI air war and they make complete sense.
Now that we have those types, I’d love to see a few more of the same but also some added variety and versatility. The Handley Page 0-400, the Gotha G.V bombers with their twin engines and multiple gun turrets are among the largest combat aircraft of the war and would add a new dimension to Flying Circus’ current air battles.
A few have even wondered when we’ll see the Felixstowe F.2A flying boat and Brandenburg W12 sea plane.
More French aircraft
The SPAD XIII was a great beginning for French aircraft in Flying Circus but of course it’d be great to see other iconic types like the Nieuport 17 or Breguet 14.B2 added to the mix or even the earlier Spad VII – thought I’d prefer to see other types first.
A full Career mode and plans for Scripted Campaigns
Flying Circus Vol 1’s biggest issue was it’s lack of single player content at launch. Although a fan made Scripted Campaign and a couple of campaign and mission generators go a decent way towards starting to redress that issue, I’ve seen more than a few comments on forums and on Reddit where people were shocked to learn either before or after purchase that no Career mode was available.
In fairness to 1CGS, no Career mode was ever planned or even hinted at and so the team has been very upfront with us about that issue. Nonetheless, it remains an issue. A future Vol 2 should go all out and make sure that both Vol 1 and Vol 2 have Career mode built in – it will only strengthen the series.
The elephant in the room?
All of this assumes that Flying Circus Vol 2 will be made at all. The elephant in the room right now is that while 1CGS has announced their plans for IL-2: Battle of Normandy, they have made no such announcements about the future of Flying Circus (or Tank Crew for that matter).
That, however, may not necessarily mean anything. Flying Circus Vol 1 was made in part by engaging Yugra Media to help re-build the aircraft assets for the new Digital Warfare engine. Partnerships need to no doubt be renewed for a second round which may take some time.
The publisher for the IL-2 series, 1C, may also be evaluating sales over a longer time to see if Vol 1 has the sales volume to make a Vol 2 attempt worthwhile. That does pain me a bit as I think that a Vol 2 development cycle would not only sell more (if they add critical things like a Career mode) copies of Vol 2, it would likely also bolster sales and entice more people to buy Vol 1.
Just as IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad, Moscow and Kuban each have provided benefit to the other by adding variety and scope, and IL-2: Battle of Normandy will add to IL-2: Battle of Bodenplatte in a similar way, a Vol 2 for Flying Circus I think would help put it over the edge. A second volume would also show confidence in the series and that may also seek to help bolster the sales of Vol 1 if the promises of Vol 2 helped to entice.
While the future remains a little murky at this time, I am still hopeful for a Vol 2 to Flying Circus. The Vol 1 in the title does suggest to me that they have made plans for a Vol 2 and maybe even a Vol 3 and 4 in a design document somewhere. That one isn’t announced yet is not cause for alarm and there is plenty of time for 1CGS and Lead Producer Jason Williams to eventually address questions on that.
For now, Flying Circus Vol 1 continues to be very entertaining for me as I regularly participate in the Thursday Night Fly-in events and occasionally make the Sunday afternoon Flying Circus Furball. These events are increasingly well attended as more squadrons and organizations from Rise of Flight move to the new platform and the updated sim.
With the community helping to fill in the blanks with a scripted campaign, a huge community skin pack, and weekly multiplayer events, it should be clear to 1C and anyone else looking in that this series has a dedicated fan following – one that has potential to expand.
I really hope it does!