This latest IL-2: Great Battles developer diary is a juicy one filled with plenty of cool details about things that are coming soon to the IL-2 series. These updates plus some recent news on the forum from the developers and a new spotting video help round out all of the latest that we know about the IL-2 series.
Free Tempest campaign is coming soon
IL-2: Battle of Bodenplatte owners are getting a free campaign featuring the Hawker Tempest Mark V in the latest campaign from 1CGS campaign designer, BlackSix. ‘Wind of Fury’ puts you in the Tempest Mark V with the RNZAF 486 squadron flying from October 1st, 1944 to January 1st, 1944.
I turn to the developer diary and BlackSix’s own words on the campaign from here.
The story of the campaign is based on the Operations Record Books of the 486th for the second half of 1944 and the historical works on the late war RAF and Luftwaffe actions available in English. After doing the research of the ORB, the most interesting missions were selected that were not too long to require the external fuel tanks which are not yet available in our sim yet. In reality, Tempests were flying with additional fuel tanks almost all the time and we’ll add them to the campaign later, but for now, you’ll be able to finish any mission with a default fuel amount.
Another interesting development is that this campaign will be updated again in the future. There are no B-26 or Typhoon escort missions in place and none of the other new aircraft coming with Battle of Normandy are available just yet so we’ll have to wait to both fly them and experience this campaign with those aircraft present. It shows dedication to both the history and us as the customers that they intend to provide this update when the added content becomes available.
The rest of the developer diary talks about how BlackSix has worked with the day by day history of the No 486 RNZAF squadron to produce a historically authentic experience but one tempered by simulation and gameplay realities. If his past campaigns are anything to go by, the missions should be fun and cinematic too. Most of you know I’m a huge fan of the Tempest and so I really can’t wait to fly this campaign.
It will be free to all Battle of Bodenplatte owners and will come with 4K Tempest skins representing the aircraft of the squadron.
Aircraft visibility and new haze effects
The issue of aircraft visibility and difficult to spot aircraft has come up time and again over the last 12-months and 1CGS is making another significant effort to improve spotting and overall visibility in a realistic way.
IL-2’s lead producer, Jason Williams, has put together a new 4K resolution demo which should show off the new spotting system better than his past video. YouTube’s 4K compression is significantly less damaging to video quality than 1080p videos so this should make a difference to what we get to see – if you can, bump the quality up to 4K for the less lossy compression effect.
In addition to better spotting coming in the next patch, we’re also seeing the reintroduction of haze with a new adjustable haze effect. It’s adjustable in the QMB as well as by mission designers. Ironically, at least to me, when Battle of Kuban came out, IL-2’s 10km haze was replaced with a much improved render distance and clear skies to go with it. Now that haze is being added back in again, not as a way to work with a graphical limitation, but to help simulate a more realistic looking atmospheric effect.
The haze should have an interesting impact on visibility and spotting too. Closer aircraft may be more visible against the ground while more distant aircraft may be less visible. We’ll have to test and see.
New screenshots are also out showing off the new haze effect. We also get another tease at the Hurricane in these images. The model is in although likely not finished as its just silhouetted against the sky.
Patch 4.501 and beyond
1CGS has upped the version number from the 4.0 range to 4.5 with the next patch which is due soon. A major point release like that sometimes indicates more significant under the hood changes. Certainly with new spotting and haze effects there are some big changes but perhaps even more are underway.
Also being added is the new MSAA x8 graphics setting for even better looking visuals – but with a corresponding performance hit. This setting will likely only be enjoyable on higher end systems.
Now, what about the Hurricane? With the tease above it’s clear that it’s made progress but it’s also still not fully revealed which probably means that it needs a little more time in the oven. That means it likely won’t come with 4.501 but quite probably will in October. That’s what Jason Williams confirmed on the forums today:
Hurri is in October.Jason Williams
Also confirmed, while responding to a question about campaigns for the German side, is a new Fw190 ground attack campaign for Battle of Kuban. Here’s what BlackSix had to say about that:
I’m creating Fw 190 ground-attack campaign for the Battle of Kuban. It will be ready next year.BlackSix
That’s another exciting title to look forward to in the future.