The latest patch for the IL-2: Great Battles Series brings with it a ton of new features with some big highlights including the Spitfire XIV and Nieuport N.28 as well as the new dynamic visual damage system which should change up the way you see damaged vehicles in the sim. There’s over a hundred new features and changes listed in the change log so lets look over the key points.
Finally, the Spitfire XIV
I first became aware of the late model Spitfire XIV when I got into Aces Over Europe by Dynamix in the early 1990’s. The five bladed, bubble canopy variant that they chose to represent was very different from the standard Mark IX that I was more familiar with and thus my great interest in these late war fighters began.
I missed out on the classic European Air War by Microprose so the last time I personally flew the Spitfire XIV in a sim was back with Aces Over Europe. It is also available in War Thunder but I hadn’t managed to grind my way along the tech tree far enough to get it yet when I stopped flying that title. So… at long last we have a Spitfire XIV in a top tier WWII combat flight simulation and this is going to be great!
Enter the N.28!
Nieuport’s N.28 came a little too late for the French Air Force which had committed to the SPAD XIII but the fledgling United States Army Air Service was desperate for competitive aircraft for its pursuit squadrons and so the N.28 became a key type in that service’s history.
The arrival of the N.28 into the sim marks the first aircraft of the Flying Circus Vol 2 title to arrive so this is a momentous occasion. I remember when we got the SPAD XIII for the first time a couple of years ago and I think this is nearly as important a milestone. The key difference of course is that we have a complete Vol 1 set that this aircraft will slide into seamlessly and as Vol 2 evolves we’ll see the air war of WWI grow in both available types and in type diversity. I’m excited!
The GAZ-MM 72-K AA vehicle
We have the series’ first mobile, player controllable, anti-aircraft vehicle in the form of the GAZ-MM. With a 72-K 25mm anti-aircraft gun on the back of the truck, the GAZ is going to make quite the splash on combined arms multiplayer servers. Soon it will also be joined by a German counterpart which I’m sure we’ll see more of soon!
Dynamic vehicle damage
The other big feature arriving is ‘dynamic vehicle damage’ or DVD as the devs have been calling it. This technology places different types of visual damage details right on the spot where the damage was done. Put a 75mm tank round into the side of a Panzer? It’ll show where the damage was done. Pepper the wing of a Bf109? You’ll see all of the impact points.
The technology has the potential to drag the whole system down so the devs have ensured that there’s a hybrid approach with visual damage showing only when you were in range to see it. If you see a damaged aircraft later… it will use the older system. A fair tradeoff for performance.
This patch is also introducing things like the new tactical codes on all of the tanks as well as the P-51D and N.28. Other aircraft will get the tactical codes treatment as time goes on. Bodenplatte map has new railyards added all over the map, there are new graphical effects for munitions and bomb blasts and the Bf109 series has had their tail damage model reworked completely.
For all of the details, check the detailed patch notes. I’m off to fly a Spitfire XIV for the first time in decades!