You may have heard of DCS Liberation campaign before. I’ve written an article or two before about this third party dynamic campaign and mission generator for DCS World. Until recently, however, I hadn’t had the opportunity to try it in multiplayer but over the last couple of weeks I have and it’s been an incredible experience. Here are some thoughts.
Cooperative multiplayer experience
Most of my DCS flying has been on PvE style servers with cooperative flying against waves of enemy AI aircraft and ground threats. Recently, a few of us started to fly a new DCS Liberation campaign over Syria.
We’d start off with a mission briefing with the person running the campaign sharing their screen and the rest of the group that was available to fly that day providing input on how they wanted to tackle the mission. Then we’d finalize the turn and start the mission up in a private server.
The first couple of missions saw us softening up enemy defenses. On our first mission we performed anti-ship missions against a trio of smaller warships operating in the coastal areas of the map. A full load of Harpoon missiles made short work of these types of ships with their limited anti-missile defense capabilities. CIWS attempted to engage but was unsuccessful at stopping our missiles.
Then it was a couple of missions aimed at anti-ship missiles and a radar system located at the Beruit international airport along the coast. These missions were challenging as enemy interceptors would sometimes evade our F-14’s on CAP duty and engage our Hornet’s directly.
Since those initial missions flying almost exclusively in Hornet’s, we’ve also started to fly in more mixed packages both based on personal preference and mission need.
I flew one sortie in an AV-8B loaded with a mix of rockets and laser guided Maverick’s to engage in a CAS mission near the frontline. The mission saw me kill just two enemy vehicles, however, it was pivotal as those vehicles were tanks and they were threatening capture of our primary airbase at Ramat David.
My last mission saw me performing a strike mission against more anti-ship missile launchers but this time using an F-16C equipped with CBU-97 sensor fused warheads and the newly available GBU-31 JDAM’s.
Others have joined us with one flying CAP missions in an F-15C and learning the ropes of the campaign and DCS World.
Liberation campaign can generate a challenging environment. Along the way we’ve faced threats from aggressive air defense aircraft ranging from Su-30’s to Su-22’s and MiG-29’s. I was shotdown by an IGLA missile during a low level attack run in one mission. In another my Harrier was critically damaged by enemy ground fire.
In my last sortie we tangled with a pair of MiG-25’s which got the drop on us with some sneaky tactics, far more sneaky than I would have expected from the AI as they used speed to disengage and then come back and snipe us several minutes later after we had assumed they had gone home.
It’s been a challenge to operate in this environment but it’s also been a lot of fun. Many in the group have remarked that this is more fun as a cooperative experience than some of the servers we’ve been on. I tend to agree although I’ve enjoyed my time online too.
Breath new life into DCS
Often the biggest issue with DCS is not the aircraft or the complex modeling but the ways in which you interact with it. DCS Liberation really has changed the conversation around both singleplayer and multiplayer for me recently. It can generate a wide variety of scenarios and let you fly your aircraft of choice while interacting with some believably generated missions. These are fun and challenging and they don’t yet feel so artificial so as to feel like you’re doing the same mission over and over again.
If Eagle Dynamics own integrated dynamic system is as good as this, it will change things for the better for DCS players all over. But there’s no need to wait because DCS Liberation is here already.