Of course, my own experience was mostly with the damage model, which admittedly remains a work in progress. The first time I drove into the ground at full speed, my plane's flaming fuselage bounced roughly 50 feet into the air before eventually coming to a rest, prompting a passing 1C representative to comment: "Never seen that before." When I wasn't crashing and burning, I was either tracking my opponent and trying to get on their tail, or just watching as the wind buffeted my plane. For the first time, I felt aware of how fragile these contraptions really were; not much more than a paper glider with a high-powered engine attached. Perhaps even more than the crashes, this is what I remember of IL-2 Sturmovik. I wish I had some more interesting stories to tell than, "I flew around for about five minutes, then I went into an uncontrolled spin and died," but honestly, that was kind of the story of the night. I wasn't alone, either. Everywhere I looked, I saw grim-faced journalists clutching their flight sticks for dear life, desperate to stay in the air. I would even say that I had more success than most Ordinarily, I might be a little harsher on a demo in which I had a little to no success, but I'm aware of Sturmovik's pedigree, and my own limitations as a pilot. I expect that when Battle of Stalingrad is out this fall, it will be a bit more forgiving, and that the missions will consist of more than trying (and failing) to shoot down one enemy fighter. For now, it's all potential. But even in it's relatively limited state, I can see reasons to be excited. Among other things, it's gorgeous, even when the ground consists of nothing but an endless snowscape dotted with the occasional house. 1C says they're building Sturmovik for the best computers on the market, and I believe it. This is also a developer that has been building strong flight sims for a while now, and I see no reason to expect that Battle of Stalingrad will break that mold. If 1C follows through on their ambitions, then Sturmovik will once again be one of the best World War II flight sims on the market. I have faith that they can pull it off. I just hope that one day I get to be a good enough pilot to really enjoy it.
IL-2 is quite the looker