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IL-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles Ace Expansion Pack

Score: 90%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Ubisoft Entertainment
Developer: 1C Company
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 32
Genre: Miscellaneous

Graphics & Sound:

IL-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles Ace Expansion Pack doesn't offer a complete makeover in terms of looks, but it does add a few nice touches to keep the visuals fresh. The cockpits now look extremely detailed, even though you don't use all of the new instruments. There are also some new skins for planes which look very nice, and some new water effects that make bodies of water look extremely real. It'll drain your frame rate like a hungry beast, but if you've got a high end machine then you're in for an aquatic treat.

Though the expansion comes with some visual goodies, nothing new has been done in the way of sound. But if you think about what the original title had to offer in the way of bells and whistles, you'll realize that nothing new had to be done.


Though IL-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles Ace Expansion Pack doesn't boast a large single expansion experience, it counterweighs this with the myriad of little things it offers. The new planes, for one, are a force to be reckoned with. A collection of both prop planes and jets are available, along with other non-flyable planes such as the B-17 and V-2 rockets, bringing the total number of new aircraft to 28.

There are also a ton of new single player missions, along with a few new dynamic campaigns that encompass peripheral war zones like Hungary, Poland and Finland. New Ardennes, Normandy, and Pacific maps are available also, expanding the horizons of where you can take all those new planes.

There are also a whole slew of online Multiplayer missions, including large cooperative ones and an online dynamic campaign. The online campaign is handled just as in the original game, but this time you can keep score with your wingmen as you progress through the missions.


The AI hasn't had a dramatic facelift, but then again, it didn't need one. Single player opponents are noticeably better at utilizing the strengths of their respective planes, but all in all, it's still a tough nut to crack, especially at the higher difficulty levels. But all the AI in the world can't substitute for a good player v. player experience, and the IL-2 online community has some of the best arm chair pilots around. Be warned though, the players you'll meet online are some seriously hard core flight fanatics, and new players don't always find it easy to infiltrate this seemingly elite clique of people. Don't worry though, because the single player experience is as perfect as anyone could ask for, and tweaking the realism level can be done down to the most minor of details.

Game Mechanics:

The flight engine in IL-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles Ace Expansion Pack is still one of the best you'll find outside of a military air base. There are very few bugs or glitches to find, and only those who truly understand the flight dynamics of WWII combat planes will be likely to find them.

The dynamic campaigns are still handled exceptionally well. For those who are new to the concept of dynamic campaigns, let me explain how they work. The front line of the war only moves based on ground operations. However, as a pilot, you can either speed up or slow down this process by destroying enemy supply lines. With fewer supplies, the enemy has lees troops. There is a finite number of troops and equipment that the game keeps track of, including planes, so if you manage to do some damage to the enemy, it will be noticeable in future missions. These missions are randomly generated once you complete the previous one, and it factors in all those variables I just mentioned to create the next one in line.

Ace may not be the huge expansion people were looking for, especially with a slightly steep price tag, but it definitely delivers where it counts. This package has enough to offer to hold people off for Battle of Britain, the next flight game in line by the developers of IL-2. But even after that comes out, if IL-2 keeps getting the kind of support expansions like Ace are giving it, it will surely outlast many flight sims to come.

-Snow Chainz, GameVortex Communications
AKA Andrew Horwitz

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 98/2K/ME/XP, 800 MHz Processor, 256 MB RAM, 4X CD-ROM, 32 MB Video Ram, 1100 MB Hard Disk Space

Test System:

Windows XP, 1.4GHz AMD Athlon, GeForce FX 128 MB video card, 40 GB Hard Drive, 56x CD-ROM, 256MB DDR Ram, Sound Blaster Live! sound card, Cable Modem Internet connection

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Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated