IL 2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover - Talk to your doctor first !

Apr 7, 2011

The lovers of close gunfights rightly consider IL2 series as the Holy Grail of WWII combat simulators.
The game evolved torough the years with an impressive choice of over 300 airplanes to fly with. Furthermore, non-official add-ons like UltraPack and Online gaming systems such as HyperLobby contribute to keep this true gem alive, even after 10 years of existence.

Now, the long awaited successor IL 2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover,is there...

My copy arrived today from (could not buy on strangely and download-only version on UbiShop was for the price of the boxed product)

I went for the Collector Edition which contains a replica of the official "Pilot's Notes of the Spitfire 1 Aeroplane, Merlin II or III engine" (a small booklet really but still more detailed than the owner's manual of my Renault ), a nice Pilot Instructions booklet (the game manual) as well as a map of the Battle of Britain theatre printed on fabric. Nice, but not sure it was worth the extra 12€.

The release date should have been the 1st of April instead, really !

The fun begins when you install the game, which can take over an hour before you eventually get to the actual game splash screen (and you're not yet done with the troubles!)

Once you openned the required firewall ports, and get your Steam registration going, some long download will take place before the actual game installation starts from the DVD.

IL2 COD does not need any help to be slow, but Ubisoft found funny to add an Epilepsy filter which drops the FPS even further (option to turn it off is available with the first patch).

Note that only a handful of graphic cards are supported currently, and even then, you're not safe.Mine is a modest oem Radeon HD 6450 (not listed), in a decently average PC (4 Cores Athlon 3 Ghz and 4GB of RAM). Not an AlienWare of course, but  
I can run ArmA 2 and FSX with decent performance and it's not good enough for IL2 COD with lowest settings! (note that the "whooping" 13 FPS average in the screenshot above is obtained over the sea and after having tweaked the conf.ini!)

Talk to your doctor first !

Beside their epilepsy warning splashed at you when starting the game, Ubisoft should add a blood pressure warning:  the first contact with this game will have an adverse effect on your hypertension!

If this happens to you, try the following:
- Google for "IL-2 Sturmovik Cliffs of Dover unplayable low FPS" so you won't feel alone.
- Start a session of the old IL2 1946, which proves to be a good stress releaver.
- Post a ticket to Ubi (Don't let them in peace even though they won't reply!)
(- Write a post to evacuate your anger...)

Should you avoid or get a refund ?

If you already bought the game, remember the beginnings of IL2 Sturmovick. IL2 COD will improve, with better features and more aircrafts. Oleg Maddox team deserves that credit.
Just wait and play IL2 1946 in the meantime.

If you didn't buy the game yet, don't rush, the price may drop soon!

I'll update this section if the upcoming patch improves anything!

- Very long installation phase
- Invasive Steam platform required
- Many players can't exceed 5-10 FPS even with recent hardware (even with the above filter turned off)
- Anti-epilepsy filter will drive you mad (but not epileptic hopefully)
- On-screen throttle indicators
- Message box open by default (this one you can close)
- Still the old mission editor, I was expecting some rework on it.
- Some sounds are from the old IL2 and not on par with those from mods like UltraPack.


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