Battle Over Europe

By Scott Parrino 29 Apr 2004 0

Introduction: The "Other" Europe

Battle Over Europe is an expansion for the IL-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles combat flight simulation. It is, to say the least, well-known in the world of PC pilots. Even if it's not the absolute best combat flight simulation, and one would have a hard time proving that, it easily rates as the top game in many of the sub-categories of World War II flight sims or prop fighter sims. The expansion pack itself was produced by people who had been intimately involved with the development of Forgotten Battles, and was published by a company that has a few dozen flight sim add-ons listed in the promo section of the CD-ROM- a promising combination.

For more on IL-2: Forgotten Battles I recommend The Wargamer's review by Allan Parent or paying a visit to the official game site.

The original Forgotten Battles was set at the eastern front of the Second World War. This new expansion gives the player a chance to experience air combat in the west. To describe the theater of operations as Western Europe would be incorrect, as some of the missions take place over Hungary and neighboring countries. It's best to say that Battle Over Europe deals with the air war between the Western Allies and Germany. The Allied side of the conflict is represented with American planes and operations, with the addition of one historically based single-player mission for the RAF.  P-47 Thunderbolts, P-51 Mustangs, and B-17 Flying Fortresses once again face off with the Luftwaffe in a great-looking virtual world.

Features: What It Is and What It Isn't

There are three single-player missions, but the real substance of this pack is the campaigns, both online and off. There are six of these offline campaigns to choose from for each side:

USAAF

May 1944: Preparing the Invasion
June 1944: Operation Overlord
September 1944: Bombing Berlin
November 1944: Bombing Hungary
December 1944: Battle of the Bulge
February 1945: The Last Days

Luftwaffe

May 1944: France
June 1944: The Invasion
September 1944: Berlin Air Defense
November 1944: Hungary Air Defense
December 1944: Ardennes Offensive
February 1945: The Last Days

Battle Over Europe does not add any new planes, ground objects or maps to the simulation, and there are no improvements to the AI. Instead, it relies on the original game and the subsequent patches to produce the simulation's core, and generates missions around it. In other words, the planes and other objects will behave exactly as in Forgotten Battles, only the missions will have a different setup. In addition, there are 93 fresh, historically accurate aircraft paint schemes.

Multiple bomb hits on an airfield.

A formation of Flying Fortresses.

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