From the TEA forums...
After playing a heap of X3 recently with my Saitek controller, and with a mate having just purchased one, I got the bug back for flight-sim action. I'd originally bought IL-2 WoP on Xbox figuring it would be a natural for the 360 controller. I was horribly wrong... even on the most arcade of modes the level of control offered by the device was poor and made the game frustrating and unplayable.
With a joystick hooked up, IL-2 WoP became a highly enjoyable and complex combat flight-sim.
Firstly, make no mistake, this is a sim! The pics you see below are all from arcade mode, but I had a crack at Simulator level (middle level is called 'Realistic') and you do need to watch your trim, engines, props, all sorts of mechanical stuff.
When I first started, I found that I had to create a YuPlay account in order to get online play. I wasn't too happy with this, I've got enough of these little third party apps already. Anyway, turns out that this game requires always-on activation which REALLY sucks. But once I'd signed up, I was good to go. Straight away I hit a problem, they have presets for a lot of well known joysticks, so I selected Saitek X-52. In-game however, my plane had a permanent left-rudder happening and my aileron and other axes were backwards. See the links below (the second link fixed my problem).
Joystick Guide - http://forum.yuplay.com/index.php?showtopic=1037
Saitek X-52 setup suggestion - http://forum.yuplay.com/index.php?s=&sh ... st&p=14716
First thing you notice once you're in a game is how pretty it is. The landscape is highly detailed and stretches off to the horizon. What towns there are are very well modelled and seem to have an unusually high amount of AA as the lines are so sharp. Clouds are a lovely cotton-candy and when chasing someone flying through them they obfuscate the plane in a very realistic way. You have three different viewing aspects to chose from.. the first is above and to the rear of your plane... while not realistic it is a pleasant view and still offers a solid challenge. The second view is like the road view in racers.. no part of your plane is visible at all. The best view is of course from the cockpit, the sounds change and the action heats up, I hope that the online multiplayer can force this cockpit view for extra funzies.
The tutorials are very well done and give you an excellent grasp of all aspects of the game from controlling your own plane (with rockets, MG and bombs) as well as commanding your squadron. Squadron command is particularly well done with no more than two button presses required to have them attack targets, defend you or fall into formation.
The missions are well done also with a clear layout and (so far) achievable goals. You can also choose to continue a mission after you've completed the main objectives and land your plane... this is great fun except for two problems... you don't get a compass only a bearing meaning it's very hard to tell what direction the runway is in... secondly, my Saitek won't go to 0% engine power so getting the plane to stop once on the ground is difficult. There is a story in there, centered around the events leading up to the Battle of Berlin, but it's told in a very ordinary fashion. They have clearly tried to emulate the vastly superior Brothers in Arms Hell's Highway type of storytelling (a truly brilliant game if you've not played it) but falls well short. Even the music seems straight out of BIA. The voice acting is terrible and as evidenced by the developers forums, these guys clearly do not speak English as a primary language.
Combat is where the game excels. Your machine gun fire is incredible visceral and you feel the punch it has on the enemy as well as the impact on your own plane's speed. Leading-aim reticules are provided on arcade mode and it takes a bit of practice to hold these steady. The most enjoyable combat so far has been against enemy fighter-planes which required a great deal of effort to get on the tails of and then fine-aiming to bring them down.
I will try multiplayer out sometime this week, I can only imagine what lag will do to a dogfight but I think that either way my arse will get handed to me.
Unlike X3TC and it's insane difficulty level, Wings of Prey is a very accessible flight sim that I can comfortable recommend to anyone who listens to me any more. Certainly, having a dogfight, TEA-style, would be brilliant