combat aviation 2021: Show Me The Bogeys

inspired by the brakelights thread, the flight simulator thread, and my past writings on the topic [see end of post].


what are the happenings in combat flight sims in 2020? is IL-2 still the name of the game? (I see they expanded Battle of Stalingrad into the “Great Battles” Series - I have no interest in the WW1 flyers but WW2 through Cold War is really my sweet spot.)

anyone here have a HOTAS setup? i lusted after those thrustmasters when I was a kid.

let’s talk all things shooty airplane!


jets never stall

learning some things here


I used to be super into combat flight sims as a kid! I don’t play them that much anymore. I still can add something to this thread, however.

Project Wingman just got released.

It’s Ace Combat fanfiction down to the tiniest details and I uninstalled it after playing two missions and was ready to refund it but looking at that trailer makes me want to give it a second chance.

The big problem I have with it is that there are no checkpoints during missions. The game proudly tells you that at the start of the first mission as part of the “tutorial.” The tutorial is really just three or four sentences the game drops on you.

Maybe I’m just being a big baby because back in the day we didn’t have mid-mission checkpoints either and I loved these games anyway… I’m just getting old, I guess

You can change difficulty on a per-mission basis in the campaign, however.

Ah fuck it, I’ll give it another try later! The promise of shooty shooty planes with high def graphics is just too enticing


Also, the game’s got a “rogue-like Conquest mode” in addition to the campaign, which sounds exciting and horrifying at the same time, because I completely dislike rogue-likes. ymmv

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Nothing to say, but I found this recently


Okay, I really love taking apart huge aircraft like this one

And starting with this mission (#4) and this plane/weapon loadout the game got really, really fun.

You really get a good feeling of a hectic, massive battlefield in this mission. The sky and the ground are a complete mess and I love it. It felt good!


awesome!! i guess i should play this and ace combat someday


What a coincidence, I’ve started playing the Ace Combat 5 PS4 (HD re-release) this week and have been bitten by the AC bug again, FOX 2 FOX 2!


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I played about 40 min of sky rogue today just to try out my Xbox controller (thank u tp link Bluetooth dongle I owe u my life)

I can’t really get with the vibe here… not sure what it is. combination of things probably:

  • twitchy flight controls on gamepad – you always end up rolling when you mean to pitch and vice versa. maybe just endemic to gamepads, or I should turn the sensitivity down, not sure.
  • cartoonish flight model which makes me think - probably the physics involved with flying is a major reason I play these games. fighting the air to achieve your end of shooting other fucker in plane. in sky rogue it feels more like you’re fighting your turn radius. just far too easy to drop towards the ground and pull up last minute.
  • has my least favorite failing of “throttle always go forward” - I hated it in Halo banshees and I hate it here. actually it feels a lot like piloting the broadsword in long night of solace - another piloting experience I hate. there’s a rubber band effect where you go faster or slower but it always rebounds to median. it just feels like lack of control over the aircraft to me.
  • no cockpit view? not sure but in any case I want to feel like “person in airplane” not “airplane personified.” (actually if you are gonna go that route you might as well go full Prototype or Strike Witches and let my human body fly thru the sky. like a bird!!)
  • even the graphics - low poly just doesn’t suit this type of game somehow, I want to watch the textures get more and more detailed as I fly towards the enemy. I want to see the whites of their eyes!!

idk I’m complaining a lot but really I’m just chasing the dragon of being a ten year old playing combat flight simulator with my brother. i saw one of yall messaged me about project wingman so I’ll check that out. and daydream about buying a flight stick.


Never heard of Sky Rogue and at least visually it looks like something I’d enjoy

oh project wingman is proper fun !! how is best preferred to play this sort of thing? game controller seemed alright but idk if stick would be better.
i love cockpit view except for the fact that the aiming is so obstructed in the f-4


Haha yeah, a lot of the cockpits are tough! I don’t know how you can play with cockpit view if you don’t have VR. I like external better anyway because I want to play an action movie but if you’re into the “immersion” angle then probably VR + HOTAS (if the game supports the latter? I haven’t looked into it. It certainly is a VR title though)

yeah game supports HOTAS not that i have one. cockpit mode fuckin rules except for looking around being hard, honestly trackIR would be a great investment for this game

i made cockpit mode a little more bearable by adjusting FOV to 85 (you could go lower even) and adjusting the view stick to have little deadzone but a relatively slow acceleration curve (shift the slider right one notch or so)

mouselook is actually also great for looking around so kb+m might be a fun way to play

Played some more and the missions were all incredible. Just look at this shit!

Fighting among skyscrapers:

This was incredible too. Thick thunderstorm clouds and lightning everywhere while you take out boats that have railguns, the shots of which look super stylish. At the end of the mission you fly above the clouds and shoot down cruise missiles - I loved the complete change of scenery to blue skies within the mission.

Don’t know what’s going on in this one haha

Really cool game, I’m glad I gave it a second chance. Difficulty has not been a problem so far and I only died 3 times in 8 missions, altogether.

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Oh yeah, that exists too, huh? That could indeed be cool

Have you given Ace Combat 7 a go already? It has [spreads arms] all that and more

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Yeah, and it has clouds that are just [chef’s kiss]! Wish this game had clouds like that. The problem with Ace Combat 7 was that I got stuck on a dumb mission… It was the one with a VIP on a plane that you have to protect and you have to just search around for I don’t remember what on the ground… hidden SAMs or something? I should just look up a youtube video of that mission to get past it and continue on with my AC7 journey because I really liked it up to that point. It had some frustrating missions before but nothing I couldn’t get past…

I think I’ll get back to it after I’m done with Project Wingman.

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yea in the meantime i found a thread of IL-2 players talking about they use joystick and mouselook simultaneously. so that might be cool if anyone has one

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project wingman: the no checkpoints is doing my head in but in a good way maybe. like i appreciate the nod to verisimilitude of “you can’t just respawn if you crash into the ground”. but I guess they could have made it an optional modifier. (speaking of which the fact that this game has difficulty modifiers like halo has skulls is so dope.)

right now i’m stuck on mission uh… the one where you have a bunch of civilian aircraft you shouldn’t shoot down. tbh I’m trying to stick to dual seaters so i get to hear the voice of my darling prez, so i’m kind of low on strategies here. gaming out strategies makes me think, the challenge of speedrunning this game could be fun. (or it could be a nightmare a la Long Night of Solace in reach.) right now I’m thinking, since you can’t very well use MLAA in this mission, to try 2x SAA on the CV-104 (or whatever it’s called).

fun game, i’m playing it in the more arcade style now (third person view). occasionally popping back into cockpit to see the weather effects.

Hey, that’s the mission I just popped out of right now because I couldn’t do it in like 3 tries. MLAAs suck for this mission for sure! I’m using the F-14 and I’m thinking it might not be the right plane for the job. Guess I just gotta try different things… Could just be that I need to play tighter, as I am getting better and getting farther, but still…