SimHQ Feature

Not much of a surprise here. Even though DCS: A-10C Warthog arrived in 2010 as a Beta, it was not released in the final version until 2011. For the best in switchology, A-10C can’t be beat. It may be a long time before we see another one this painstakingly detailed in the real plane’s operational functions.

The full feature article on SimHQ.

SimHQ Best Simulation 2011 DCS: A-10C Warthog

SimHQ Best Simulation 2011 DCS: A-10C Warthog

Introduction

DCS: A-10C Warthog is the latest release in a series of high fidelity combat flightsimulations from Eagle Dynamics. DCS: Black Shark brought us the Kamov 50 dual-rotor single seat attack helicopter and redefined “simulation mode” with its in-depth avionics, flight model, and massively clickable cockpit. DCS: A-10C Warthog promised to bring that same level of real to the A-10 Warthog, the premier US close-support attack plane that has been memorialized in such famous sims as A-10 Cuba,Silent ThunderLock On: Modern Air Combat, and the stillborn Jane’s A-10. Back in October, Eagle Dynamics announced that they would be offering open beta access to the game with each pre-purchase, an amazing opportunity offered very rarely by combat flight sim developers. I took the work-in-process product at the time and gave it a once-over in the First Look article here. Just how much progress has been made in four months between that first beta and the final release? Let’s go see…

Note, dear Reader, that because the Digital Combat Simulator series prides itself on modeling individual aircraft in “exquisite detail” this review will be going further in depth into the mechanics of the game than the typical overview. Sit down and strap in for a detailed look at Eagle Dynamics’ latest release.

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SimHQ Best Simulation 2011 Benchmark Sims v4.32

SimHQ Best Simulation 2011 Benchmark Sims v4.32

Introduction

The history of the Falcon franchise is long and storied — and in the interest of brevity, I’ll skip it. Basically, here we sit 13 years after the initial Falcon 4.0 release and she is going stronger than ever. Having spent varying amounts of time with nearly all of the varieties ofFalcon (stock, FreeFalconRed ViperAllied Force, etc.) I feel I can definitively state that the most recent iteration of Falcon released by Benchmark Sims is by far the best in the lineage. It is simple to install, stable, beautiful, and in many ways barely resembles the seminal product.

Installation and Configuration

All that is needed to run BMS 4.32 is your original Falcon.exe which you can install from your original CD. Yes, we know that simply having the Falcon.exe is enough, but most fans of the series own their own disk anyway, so it is what it is. The BMS installer weighs in at 688MB and it installs to a wholly independent directory with no fuss or mess. Once the installer is done decompressing and installing the total package weighs in at about 2.34GB. Upon launching you are shown a simple BMS menu that has options for starting the sim, configuration, a link to manuals, an editor, and some client and server settings. Upon clicking the Configuration setting I was instantly taken back to the old Falcon days when I saw that it is basically the old F4Patch configuration utility, but do not fear, the settings are much more intuitive and less needed than all the fumbling about in the old days. Within you’ll find a wide range of options to tailor displays and realism to match your tastes.

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SimHQ Best Simulation 2011 Battlefield 3

SimHQ Best Simulation 2011 Battlefield 3

Introduction

For over ten years we have been enjoying the Battlefield series. The earlier versions were WW2 themed games that spawned a great modern desert mod. Then came moreBattlefield games, some in WW2, some in Vietnam, and more recent ones in modern times, and even the future. EA has had ten years to learn and improve the series. Have they done it with Battlefield 3? So what does Battlefield 3 bring to the table this year? And is it worth your money?

Interface

First off, for the PC version, whether you buy Battlefield 3 online as a download or at the store on DVD, you still must install and run EA’s new online service called Origin. I personally have had no problems with the service, and have a number of EA games via that service, but I can see where others may not like having to have another game service program running in the background. And if you do not have Origin already running in the background, when you go to load and play Battlefield 3, it will take time to load Origin up first, which can become even more time consuming to get in game.

Once Origin is running, clicking on a Battlefield 3 shortcut will bring you to an EA web site titled, BattleLog page. BattleLog is a pretty cool site. It lists all your friends, lets you create or join platoons, and displays your stats from the game in detail along with a news feed of what your friends are playing, what awards and promotions they receive. That part is cool but what I don’t like about BattleLog is that you have to use it to drag and drop friends into chat rooms, and you have to use it to connect and play the actual game. It’s very time consuming and a little confusing to use.

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SimHQ Best Simulation 2011 Battlefield 3 - Back to Karkand

SimHQ Best Simulation 2011 Battlefield 3 - Back to Karkand

FOUR REIMAGINED BATTLEFIELD MAPS

Back to Karkand features four of the most beloved Battlefield 2 maps (Strike at Karkand, Gulf of Oman, Wake Island and Sharqi Peninsula), all fully re-imagined utilizing the power of the Frostbite 2 engine.

MORE WEAPONS, MORE VEHICLES

Enhance the signature Battlefield “Rock, Paper, Scissor” gameplay with an arsenal of ten new weapons that you can bring back to the base game and three new vehicles including the STOVL fighter jet, desert buggy, and an APC.

ENHANCED DESTRUCTION

Frostbite 2 creates a whole new level of life-like destruction. The enhanced destruction in this expansion pack lets you turn entire maps into rubble. Chip away at cover, blow holes in walls, and bring down building façades on enemies.

CONQUEST ASSAULT

Back to Karkand marks the return of the classic Conquest Assault mode from Battlefield 2. A slight twist on the beloved Conquest mode, Conquest Assault starts with one team commanding all flags on the map while the opposing team must assault and take the flags over in order to stop their tickets from bleeding down to zero.

ENHANCED PERSISTENCE

With the introduction of the all-new Assignments, Back to Karkand features an added layer of persistence on top of what is in the base game. With a vast range of unlockables and upgrades, the combined persistence in Battlefield 3 and Back to Karkand will keep players occupied even longer.

PERSONALIZED DOG TAGS

Players can express their individuality with five new dog tags including Dolphin Diving and One Man Army. Players can pick the design that showcases their play style best and show it off on the battlefield.

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Best simulation of 2011

The full feature article on SimHQ.

 


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