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The Last Days is an extensive late war campaign for the IL-2 Forgotten Battles series.

Pros

The Last Days contains an enormous amount of material. The price tag of 20 US dollars is more than reasonable for this product. Yes it is an add on and some people will balk at that but for what you get and for what is coming in additional patches to the game The Last Days is easily worth the price.

Attention to detail is paramount. As is the case in real warfare, everything revolves around what is happening on the ground. TLD is head and shoulders above many of the campaigns out there in this category. Flying TLD reminded me of the early days of IL-2 Sturmovik. There is a lot going on beneath you.

The system demands a pilot use his head and resources carefully. If you like to plan out your missions, are looking for a challenge, or want to get away from the, “fly to target, attack, return to base” mindset; Then The Last Days is for you.
The product contains many new skins built from the templates of some of the best 3rd party skinners out there.

The developer of this product, Alex “Tankeriv” Hakkenberg, is a long standing member of SimHQ. Over the past several months I have seen him personally answer questions and trouble shoot problems. This kind of support has been a standard for the IL-2 series and Alex has not slacked off here one bit. Alex lurks the forums daily and I would think it is reasonable that anyone having a problem would get some form of response within a day. When I had an issue it took about an hour before Alex had responded. I’m sure many of our members whom frequent the IL-2 series boards already know this. Keeping this in mind, I would rate the support of this product as excellent.

Cons

TLD is a very ambitious project; perhaps too ambitious for some of the simmers out there. Some of the missions are resource intensive and it is not merely a graphics card issue. Plain and simple there is a lot going on. You will need some real computing power to get the maximum out of The Last Days. Even with many of the graphics features turned down many players will still have trouble. Future patches (which may be out at the time of publishing) hopefully will make it a little easier for fliers but there probably will be some concessions made for most players.

My rig (noted bottom of the article) isn’t top of the line but it isn’t the bottom either. I could not get the Ta-152 campaign to run reasonably well. Some of the single missions were un-flyable for me also. A good deal of take-off’s were borderline slideshows. Tom Cofield, who has a machine of a little bit higher horsepower, had an easier time of it but he still had some troubles with slowdowns, especially when the game tried to render an almost EAW level of aircraft and ground targets.

There are only two British campaigns and one British single mission. More of course would be nice.

Ground fire may frustrate some people. The ground fire is probably very realistic in this campaign. The problem, as it was in the war, is the fire is devastating. Sure, a lot of aircraft were lost due to ground fire, more so than by air combat; but, in a simulation it can become tedious. This is especially a problem in bomber aircraft. Fighters can do some maneuvering to avoid the bulk of the ground fire, bombers on a bomb run cannot. Mission route planning can ease this some. Another problem with the ground fire is that when there is a large volume coming up it taxes the system heavily. Higher end rigs probably won’t experience the same problems I did.

Every once in awhile you’ll see something odd happen. The train running across lake Balaton as if it were a speedboat for example.

The misspelled words, grammatical errors, and profanity might turn off some folks. It isn’t terrible but don’t let your seven year old read over your shoulder. There should be a ‘clean’ version available for those folks that are squeamish over the slightly blue language.

What’s in the Works

The versions I have tested contain material not yet available. I can say that there are many more skins coming out in the public patch due around April 14th. Several of the screens will be changed also. I can also say there are a couple new campaigns ready. The Romanians, Luftwaffe, and Soviets will have campaigns in the Crimea. New planes such as the P-80 and Go-229 will be available in campaigns after the patch.

As for what’s coming on a later date; Although it doesn’t fit the TLD theme, you may want to put some sand filters on your plane’s air intake. This is a pretty poorly kept secret so I figure there is no harm posting it here.

Conclusion

I like The Last Days. I feel for the price it was well worth it. The amount of material is truly enormous and should keep most simmers busy for several months. There is still more to come also. There is a great amount of attention to detail and Alex has maintained a high level of product support. The pros definitely outweigh the cons in my book.

The Last Days is an extensive late war campaign for the IL-2 Forgotten Battles flight simulator series.


The Last Days is available here at Matrix Games.

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System Specs

  • P4 1.7GHz
  • XP Home
  • 768MB RDRAM
  • Geforce 6800GT OC 67.22 drivers
  • 2 80G hard drive
  • Hercules Game Theater XP 7.1 latest drivers
  • Saitek X52 HOTAS
  • Saitek Gamer’s keyboard
  • CH Pro Pedals USB
DME Collins TCR-451 TSO
$450.0 DME Collins TCR-451 TSO picture
ROCKWELL/COLLINS 390R-18 TDR 90 MOUNTING TRAYS P/N 622-1194-
$71.99 ROCKWELL/COLLINS 390R-18 TDR 90 MOUNTING TRAYS P/N 622-1194- picture
ROCKWELL COLLINS DME INDICATOR * 622-3917-001 / IND-40B
$1100.0 ROCKWELL COLLINS DME INDICATOR * 622-3917-001 / IND-40B  picture
Directional Gyro Collins 777-1555-001 332E-5
$325.0 Directional Gyro Collins 777-1555-001 332E-5  picture
Collins VHF-20A VHF Receiver P/N 622-1879-001
$250.0 Collins VHF-20A VHF Receiver P/N 622-1879-001 picture

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