The Ka-50 module has evolved from DCS: Black Shark, which Ken “531 Ghost” King reviewed back in December 2008. The sim has come along quite a ways since then, and the latest review was done by yours truly in November of last year. I also wrote a review on DCS: A-10C Warthog back in March 2011. Back then, DCS was a series of standalone modules. Although many details have since changed in both modules since these reviews, the main takeaways are still valid: lotsa buttons, lotsa in-depth avionics, lotsa accurately models, and lotsa fun!
In addition to the Ka-50 and the A-10C, Eagle Dynamics currently offers Combined Arms (beta) previewed here. The P-51D Mustang, reviewed by “HeinKill” here. Flaming Cliffs 3, previewed by “BeachAV8R” here. All modules are for sale in the DCS E-shop. Flaming Cliffs 3, a recent addition to DCS World, brings a whole slew of flyable aircraft to the DCS virtual hangar: A-10A, F-15C, MiG-29 (A and, C variants), Su-25, Su-27, and the Su-33.
The Su-25T module included in DCS World does not need to be activated, and shouldn’t be a stranger to any Lock Onfans out there. This bird feels like it’s straight out of Flaming Cliffs 2 and is very much at home in the DCS Worldenvironment. The sounds, the textures, the weapons, the feel of the plane is very much the same. Even the controls are FC-ish (press 1 to cycle through the navigation modes, 7 to switch to air-to-ground, etc.) and the avionics systems work just like they did in FC2. The non-clickable cockpit can be frustrating to DCS pilots, but most of the necessary features are a keyboard combination away. Like all DCS aircraft, the Frog is fun to fly and fight, especially in a multiplayer environment, but comes with a significantly shorter learning curve. There’s still plenty of depth to keep the Frog interesting, but you won’t be up all night reading about targeting modes or trying to figure out SPI-vs-SOI.
In addition to these modules, new terrain for Nevada has been promised. The new DCS EDGE terrain engine looks to be a big jump forward. Fans have been waiting for the Nevada (with Nellis AFB) module for a long, long time – since DCS: A-10C Warthog was pre-released in early 2011! Fingers crossed that we’ll see it sometime in 2013, and other terrain isn’t far behind the Nevada terrain release. We’re getting tired of flying the same terrain over and over.
|Combined Arms||A-10C Warthog|
|Black Shark 2||P-51D Mustang|
|Su-25T||Flaming Cliffs 3|
Third Party Modules
There have been several announcements of modules being developed by third parties for the DCS environment, including Beczl’s much anticipated MiG-21bis and Belsimtek’s UH-1H Huey. FSX developers, like IRIS and RAZBAM are also working on their DCS modules, adding planes like the F-15E, F/A-18E, F-14, and even an F-22 to the possible list of planes you can fly (or fly against) in DCS World. Of course, an announcement is a long way from a delivered product, but the concept is a good one and, personally, I’m hoping to see some good titles. I just hope that any third-party bringing a product to the DCS line creates their product to the same standards that we’ve come to expect from a DCS simulation.
Just a few days ago, DCS World Overview, a 32-minute promotional video was released that discusses new products and shows the vision Eagle Dynamics has for their products. F-86, Fw-190, F/A-18C products among others are announced.
DCS World Overview
DCS World is a must-have for simulation enthusiasts who want as real as you can get in their home PC. There are still some rough edges, especially in the multiplayer experience, but Eagle Dynamics has already demonstrated they are committed to continuous improvement, so I fully expect the experience to only get better. Just be prepared to RTFM!
- Integrates all modules under one common interface.
- Multiplayer between modules without patching or starting a new application.
- High quality simulations live up to the DCS name.
Could be Better
- No remote dedicated server.
- Only the Black Sea area is flyable.
- Track replayability.
- Confusing multiplayer authentication and less-than-robust connection stability.
Reviewer’s System Specs
- Processor: i7-950
- Motherboard: ASUS P6X58D-e
- RAM: 6 GB OCZ DDR 1600Hz
- Graphics Card: EVGA GTX 470
- Storage: 250 GB Velociraptor, 2 TB Western Digital
- Power Supply: 850 W Corsair
- Controllers: X52 Pro HOTAS, Warthog HOTAS, CH Pro Rudder
- Operating System: 64-bit Windows 7 Home
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