DCS: P-51D Mustang Page 4

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Conclusion

It is impossible to spend time in this sim without thinking (or hoping) it is just a “test balloon” for future DCS WWII offerings.

You can almost imagine the developer conference:

  • Can we authentically model a classic WWII warbird in our jet age simulator? Yes.
  • Can we plug it into DCS World so it can be used in campaigns and missions and online games? Yes.
  • Now can we do anything else with it? …ideas anyone? …anyone?

That last question is the one that really matters for now. And the devs have had a firm “no comment” so far on future plans for a true WWII combat sim.

Having documented the many limitations of this release, the question of value for money is primary. $40 USD spent on any other DCS product (e.g. A-10CBlack Shark 2) gets you a fully fledged high-fidelity combat sim with combat aircraft in a fully realized modern military environment. For the same money with DCS: P-51D Mustang, you get the aircraft and some training missions.

But to get a similar high-fidelity P-51D for FSX, you would need to shell out between $50 and $85 USD for the A2A Accu-Sim P-51. That is anywhere between $10 USD and $40 USD more than you will pay for the DCS: P-51D Mustang. So players looking for a straight P-51D simulator, may consider this good value.

If you are looking for a P-51D combat simulator though, it will just frustrate you – unless you always wondered whether one of WWII’s legendary warbirds can survive on a modern battlefield, with you at the controls.

But do you really need to spend $40 USD to get the answer to that question?

Good

  • Beautifully realized cockpit and working controls
  • All weapons and weapon systems simulated (unlike on FSX Mustangs)
  • Models failures of aircraft systems as well as combat damage
  • Great implementation of radio commands
  • Good FPS on my medium range system

Could Be Better

  • FM is prone to “over reacting” to control inputs
  • Online interface can’t be filtered to deliver only P-51D relevant servers
  • DCS World maps and objects not built for WWII era aircraft or scenarios
  • Limited gameplay options beyond training and training style missions
  • AI controlled P-51D seems not to have same FM limitations as player

Postscript

Immediately after this review was completed a minor update to v1.2.2 was released with the following bug fixes:

  • Fixed simulator hang when player is trying to roll the P-51D.
  • Fixed erratic mouse cursor behavior.
  • Improved parameter in graphics.cfg to benefit FPS on high settings.
  • Corrected blinker animation.

The update was judged not to alter the substance of this review.

System Requirements

Recommended

  • Processor: Core 2 Duo E8400, AMD Phenom X3 8750, or better
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Video: Shader 3.0 or better; 896MB NVIDIA GeForce GTX260 DirectX 9.0c, or better
  • Hard disk space: 7GB
  • Sound: DirectX 9.0c
  • Operating system 64-bit: Windows Vista or Windows 7
  • Requires Internet activation

Minimum

  • Processor: Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz
  • Memory: 3GB
  • Video: 512 MB RAM card, DirectX 9.0c
  • Hard disk space: 7GB
  • Sound: DirectX 9.0c
  • Operating system 32-bit: Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7
  • Requires Internet activation

Reviewer’s System Specs

  • ASUS G73JW laptop (Intel i7 processor)
  • 4GB RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 490M
  • 2GB VRAM
  • Windows 7

 


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