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4.1 out of 5 stars
IL-2 Sturmovik: 1946 - PC
Platform: PCChange
Price:$11.99 + $3.99shipping
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144 of 148 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2007
I've been a pilot for over 40 years and have flown everything from '20s biplanes to Navy carrier jets...and this sim is awesome.

Note: it is on DVD not CD as stated here. And it is NOT a game. There is a significant learning curve involved to successfully fly these aircraft in full-on realistic mode. It does have 'simple' modes that make it possible for anyone to fly, but don't think of this as an arcade game in any sense.

Trust me, if you can fly these birds in full realism mode, with a little time flying under the supervision of an instructor you can fly the real thing. Here there are fewer cues (just sight and sound), but in real aircraft you also have so-called proprioceptive sensations too (the seat of your pants, for one), among others.

Buy it, you'll like it! The graphics are gorgeous, the scenarios are amazing. You won't find modern airliners, but you'll find most of the WW2 machines (Russian, German, Japanese, British and American).

A flight over the cliffs of dover at sunset in a Spitfire may bring tears to your did me.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2009
First, my qualifications: I've got about 3000 hours of real airplane flight time, and I've wasted roughly 10,000 hours of my life playing PC-based flight sims, starting with MS Flight Simulator 1.0 on a green-screen Apple IIe, and playing pretty much everything worth flying between there and Falcon 4.0 on my current multi-GHz Dell. I've played extensively online with several different sims, and aviation has been one of my lifelong passions. For whatever it's worth, folks, I'm an expert on this subject.

I had put off buying IL-2 Sturmovik for years, mainly because I couldn't see myself getting that interested in flying a Russian attack airplane. But the online accolades just kept piling up, and so I started doing some reading a few months ago and discovered that this game has over 250 flyable aircraft. What the h&*l, I thought, and I ordered IL-2 1946 two weeks ago.

This sim is very deceptive. When you finish installing it and the start menu appears, you immediately think you've been had. Lord knows, I've installed enough bad sims over the years to know what crap looks and sounds like, and IL-2 1946 sure gave me the first impression that I was going to want my money back. The main menu looks like something out of a learning game for kids, and the music sounds like something from "Wallace and Grommit." I clicked straight into "Quick Mission Builder" which looks like it has been taken directly from "Jane's WWII Fighters" and put a single P-51D in the air with no enemies and no ground fire. I wanted to start with simple, exploratory aerobatics, and I also have lots of flight time in the TriSynergy P-51D "The Flying Undertaker," which is a great FSX add-on, and I wanted to compare this P-51D with something I already knew was great.

At first, I wasn't that impressed. The cockpit looks beautiful and accurate, but it isn't mouse-clickable. You have to do everything with keyboard commands. The flight characteristics seemed to be a little off - for instance, after diving to 450 mph, pulling out and chopping the throttle, the airplane seems to hold on to its speed for a long, long time. I was prepared to discover that this sim really wasn't going to be very satisfying.

But then I started dogfighting, and the sheer craftsmanship of this simulation soon became apparent. The enemy AI, like all flight AI, can be slightly repetitive, but they are still very good. The game does seem to be slightly biased in favor of the German fighters, but you can still blow FW-190's out of the sky in your Mustang if you are a savvy, experienced fighter pilot and know what you're doing.

And here is the real praise for this game. At some point, you forget on some level that you're playing a sim, and you begin to get sucked completely and fully into the illusion. The only thing missing is blood-sucking G's, and the blackout feature is very convincing and realistic.

The airplanes are not locked onto invisible rails the way arcade game airplanes are. They are machines held loosely in realistic airflow, with three axes of control and with a realistic "feel" and "heft" to them that is indescribable, but that you recognize if you are a real pilot. If there is one thing IL-2 will teach you, it's to be SMOOOOOOTH. Yanking the joystick around and whacking it up against the stops like a seven year old playing Pac Man will just have your plane snap rolling and falling out of the sky in a flat spin.

And that brings up an important point. If you have zero or minimal flight experience, you are going to find this game to be very frustrating on its "realistic" setting. To be an ace in IL-2 1946, you are going to become an expert in smooth energy management and planned maneuvers in realistic fighters that require a lot of experience to get deep them into the enemy's six o'clock.

On the other hand, if you are an old PC ace from the golden age of PC-based flight sims, you are going to regret that you've waited this long to buy IL-2 1946. Quite simply, it's the best WWII era flight sim ever made, bar none.

Is it perfect? No. Your wingman, for example, is as dumb as they are in every PC flight sim ever made, and today I watched a Bf-109 roar up on my tail while my wingman, who was flying along in echelon right formation behind me, simply ignored him and kept holding formation. (Maybe I needed to give him a "cover me" command or something, but shouldn't that be automatic?) I still haven't figured out how to zoom the map in and out, and the German planes seem to have slightly more horsepower than they should. I didn't realize that a Bf-109 could simply climb slowly away from a P-51D at 20,000 feet, but that just means that you need to be planning ahead to have an altitude advantage and the ability to dive on him.

But the thing to understand is this: all the craftsmanship, beauty, accuracy and (of course) flaming pieces of Zero that you want in a WWII flight sim are here in spades, and all beautifully crafted beyond anything I've ever experienced before. You won't be disappointed.

BTW - for those who don't think that the .50 caliber machine guns on the American planes are powerful enough, I disagree. I've watched a lot of WWII era gun-camera footage, and you really have to hold the trigger down and spray tracer right into most German fighters to get a kill. The Zeros are a little easier to light up, since they have no armor, but .50s don't have near the punch that cannon do and that's just the way it was. Get into kill position, pull your sight into lead, and hold the trigger down. If you do it right, his wing will come off or his motor will burst into flames, just like in the movies. Tally ho!
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2007
Out of the box to playing within 20 minutes. Very simple install into my 64-bit Vista Ultimate PC. Works great with my old MS Force feedback II joystick. No bugs or problems I can find.
The game is just beautiful. The physics are awesome and the whole experience is just as advertised. Seldom do I enjoy a game as much as I love this one. Situational awareness in a sim can be difficult sometimes. Not so much with this one. Compared to CFS3, this is miles ahead in quality of experience. This game is a time machine. Every time I start it, I find myself losing hours immersed in the game.
Simulations are challenging. This isn't something for the impatient type. Joystick is a must.
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54 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2007
for some one like my self who actually has flown ww2 planes. il 2 1946 does it again . it is similar to the previous games . however i own just about every flight sim out there and have fould that il 2 il2 sturmovic , and pacific fighters are about the best. it may sound silly but when you sit in this cockpit and look around its very similar to the real planes a lot of other flight sims offer a lot and do not deliver . il series is anout the best you can get i recommend this . christian j nielsen
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2007

For all the folks struggling to get this to work with Windows 7 and Windows 8 or 8.1, you have to install the game outside of the default location. It won't work if installed to "C:Program files". Make a new folder on the root of the drive, install it there and you should be good to go.

Seven years after I posted this review, it's great to see that IL-2 1946 not only survives, but thrives with a dedicated community of gamers and modders that have continued to advance the look and function of this classic. The 1946 edition may have been the swan song of commercial releases for this game, but the game itself still soars like a P-40 swooping down on a Zero.---

If you know IL-2 from the previous versions of this great WWII flight Sim, then you probably are going to get "1946" either for the new aircraft, to stay with the latest version on line, or just to have it all in one easy to install DVD.

If you don't know IL-2, then this is the version to have. If you have an interest in WWII aircraft, combat flight Sims or just want a good single player/LAN/On line flight game, then "1946" is probably the best choice around. All the previous IL-2 games are in here, plus some new content.

IL-2 has been around a while, and the developer will soon release a new WWII Battle of Britain Sim with some state of the art improvements. So why should you get "1946" when it's at the end of it's development life?

Well, because it's still a fantastic game, it covers all the theaters of WWII, there is a ton of user made content to be had, and your PC doesn't need to be bleeding edge to run it, but if you have enough graphics power to turn up the eye candy to the max it is almost a work of art in motion. The game is deep enough to delight the enthusiast, and yet is still accessible for the casual gamer to enjoy.

Installation of all the versions and patches for IL-2 used to be a daunting task, but 1946 makes it a snap. Sadly, there is no printed manual included, but there are .pdf versions of a manual and aircraft guide. There are lots of resources on line, most of them fan made, to help the novice pilot.

If you have "1946" and a joystick with twist rudder control and a throttle like the Saitek PS33 Aviator Joystick you have all you need to enjoy what will likely be the benchmark in WWII combat flight Sims for years to come. A joystick is almost mandatory. You can play "1946" with only a keyboad and mouse much like a dog can walk on it's hind legs, more as a stunt than a practical matter. If you become an enthusiast, there are more advanced controllers you can delve in to, but they aren'r really needed, but the joystick certainly is.

"1946" is a great game, a great simulation, and the ticket to a vast on line community of IL-2 content and fan support. I'm the merest duffer when it comes to mastering IL-2, and have yet to play the game on line after years of off line play, but I still enjoy it immensely, and recommend it fully.

"1946" might represent both the pinnacle and the sunset of a classic game, but it will be continue to provide great gaming for many years to come. Climb in and enjoy the ride.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2007
Having bougth all the Ubisoft flight sims in this series, I was diappointed when I bought a new Windows Vista computer, only to be told that these sims would only work with the XP platform. I installed it anyway and have had no problems for the last two months and countless hours of missions. All features work great and the planes and scenery are beautiful, and most important, there are no jerks or pauses and lockups. It works better than it did with the old XP platform. I would highly recommend anyony looking for a great WWII flight sim with hundreds of different planes, realistic take off's and landings, and missions types only restricted to your imagination, skip the rest and buy IL-Sturmovik:1946, you won't be disappointed. This game contains all the seperatly sold add ons,Forgottn Battles, AEP, Pacific Fighters, ect. so forget what the box sayes, It does work with Vista, I think they just didn't want you to buy a non Microsoft product. Five stars to this sim, it's all you'll ever need to fight in the air, at least until Ubisoft comes up with Korea and Vietnam era planes and missions. Did I mention what a great price your getting also, I've paid over $150.00 buying all the add ons to the original IL-Sturmovik sim over the years, and now here is the whole thing for one great low price. Do yourself a favor and order this one today before they are all gone.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2007
For those already familiar with the IL-2 family this anthology really doesn't introduce too much that is new. Still, it's got the 30-odd extra airplanes that the IL-2 aficionado has been waiting for (although it doesn't seem like that many). The interface, introduction, music, and artwork is identical to Pacific Fighters. I half expected to see something different or new, but no.

The new airplanes are interesting and there are about six new campaigns for Soviet and German pilots in the 1946 addition to the anthology, but they are not of the "dynamic" type. They are more of a linear format that tells an on-going story mission to mission. From the ones I've tried, they are interesting, but nothing earth-shattering. I was hoping to see some more airplane selections added to the dynamic campaign menus, but they remain unchanged except for the additional campaigns mentioned above.

Perhaps here I should note however, that I am someone who has never used this simulation online. I don't know how the "1946" addition affects online play.

There are no new pleasant surprises as far as the new flyable airplanes are concerned. I realize that the scope of this simulation generally focuses on the war between the Soviet Union and Germany 1941-1945 (1946) but I was still secretly hoping that there might have been an unanticipated allied "1946" plane such as the Gloster Meteor or De Haviland Vampire, but alas, no (They had previously modeled a simulation of the Hawker Tempest Mk. V after all).

The second volume of this Two DVD set is made up of promotional materials (movies principally) for UBI Soft's next-generation Battle of Britain flight simulator and an Adobe file of aircraft reference materials for the aircraft of the complete IL-2 anthology.

The aircraft reference file is interesting and often helpful, with hints on how to best use the unique features of the different aircraft, but it is repetitive in some areas, says almost nothing on several aircraft, and seems to have too many typos and a few (perhaps forgivable) inconsistencies. It is a pilot's guide and contains no history of the aircraft in question. Still, one will not be able to land the Lerche-III without reading the corrosponding "pilot's manual".

All in all no really big surprises, but still a must for any IL-2 fan.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2008
If I may describe the virtues of IL2:1946 in point form!
- Any one of the IL2 series are among the best air combat simulation software you can currently get for the PC. With IL2:1946 you get the ENTIRE series on a single DVD.
- It is the BEST WWII simulation for air-combat there is.
- It sports a high fidelity physics engine as well as an inbuilt & powerful mission/campaign creation & management utility.
- This is definitely a product that broadens perspective! IL2 is extremely challenging, but the rewards are priceless with regard to an enhanced perspective of some of the challenges experienced by the aviators of that period and some insight into the machines they flew.
- It is buoyed by a legion of user support, with a very active online community.
- It generally runs very well on older PC's (mine is a Dell Dimension 5150 which is over 5 y.o. with high details and high frame-rates), occasional frame-rate hit around airfields and heavy traffic).

My advice is, if you're even slightly interested in FLIGHT or in the WWII period or both; then you should make sure you have your-self a copy of this sublimely marvelous piece of software tech-art. Without a doubt, Oleg Maddox is the modern day equivalent of Michelangelo or any of the Renaissance people.

I noticed there is one review that states you'll need previous copies to install IL2:1946; this is INCORRECT! You only need to purchase and install IL2:1946. It is a standalone product that includes ALL of the previous versions in the IL2 series.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2007
I purchased this game because I love the WWII warbirds, the dogfights, and carrier operations. This game scores a perfect 10 for all of those and It's mainly why I'm so happy with this game.

For all of you who like piloting those old bombers like the B-25, He-111, or dive bombers, you will not be disappointed for this product is king on that detail. The sights and gunnery on the bombers are so complex it took me a while to program a good setup for operating all of it. I forget what game this was because there REALLY IS 5 GAMES IN 1!

I hate to boil down to performace of the game but I'll tell you that I run a Dell Inspiron 1600 laptop with a processor that runs at 1.73 GHz. I have 512 MB RAM with a 128 MB Video card. With all this the games run well with a good frame rate that I haven't been able to measure yet because I don't know how. The only specific suggestion that I could make is to always turn off AAA defense of carriers because thats the only thing I've found to lag my system during gameplay. The whole fact that when the carriers supported by a few battleships fire at you, a LOT of fire comes your way and it creates chaos (5 Frames Per Second chaos). You don't want that so turn off AAA defense of carriers when you can. (sometimes you can't)

I was glad to write this review I hope it helps people. Any more questions you might have just e-mail me at
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2007
I gave it a quaified five stars overall, because I'm just scratching the surface. I can't believe this game doesn't have a higher profile with simmers and general gamers. I have Falcon 4.0, Microsoft FSX, and X-plane, all with their strengths/weaknesses, but for a lot less coin, IL-2 is just as good. Of course, a lot of comparaisons will be apples and oranges, but this game is very, very good. Good graphics and controls. Lots of customization options. On "realistic", I know I couldn't keep some of these birds aloft, and I'm a pilot. The scenery is well done. Frankly, FSX doesn't blow me away and is perhaps a bit better than IL-2. It's not a question of hardware, since I run two 8800's in SLI.

I like everything about this game, especially being a WWII buff. Weak point? The corny music for some of the campaigns (CasioTone, omg!!). It's o.k., though. It only plays at loading times. Funny, other tracks are actually very good. Minor, minor. Excellent game. Buy it.
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