I would like to do some writerly research on what it’s like to fly WW2-era combat fighters. I’m not really familiar with anything remotely current in this field except the IL-2 games, nor do I know if they have the full range of aircraft or only what was used on the Eastern front. I assume this stuff is all modded up the wazoo anyway. Any thoughts on where to go for the most authentic/realistic experience, complete with unforgiving flight models, etc.?
Thanks in advance.
For this, you want the DCS WW2 planes. Completely unforgiving, but there’s not much in the way of campaigns or combat single missions. (They’re working on a full WW2 Western Europe, but who knows when that’ll be done.)
For a balance nearer the middle, try IL-2 (modern) or IL-2 (old). IL-2 modern is prettier and has better flight modeling, while IL-2 old has a good third-party dynamic campaign generator, and mod packs out the wazoo.
For something very experiential with lesser flight modeling, try Battle of Britain 2. Flight modeling not state of the art at all, but functional enough, and it captures the scale of WW2 aerial combat better than anything else on the market. It isn’t uncommon to see ten squadrons of Hurricanes and Spitfires rising to meet one hundred fifty German planes once things really kick off, and you get to play it as a dynamic campaign to boot.
I was gonna say Battle of Britain 2 as well. Not super duper fidelity flight model, but a AMAZING dynamic campaign, sense of scale and fantastic immersion.