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Thread: Birds of Steel - Birds of Prey with a dynamic campaign that might not suck?

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    New Romantic
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    Birds of Steel - Birds of Prey with a dynamic campaign that might not suck?

    I noticed this came out of nowhere, releasing tomorrow:

    http://ps3.ign.com/articles/122/1220373p1.html

    There was a lot to love in Birds of Prey. However, some of the missions were simply impossible. According to that review, this new iteration has a dynamic campaign that could potentially alleviate a lot of the impossible set-piece missions of the first game.

    So far, there's no PC SKU announced (forgot how long it took Wings of Prey to come out on the PC... like 6 months or something).

    I think I'm going to take the plunge...
    Last edited by flyinj; 03-12-2012 at 05:02 PM.

  2. #2
    New Romantic scharmers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyinj View Post
    I noticed this came out of nowhere, releasing tomorrow:

    http://ps3.ign.com/articles/122/1220373p1.html

    There was a lot to love in Birds of Prey. However, some of the missions were simply impossible. According to that review, this new iteration has a dynamic campaign that could potentially alleviate a lot of the impossible set-piece missions of the first game.

    So far, there's no PC SKU announced (forgot how long it took Wings of Prey to come out on the PC... like 6 months or something).

    I think I'm going to take the plunge...
    Good lord, that is a wonderful example of a the stereotypical no-meat, all-filler review. Came away from that one pretty much knowing that Gaijin a)did a great job on the graphics again, and b)put more plane types in the WoP engine. We need someone to grab this and see if it's actually playable outside of arcade mode.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scharmers View Post
    Good lord, that is a wonderful example of a the stereotypical no-meat, all-filler review. Came away from that one pretty much knowing that Gaijin a)did a great job on the graphics again, and b)put more plane types in the WoP engine. We need someone to grab this and see if it's actually playable outside of arcade mode.
    I'm going to grab it after work, I'll have a full report tonight.

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    Well. After breezing through the first game in arcade mode, the only thing I boot it up for are the graphics, and the two missions I can actually play on realistic/hardcore, one against dive bombers and another against bombers, both over the channel. Anything else was unplayable, which is sad when you can't actually dogfight other fighters in a ww2 game..

    I need that to be better if I'm going drop $. So, let us know, flyinj!

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    How To Go Enidigm's Avatar
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    Aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh

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    Looks like I might enjoy trying this. Thanks for the heads up.

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    How To Go Enidigm's Avatar
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    You have to fly IL2 Sturmovik to get the feel of flying. It's very much the same with improved graphics.

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    How To Go Enidigm's Avatar
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    I read this while grabbing some lunch and bought it 15 minutes later as I was near a GameStop. It was just 40$ new as well.

    I just marathoned ME3. Lord help me, but games will be the death of me. But aaaaaahhhh soooo mmmmmaaaannnnyyy pppppllllaaaannnneessss.

  9. #9
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    It doesn't seem to be available at any Best Buys or Gamestops around here.

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    How To Go Enidigm's Avatar
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    She literally pulled it out of an unopened shipping box for me. I imagine it will be on shelves in a day or two. Her listed official release date was the 16th for the Xbox, but apparently the PS3 version was listed in her system as released.

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    Social Worker schurem's Avatar
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    only ps3 or xbox as well?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enidigm View Post
    She literally pulled it out of an unopened shipping box for me. I imagine it will be on shelves in a day or two. Her listed official release date was the 16th for the Xbox, but apparently the PS3 version was listed in her system as released.
    You got the 360 SKU?

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    PS3. I have no idea if it's out on PC.

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    So, after checking out Gaijin's website, it looks to me like they're taking the assets from BoP and BoS and smushing it together to make WoP. I am slightly confused why WoP touts this little blurp though:

    Rich PvE content: dynamic campaigns, solo missions, mission editor, and much more for single-player and cooperative gameplay
    Would there be a reason for me to buy BoS (if it makes it to PC) if WoP has all the same features, and more?

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    Quote Originally Posted by spiffy View Post
    So, after checking out Gaijin's website, it looks to me like they're taking the assets from BoP and BoS and smushing it together to make WoP. I am slightly confused why WoP touts this little blurp though:

    Would there be a reason for me to buy BoS (if it makes it to PC) if WoP has all the same features, and more?
    I'm thinking that WoP is F2P, so the grind barriers to access new planes would take much longer (or pay money to access them).

    BoS is a self-contained game, and from what I've read, the main driver of the game play is unlocking new planes.

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    I just flew a Brewster Buffalo over a Hawaii that looked better (on average) than Microsoft Flight. And then i giggled like a girl. You should have seen my feet twitching.

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    Mad Chester Rod Humble's Avatar
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    How is the single player procedurally generated scenarios/campaigns feature? Thanks in advance!

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    I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around how this game ever came out on a console. If little jimmy got this for christmas, he'd have absolutely no idea how to play it.

    It's a fantastic sim. So far I played the first 3 missions of the American Pacific campaign, and was able to pass them fairly easily. The 4th mission stumped me though.

    The dynamic campaigns seems to be where the meat of the game is, however. There are around 9 different theatres you can choose from... these are incredibly varied. There's a few Mediterranean, a few Pacific and a few Europe.

    The way it works is you can set the win conditions, using either "territory control" or number of victories. Not really sure how the territory control works at this point... it may just be a glorified win condition that sets future missions over a new contested zone. I'm basically getting the crap kicked out of me, so I can't really say what is happening exactly.

    Once you pick a theatre, you can then select what type of mission you want to fly. This can be a meeting engagement, a patrol, a ground strike, a bomber escort and a few others. You can always pick what you want to do, as long as you have unlocked the appropriate plane type. The mission then is generated, and it is different every time. I think that maybe all the ground forces and fleets start in the same place, but where your flight path is or what your target is changes.

    I've been playing in the Mediterranean in the early war (1941). It's basically German biplanes vs British biplanes. Really hard to fly these things, but fun. I can't do any of the bomber missions because I haven't unlocked them yet.

    Also, all the dynamic campaigns can be played co-op with up to three other people. It defaults the game to multiplayer, and I'm pretty sure I had a guy drop in mid-fight once.

    One of the negative things I noticed is that the dynamic campaigns can't be saved. However, unlike the IL2 dynamic campaigns, you can set yourself to get right into the action immediately. No more futzing about waiting 10 minutes with time compression on to get to the target area (you can also choose to fly the entire route without and sort of waypoint skip as well). I'm assuming you can get through a whole campaign in about 2-4 hours. (I may be missing something about saving a dynamic campaign).

    You earn experience for everything you do- taking off, landing, shooting down a plane, completing mission objectives. This builds up your level, and every level you go up unlocks a few planes, paint jobs, decals and a few other things.

    There are also "achievement" goals, such as "destroyed a total of 5 ships" which gives you another type of currency. This currency is spent to unlock another tree of aircraft. I'm pretty sure this is a take on the World of Planes "freemium" pay-for currency, although there is no way to purchase it... it is just earned.

    The game has over 100 aircraft in it, and I love the idea of slowly feeding them to you based on how well you do in the game.

    The graphics are top-notch, and the cockpits are super detailed. There is "mouse look", which is accomplished by pressing down on the d-pad and moving the right stick. There is also a padlock view. The flight model seems very good, along the lines of IL2. You can choose arcade, realistic and simulation. You can also fully customize the realism, turning off and on engine buffeting, icons over enemies, airspeed on screen, flight assists, etc.

    They also included a ton of optional sim controls such as prop pitch, fuel mix, trim, etc. I've read you need to either have a flight stick or hook a keyboard up to your PS3/360 to use all of them. There are also a lot of flight sticks supported, but I'm not sure if these are console-specific flight sticks or if some PC sticks work with it.

    This could potentially be one of the best sims I've ever played. It's taken everything that IL2 was and polished it up into an extremely compelling and rich game.

    I still need to know, how and why this game ever came to be on a console.

  19. #19
    Mad Chester Rod Humble's Avatar
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    Thanks! Purchasing tomorrow!

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    Woah, woah, woah. Tell me about flying missions, any of them, in realistic / cockpit mode (hardcore is too over-the-top, you need to see some waypoint icons at some point)?. Have the terminator sniper AI / mission objectives been adjusted for it?

  21. #21
    World's End Supernova Brian Rubin's Avatar
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    Wait, progress in campaign games can't be saved? Whowhatnow?

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    I can't really comment on how hard the AI is so far, as I'm having to re-learn how to fly a aim using a 360 controller. Every time out I get a bit better, but it's still a pain.

    I'm playing on full flight realism, but with markers on the enemy planes, floating waypoint markers and a few other helpers.

    As for the game being ruined by having an impossible mission you can't pass, that seems largely alleviated by the dynamic campaign.

    And yeah, you can't save a dynamcic campaign. They seem to be short affairs that are played in a sitting. Very strange. The main historical campaigns are much longer and do save your progress.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flyinj View Post
    I'm playing on full flight realism, but with markers on the enemy planes, floating waypoint markers and a few other helpers..
    Ok, good. Are the insta-stalls gone? I found that in BoP, I'd stall on a dime, even with a joystick, just pulling routine maneuvers and turns.

    (By the way, I don't care whether the FM is 'real' or whatever, there were just a lot of control and AI issues that made hardcore mode somewhat unplayable.)
    Last edited by spiffy; 03-14-2012 at 09:41 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spiffy View Post
    Ok, good. Are the insta-stalls gone? I found that in BoP, I'd stall on a dime, even with a joystick, just pulling routine maneuvers and turns.

    (By the way, I don't care whether the FM is 'real' or whatever, there were just a lot of control and AI issues that made hardcore mode somewhat unplayable.)
    Yes, it seems like I'm stalling quite frequently. I have to manage my power a lot.

  25. #25
    How To Go Enidigm's Avatar
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    It's still IL2 at its core but the wrapper keeps getting more and more polished. The AI doesn't appear better or worse. I saw 5 german planes meet 6 Russian planes off on the horizon near my objective; 4 German planes were left burning to the ground and the remaining plane turned 5 clicks to come straight at .... Me. And with my squad there were about 8 planes following it in a conga line. So yea typical IL2. I'm pretty sure Gaijin somehow got hold or acquired the basic assets of the IL2 franchise and has been just building on them to make games. I look at these games as hugely detailed fan mods.

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    I've finally wrapped my head around how this game works.

    It's basically Forza/Gran Turismo but with warplanes. The dynamic campaign is, indeed, the heart of the entire operation.

    The way it works is this: You select one of the 8 (I think) theatres to play in. When you initially set up the campaign, you specify a starting year. If you select a later year, the enemy planes will consist of planes from that year and previous years. By winning missions, you unlock "warpoints", which you can spend on new planes.

    The entire system is based on a risk/reward aspect. In each theatre you start with only the base fighter unlocked. This is the only plane you can fly until you unlock other planes. If you select "1940" (the earliest starting date), you will encounter enemy planes from that era. If you select a later date, you'll be taking your clunker against much better planes. However, you score a lot more warpoints for completing missions against harder enemies.

    Each phase of the campaign generates about 8 different types of missions, such as meeting engagement, ground unit attack, defending ships, etc. Some of these missions are not possible when you first start playing, because you haven't unlocked any bombers. The bombers themselves have their own separate tree.

    The campaigns are fast-playing, missions lasting about 10-20 minutes and the campaign consisting of 3-7 missions depending on how well you do. You get a big "warpoint" payout for winning a campaign as well. It is very similar to Gran Turismo/Forza multi-race competitions.

    The random mission generation inside these mini dynamic campaigns is superb. There are tons of variables at play- sometimes you'll be in 40 on 40 hairball above an enemy fleet with flak exploding everywhere, at other times you might be taking out a small truck convoy with 3 wingman and 2 opposing fighters. There is also full ground war modeled, with tanks taking shots at each other if the mission generates a ground unit meeting engagement.

    On top of that, the graphics are some of the best in the sim genre. Amazing tracer fire, clouds, pillars of smoke emitting from crashed planes and bombed ground targets, huge amounts of buildings in urban areas and trees in jungle settings. A really good lighting engine as well, with sunsets and sunrises that actually affect your tactics from sun-blinding.

    On top of all this, you can play through the dynamic campaigns co-op with up to four people. You can even leave your campaign open, and people can join mid-session if the game is set to public.

    I'm completely hooked.

  27. #27
    World's End Supernova Brian Rubin's Avatar
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    Dude, this sounds EXACTLY like the type of flying game my short attention span wants! I am sooooold, and will be getting it soonish.

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    Another great aspect about unlocking planes in the dynamic campaign is that you aren't always guaranteed to have them show up. It may generate missions with only the older models. I haven't gotten enough planes unlocked, but I wonder if you can play say 1940 in Malta but have your unlocked planes from 1944 show up in that campaign.

    Also, I forgot to mention- everything is destructible, even the trees. They even have a scraping noise when your plane grazes the tops of trees when flying low over a canopy.

    Another also- there is a full replay feature, with multiple cameras.

  29. #29
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    .... But no campaign save. It's kind of boggling as to why not.

  30. #30
    World's End Supernova Brian Rubin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyinj View Post
    Another great aspect about unlocking planes in the dynamic campaign is that you aren't always guaranteed to have them show up. It may generate missions with only the older models. I haven't gotten enough planes unlocked, but I wonder if you can play say 1940 in Malta but have your unlocked planes from 1944 show up in that campaign.

    Also, I forgot to mention- everything is destructible, even the trees. They even have a scraping noise when your plane grazes the tops of trees when flying low over a canopy.

    Another also- there is a full replay feature, with multiple cameras.
    To ME, this is sounding like Dirt 2 with airplanes, which I am A HUGE FAN of.

    Quote Originally Posted by Enidigm View Post
    .... But no campaign save. It's kind of boggling as to why not.
    If they're as quick-playing as it sounds, maybe they're meant to be played in one session, but yeah, lack of save is confusing.

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