Author Topic: Looking for a Modern air combat flight sim (Helicopter or jet)  (Read 5593 times)

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Offline Dilmah G

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Re: Looking for a Modern air combat flight sim (Helicopter or jet)
I've only played Allied Force, but I'd recommend you use that as a point at which to at least get to grips with the Falcon and/or decide whether or not it's for you before pursuing the other games in the series.

 

Offline Nuke

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Re: Looking for a Modern air combat flight sim (Helicopter or jet)
i was gonna buy dcs blackshark then i found out it had some crappy drm (it uses starforce) that only lets you activate the game 3 times before it locks it down. its so bad i wouldnt install it on my computer if you gave me a free copy. then i thought about pirating it, but the installation procedure was so complex that i said **** it. ive always wanted a realistic, modern, combat chopper sim. its such a shame to finally get one, then have it raped my drm. ****ing games industry.

Guess what.

Lock On: Flaming Cliffs 1 has Starforce. It will only run on Xp or lower as a consequence.
* -Joshua- growls.

Oh well, let's just uninstall that one, LOMAC and then crack it.

i bought lock on gold which i think had lock on and the expansion, i never installed the expansion though. i installed it once, starforce gave me ****, the end result is i formatted my hard drive. i have since dedicated the cds to the "cd case full of games that no longer function". i kinda wish game developers would put a little time into the forward compatibility of their games. for games to have long life they need to be able to function with hardware and operating systems of the future.

during the interplay hayday back when most games used directx 5 and 6, there were a lot of good games, the only problem was directx 5 and 6 werent very forward compatible. after directx 9 came into being about 4/5ths of them were unplayable on anything but a nostalgia rig. in comparison games that used glide as their graphics api, about 4/5ths of those can be played with the correct wrapper. opnegl games almost never had issues with forward compatibility, quake was playable up until 64 bit oses and their new multi-interface network stacks, which really threw a monkey wrench into the way the game worked (quake uses the network interface even for single player, using the loopback port, since the game is client/server oriented, the game client is essentially its own server). still quake is playable with a source port. now we have drm which is compiled for only one specific version of windows even if the game supports another os, if the drm doesn't you're up **** creek. i think game developers should remove drm around the time they decide to stop supporting users. of course the best way to preserve forward compatibility is to release the source code.
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Offline Thaeris

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Re: Looking for a Modern air combat flight sim (Helicopter or jet)
Nuke, you're the best bad role model I've ever had.

Thank you.

 :D
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Everyone else takes normal damage.
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Re: Looking for a Modern air combat flight sim (Helicopter or jet)
ARMA2 isn't a sim, though, and if you're looking for a pure helicopter or fighter jet sim it's not going to satisfy. It's more of a FPS with the ability to fly but don't expect too much realism there. The way flight control is handled leaves a lot to be desired too.
The game itself is fun, though, it's just not really a flight sim in any serious sense of the word. Also, the single player campaign was extremely buggy back when I tried the game - to the point of being unplayable. Not sure if they fixed that by now.

I noticed that once you jumped out of the helicopter  :blah:
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Offline Mika

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Re: Looking for a Modern air combat flight sim (Helicopter or jet)
I have been flying Falcon 4 AF since 2005. OpenFalcon and FreeFalcon are available for free (and FreeFalcon doesn't require original Falcon 4 to my knowledge), while AF doesn't cost that much either. I have heard bad reports about the stability and update management from free releases, while Allied Force hasn't been updated for ages. Mostly AF is the most stabile of the branch, but lacks some of the eye-candy from the others - 2005 era ground graphics look dated, but you will not have a lot of time to watch them anyways and do their job relatively well. Be advised that strafing runs don't work in AF as the tanks are visible only at ridiculously close range - missiles and bombs are the preferred way. Other than that, prepare for a couple of months learning curve to understand how the jet itself operates. Then a couple of months for understanding how you should be fighting with it. After that it is kick-ass and never gets old. The thing is, it is infinitely replayable, as the war changes depending on what you and allied forces did and what enemy did.

The big thing is, no flight simulator has been able to recreate the feeling of being in a huge mess of air war as Falcon 4 does. I have not played the Blackshark yet, but I suspect it isn't yet up the par. The best thing you can do with AF is to fly it with your friends, the thing only gets much better by then! It really is all about immersion at the point you get hit by flak and just barely manage to fly it back to base, only after emergency landing you find that the joystick is really soaked with sweat. And talk about missions flying against the surface to air missile sites, imagine a doomsday view of thick cloud from which the missile contrails come through 40 nautical miles away, seeing allied fighters meet those missile contrails, resulting in oily smoke, fireballs and parachutes, and of course frantic radio calls. There you realize that you don't actually want to go there. After half of the strike package has been slaughtered you really start to think that maybe you actually should abort the mission.

One more thing, AI isn't exactly thick in there. It can put up some elaborate ambushes and AI wingmen do their jobs remarkably well.
Relaxed movement is always more effective than forced movement.

 

Offline RVR72G

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Re: Looking for a Modern air combat flight sim (Helicopter or jet)
Jane's USAF is also an awesome classic gem.

Also, from those who brought you Il-2: Birds of Prey
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/activision-announces-apache-air-assault

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Looking for a Modern air combat flight sim (Helicopter or jet)
I was a fairly devoted Allied Force player, and I've got to say that after it every other sim feels kind of empty.

 

Offline Sushi

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Re: Looking for a Modern air combat flight sim (Helicopter or jet)
Dang, I had no idea Falcon 4 had gotten to where there's a freeware version. I played it a bit when it first came out (three-ring binder and all), but moved away when other things became more important...

The real question is: with a sim like that, do you even have a chance if you try to go kb+mouse? :)

EDIT: Holy crap, if Freefalcon is indeed free and everything it looks like it is, I may end up buying a stick after all... if I suddenly disappear, that's probably why. :)

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Looking for a Modern air combat flight sim (Helicopter or jet)
I was a kb/m Allied Force player, never had much trouble. Maybe a biiiit.

 

Offline Dilmah G

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Re: Looking for a Modern air combat flight sim (Helicopter or jet)
I dunno how you guys do it. I <3 my stick.

 

Offline Mika

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Re: Looking for a Modern air combat flight sim (Helicopter or jet)
You can play Allied Force with keyboard, but the question is; why should you?

Flight sims are simply that much better with joystick. The problem with modern keyboards is also that some of them can register several keypresses at the time while some of them don't. For the last ten years, I have been flying with CH Flightstick Pro, and I don't have experience with HOTAS systems. But I can tell that even when I'm using rather simple joystick with a throttle, I still need to use keyboard a lot (switch to Dogfight override mode and select 60 vertical scanning radar mode, for example), and if I should be maneuvering in a dogfight at the same time, I think either moving or radar mode selection would not be noted by the keyboard. Luckily, AF stresses beyond visual range combat due to increased missile ranges, and that might allow for keyboard playing. In dogfights and search and destroy missions, joystick will help immensely. When aircraft is damaged, I suspect that stabilizing it is easier with a joystick.

Though most air to air engagements tend to happen in beyond visual range, that doesn't mean you don't get to shoot things with a cannon in AF. This has happened to me several times when there is no AWACS available and due to (understandable) lack of simulation of any IFF systems, I have had to proceed to visual contact and see the shape of the aircraft until it has been possible to know whether it is an enemy or not. Those cases have usually been Mig-19s or Galebs, but as long as you don't know, you can't really shoot. The other option of getting to use the gun is running out of missiles, which has happened a couple of times also  :nervous:. Of course, more advanced enemy aircraft will usually take a radar lock and lob missiles if available, and are somewhat easier to identify.
Relaxed movement is always more effective than forced movement.

 

Offline Dilmah G

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Re: Looking for a Modern air combat flight sim (Helicopter or jet)
Well you lack the tactile manipulation required to make precise control inputs using a mouse and keyboard, in my opinion. I've grown up with a joystick since the age of four, and been flying as a general aviation student pilot since thirteen, so using the stick is a matter of it being an extension of my body. I don't move the stick to the right and bank as some kind of mechanical movement, I look at the direction I'm banking and bank. It's a natural thing.

I just don't feel it with a mouse. As soon as we get to the merge and things start to get dynamic, I don't want to be worrying about overbanking on a turn or something stupid with a k+m, I need my mind clear so I can operate the aircraft.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Looking for a Modern air combat flight sim (Helicopter or jet)
I played multi with a bunch of stick guys and they were dumbstruck when I told them I was a keyboard only player.

I think I can match/exceed any stick user (or could at my peak).

 

Offline Dilmah G

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Re: Looking for a Modern air combat flight sim (Helicopter or jet)
I don't doubt that some people are good with the k/m, in fact in games like F4 where flying the aircraft is easy, I'd actually recommend it for some people.

But when you merge with a hostile in a guns only engagement, there comes a point where I think people realise it's called being a 'Stick and rudder operator' for a reason. In my opinion, you just can't feel the aircraft start to reach the edge of its limits, the aircraft coming close to stalling and that point where you realise you need to go for a different transition or increase power the same way you can with a stick. You have to rely on other factors instead of feeling it naturally.

Hell, I don't think you can feel the aircraft at all when you use the keyboard. When you use the stick, you know how much pressure you're applying or not applying, the aircraft itself is like an extension of your body. In the merge when it comes to just trying to get your gunsights over the hostile, I can see how it could be easier with a k/m since the process is somewhat simplified, but when it comes to properly flying the aircraft, I'd struggle to see how it's possible to use six keys on a keyboard to keep an aircraft flying in balance. Of course in Falcon the aircraft trims itself and you don't have to worry. :P But in any other flight sim where the flying is a bit harder, I can see it being a very large challenge to fly the aircraft in balance.

Or perhaps we look at flying in completely different ways and our viewpoints are never going to be understandable to each other. :P

 

Offline Sushi

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Re: Looking for a Modern air combat flight sim (Helicopter or jet)
Well, I use kbmouse, but as I've pointed out before, I cheat... the mouse is registered as a virtual joystick. :)

Looks like I'll have to do some serious config-fu to get this to work properly with FreeFalcon though, especially because mouse is already used to look around and click on cockpit buttons...

As far as controllability, having played sims (both hardcode like Falcon and lite like FS2) with both kbmouse(virtual joystick) and a "real" stick, I can say that as far as basic flying goes, it's a wash. The only place where I really, really miss having a stick is rudder control and piles of buttons and hat switches. :) This matters quite a bit for something like Falcon, pretty much none at all for something like Freespace.

 
Re: Looking for a Modern air combat flight sim (Helicopter or jet)
Jane's USAF is also an awesome classic gem.

Also, from those who brought you Il-2: Birds of Prey
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/activision-announces-apache-air-assault

Hopefully taht will be ported to PC as well, just like Birds of Prey was (It's just called Wings of Prey now :) ).

I got Falcon 4.0: AF. I need to get ready for a lot of manual reading, it appears...

 

Offline Nuke

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Re: Looking for a Modern air combat flight sim (Helicopter or jet)
Nuke, you're the best bad role model I've ever had.

Thank you.

 :D

glad to be of service :D
I can no longer sit back and allow communist infiltration, communist indoctrination, communist subversion, and the international communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.

Nuke's Scripting SVN

 
Re: Looking for a Helicopter (Combat) sim.
People say good things about the two Enemy Engaged titles.

I still keep coming back to those sims. If you decide to get a copy of the first two Enemy Engaged titles (Apache Havoc and Comanche Hokum; they combine when installed so you can fly all four helos in all the campaigns), you may want to check out EECH Central for fan-made updates (such as extra complexity, a flyable Hind, new campaign areas, graphical updates etc).

 

Offline chief1983

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Re: Looking for a Modern air combat flight sim (Helicopter or jet)
I believe that either LOMAC:FC2 or BlackShark have had their DRM patched out, either by Ubisoft or the subsequent developers.  I would check on whether FC2 still has it.
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Offline Mika

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Re: Looking for a Modern air combat flight sim (Helicopter or jet)
I don't think that you need the original Falcon for OpenFalcon or FreeFalcon. My friends managed to install them alone. But that's about one and a half years ago. Try it yourself if you have a fast connection.

FreeFalcon and OpenFalcon - multiple aircraft, multiple campaigns, updated graphics. Red Viper add-on has added some stuff like SAM operators firing without radar locks in formations when the visibility is good, and other new AI tricks.
Allied Force - more stabile, but costs money (should be cheap nowadays). No updates coming - I find this good, though you might disagree. The only thing I wish they would do would be update of the graphics (especially terrain) and multiprocessor support, but no such luck. But I think it is good enough already.

Quote
Of course in Falcon the aircraft trims itself and you don't have to worry.

Except when it gets damaged and the control surfaces get stuck. If you haven't flown 30 minute returning trip to home damaged and haven't applied full banking force with all the trim maximized, you are missing something. Especially when the flight control system changes the stick gains when landing gears are extended and locked (barrel roll at ground level anyone?). I missed the runway twice but just barely managed to land the aircraft at the third attempt (declared emergency, of course).
I have also played Freespace 2 with keyboard only. Despite of that, I cannot even think of flying Allied Force without joystick. My understanding is that pilots are discouraged from applying rudder control when flying a real F-16 (exception of landing)  - above 400 kts (something) rudder doesn't even move due to FLCS intervening! That might explain your differences.

Did I miss something? Anyways, if you took Allied Force, you could fly occasionally with us. PM me about this (I live in Finland so time zones...)
Falcon 4 and derivatives really require a lot of effort in learning the simulation (this is not really a game any more), but rewards the enthusiast by never repeating itself. And that massive air war thing going on around you is something you don't find anywhere else, short of being a real pilot yourself. I'll be replying if you have some questions and/or I find out that I indeed missed something.
Relaxed movement is always more effective than forced movement.