Have all air combat games disappeared?

M76

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I used to love air combat games, and other flying games. But they seem to have disappeared into this millennia. Any game I can think of from this genre is pre 2000s.

Played hundreds of hours with, F29 Retaliator, LHX Attack Chopper, 1942 Pacific Air War (and the others from microprose), Overlord, Eurofigher 2000, Falcon 4.0, Hind, Longbow, even Slipstream 5000, and Terminal Velocity, and I shall count Rogue Squadron as an air combat game as well.

But after that it all stops. Did I miss every flying game since then? Or has the genre really all but disappeared?
So are there any recommended air combat games for someone who has been living under a rock since 2000?

Actually there is one game I know of: IL2, but it was too hardcore of a simulation for me to enjoy.
 

zamardii12

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Not a PC game, but I bought a Xbox 360 rather recently just so I can replay Ace Combat 6. Still holds up well graphically and is really good. I feel your pain; the last GREAT sim I got into was Jane's F/A-18. I was so good at this game and all the buttons in the plane that I could have probably flown one for real.

 

Viper16

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Falcon 4.0 had some mod come out in 2015 I believe...it supposedly was a great mod that gave the game a fresh look.
 

yourgrandma

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For the hardcore there is il2:cod + bos, DCS, Rise of Flight and Falcon BMS mod. Not much simcade stuff out there, maybe War Thunder...
 

LightsOut41

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the last GREAT sim I got into was Jane's F/A-18. I was so good at this game and all the buttons in the plane that I could have probably flown one for real.


Such a fantastic sim. I remember practicing over and over and over trying to land on that carrier. Probably took me 60-80 times to get it right.

To answer the OP, DCS is still being actively worked on. It was born out of LOMAC (Lock On: Modern Air Combat).
 

Flogger23m

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Just get Flaming Cliffs 3 for DCS World. Aside from that, there is really nothing with modern combat. There is Falcon 4 variations, the study sim DCS modules, IL-2 Battle of Stalingrad, Rise of Flight, and FSX / Prepare 3D for civil aviation.

For pure flight games Ace Combat 7 is coming to PC. This genre has actually suffered more. Ace Combat was the only one with quality throughout, but all its competitors such as Aero Elite, Lethal Skies, Air For Delta, Energy Air Force and the like have all died.

Actually the vehicle based genre has all but died. Ace Combat is literally the only single player vehicle based game on the horizon. Maybe Squadron 42, that should be mostly ship based, but will have some infantry type combat mixed in to...

Ace Combat skin I made for DCS:



The FC3 planes are simple yet complex. If you make more casual missions in the editor it will be considerably easier.
 

MrGuvernment

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My uncle played so much Falcon 4.0! I will admit i did like Microsoft Combat Flight Sim...they could of had a good thing going if they kept it going!
 

Yippee38

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Aces High III is still around. It's very sim in physics, but not in controls like IL2. Even though they just updated the graphics, it still looks dated, but the gameplay was always good.
 

M76

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Thanks for the suggestions, but as I see then it's not just me, the genre is very underrepresented.
 

PCMusicGuy

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If you can handle more arcade style top gun action, perhaps give HAWX and HAWX 2 a try. I enjoyed them.
 

muz_j

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My uncle played so much Falcon 4.0! I will admit i did like Microsoft Combat Flight Sim...they could of had a good thing going if they kept it going!

There are still mod's being put out for CFS3 - like ETO.
I have looked at in the past, but haven't really put any time into it, so can't really comment too much.

I have a pretty decent collection of flight sims at home, but haven't had an analogue joystick since moving cities about 1.5 years ago.
Personally I'm a fan of the Eagle Dynamics products - which have already been mentioned - Digital Combat Simulator and it's add-ons. I think I started on their products with Flanker 1.5 years ago.
IL-2 is still being updated via mod's too I think and that's not too bad on modern hardware (you can force anti-aliasing and graphical quality settings through your video card's drivers to make it look better - like a lot of games). I'm more of an IL-2 fan that CFS probably, but tend to collect most of the good filght simulators. I also lock DCS: Black Shark and Black Shark 2.

...I think I'll go and get an order in for a new joystick - time to get flying again :)
 

Lt.Gamer

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As others have said the DCS series is pretty good (it's the spiritual successor to LoMAC).

Have a look at Falcon 4 BMS...


https://www.bmsforum.org/forum/content.php

For some stupid reason you need to register on the official forum before you can read anything, but it is worth it.

Installation guide: http://simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.p...g-with-falcon-4-bms-4-33-update-3#Post4347779

It's a mod (where almost nothing of the original game still exists). So to avoid legal trouble you need a legitimate copy of Falcon 4, fortunately GoG will provide https://www.gog.com/game/falcon_collection, and it's on sale right now!

And it's loaded with sim features, such as support for multiple monitors (including arbitrary output for things like MFDs), TrackIR, full 3D cockpit where things work and aren't just for show, loads of manuals (seriously there are 1000s of pages if you really want to read it all), multiple controller support*, multi-player dynamic co-op campaign, etc.




Cheers
Lt.Gamer.


* it supports multiple controllers, but do to the age of the underlying game there is a very nasty bug that can cause you to lose heaps of hours trying to fix it...basically it maps the controllers in the game based upon the order in which Windows detected them for the first time. There is a weird combination of events that can cause that order to change and suddenly the fixed mapping in the game doesn't match with what Windows is providing, and your joystick is now your peddles...it requires editing some config files to fix.
 

Lith1um

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I used to love air combat games, and other flying games. But they seem to have disappeared into this millennia. Any game I can think of from this genre is pre 2000s.

Played hundreds of hours with, F29 Retaliator, LHX Attack Chopper, 1942 Pacific Air War (and the others from microprose), Overlord, Eurofigher 2000, Falcon 4.0, Hind, Longbow, even Slipstream 5000, and Terminal Velocity, and I shall count Rogue Squadron as an air combat game as well.

But after that it all stops. Did I miss every flying game since then? Or has the genre really all but disappeared?
So are there any recommended air combat games for someone who has been living under a rock since 2000?

Actually there is one game I know of: IL2, but it was too hardcore of a simulation for me to enjoy.


Try this, it's free. http://warthunder.com/en/
 

Flogger23m

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If you can handle more arcade style top gun action, perhaps give HAWX and HAWX 2 a try. I enjoyed them.

HAWX 1 was a fairly solid although very uninspired Ace Combat clone. Maybe it was rushed, but it was fairly bug free and ran great. Just not a lot of effort devoted to it. Different planes shared 3D models with other planes the looked somewhat similar in shape, but were entirely different designs. Bad sound effects. Horrendous story. Annoying combat mode thing. But it had co-op for the campaign which was nice. HAWX 2 was worse, in that the story was even dumber, missions got worse (a few on rail missions), and some notable collision / ground hit box issues and the like were present. HAWX 1 is better, but both are okay if you're looking for a mediocre Ace Combat knock off on PC.
 

muz_j

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...Have a look at Falcon 4 BMS...

I have always wanted to try out BMS, but don't own the original Falcon 4. I do own a copy of Falcon 4 Allied Force, which I'm sure you know - isn't compatible with BMS - which goddamn sucks in my opinion. Ho hum - I might have to buy a copy of the original F4 just to try it out as I've always thought it looked pretty awesome.

Is BMS still be updated and developed ?
How old is the most recent version ?
 

Lt.Gamer

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Is BMS still be updated and developed ?
How old is the most recent version ?

Yes it is, but it's a slow release schedule. BMS 4.33 was a huge update and was released late last year, with 4.32 being released several years before that. But it doesn't really matter, each update is pretty much stable (though IIRC I have see a few minor patches for bugs during the life of the release). It runs just fine on Windows 10 and modern hardware.

Falcon 4 Allied Force, which I'm sure you know - isn't compatible with BMS - which goddamn sucks in my opinion.
I also own F4AF, and yes it's annoying, but it's a long sordid history of modding, licensing, and permissions that have meant that it needs to be installed on top of Falcon 4.

I might have to buy a copy of the original F4 just to try it out as I've always thought it looked pretty awesome.
https://www.gog.com/game/falcon_collection ...it's on sale for $5, DCS will cost you a lot more than that ;)
 

st4rk

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I remember watching this video a while ago, it was pretty insane but cool for a sim to be so detailed for a startup procedure on an A10!
 

Flogger23m

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It is why I hardly own any of the full study sim modules. I just don't have the time to memorize that all. I own the MIG-21 and it is simple enough if I ignore the crappy radar, crappy A2G missile, and just use guns and heat seeking missiles. I am thinking of getting the Mirage 2000C because it is a semi modern plane, but only 4 air to air missiles annoys me. I really wish they could do some more simpler, modern planes like the F-15C. Complex enough, fun and interesting, but not too hard and not too limited when it comes to weapons.
 

sirmonkey1985

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I wish Air Warrior would come back.. honestly one of the best massive multiplayer flight games to exist.. but sadly Microsoft bought it and killed it to release their flight sim instead.
 

muz_j

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I remember watching this video a while ago, it was pretty insane but cool for a sim to be so detailed for a startup procedure on an A10!

...ah - you should try out the realistic start-up procedure in DCS Black Shark and Black Shark 2. It's 70 steps from fully powered off, to running through the full sequence and sitting there, idling with the helicopter fully running and ready to take off. I own DCS A-10 as well & the KA-50 is definitely a longer process.

PDF reference here from Eagle Dynamics (I have a really good 3rd party visual guide in PDF format at home, but can't recall where I got that from (it's got images of the controls so you know exactly which switches you are looking for - which makes it easier).

http://forums.eagle.ru/attachment.php?attachmentid=22187&d=1228354465
 

RazorWind

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I used to love air combat games, and other flying games. But they seem to have disappeared into this millennia. Any game I can think of from this genre is pre 2000s.

Played hundreds of hours with, F29 Retaliator, LHX Attack Chopper, 1942 Pacific Air War (and the others from microprose), Overlord, Eurofigher 2000, Falcon 4.0, Hind, Longbow, even Slipstream 5000, and Terminal Velocity, and I shall count Rogue Squadron as an air combat game as well.

But after that it all stops. Did I miss every flying game since then? Or has the genre really all but disappeared?
So are there any recommended air combat games for someone who has been living under a rock since 2000?

Actually there is one game I know of: IL2, but it was too hardcore of a simulation for me to enjoy.

This probably a little too hardcore for you, but...

http://www.prepar3d.com/

?

DCS is somewhat more consumer grade.
 
D

Deleted member 133315

Guest
As others have said the DCS series is pretty good (it's the spiritual successor to LoMAC).

Have a look at Falcon 4 BMS...


https://www.bmsforum.org/forum/content.php

For some stupid reason you need to register on the official forum before you can read anything, but it is worth it.

Installation guide: http://simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.p...g-with-falcon-4-bms-4-33-update-3#Post4347779

It's a mod (where almost nothing of the original game still exists). So to avoid legal trouble you need a legitimate copy of Falcon 4, fortunately GoG will provide https://www.gog.com/game/falcon_collection, and it's on sale right now!

And it's loaded with sim features, such as support for multiple monitors (including arbitrary output for things like MFDs), TrackIR, full 3D cockpit where things work and aren't just for show, loads of manuals (seriously there are 1000s of pages if you really want to read it all), multiple controller support*, multi-player dynamic co-op campaign, etc.




Cheers
Lt.Gamer.


* it supports multiple controllers, but do to the age of the underlying game there is a very nasty bug that can cause you to lose heaps of hours trying to fix it...basically it maps the controllers in the game based upon the order in which Windows detected them for the first time. There is a weird combination of events that can cause that order to change and suddenly the fixed mapping in the game doesn't match with what Windows is providing, and your joystick is now your peddles...it requires editing some config files to fix.

Nice setup, which lcd panels are you using for the thrustmaster mfd's ?

Also, not sure if this helps with the problem when your devices switch but when you have everything setup and working correctly, copy the config files and put them in a spare folder somewhere and when the devices mess up and you need to edit the config files, just use the ones you copied previously and write over the messed up originals.

Maybe its a quicker solution than having to edit config files manually ? Maybe it doesnt help at all but I was just thinking that if its the config files that are changing and messing things up then having anbackup of the originals should fix it.

Still interested in the lcd you use for the mfds as the reason i never bought the mfds was because they were missing screens.
 
D

Deleted member 133315

Guest
This probably a little too hardcore for you, but...

http://www.prepar3d.com/

?

DCS is somewhat more consumer grade.

You do realise DCS is based on actual software that eagle dynamics license to different Militaries around the world to train on, example the A10C for DCS came about because the USAF needed a simulator for their pilots to train on, it then trickled down to consumers with some security omissions but it was more or less complete.

Same with the other aircraft, although aimed at the consumer market their is nothing consumer about the simulation, it is as hardcore as one can get on todays hardware.

Flaming cliffs would be the better example of consumer grade as its basically jump in and fly, which cannot be said about the stand alone aircraft for DCS World.
 
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Flight sims are a rather niche genre these days, but they're still around. I don't even have to go through the trouble of naming the big ones, they've already been posted!

I think part of it is that on one hand, you have arcade Ace Combat-style titles, and on the other hand, the genre just went turbo-hardcore with Falcon 4.0 (doubly so with BMS) and DCS World, with increasingly more emphasis on fully-simulated cockpits and complex systems that you'll need to spend some time learning. They don't call them "study sims" for nothing!

I mean, to put this into perspective from a space sim standpoint: a lot of people find Elite: Dangerous to be a complex game, even for simple things like docking at stations. Rogue System makes Elite: Dangerous look like an arcade game because of its "DCS IN SPACE!" approach to things, and the current alpha builds don't even have combat implemented, just startup/shutdown, flight and docking procedures!

That's why you don't see a whole lot of hardcore combat flight sims anymore; the middle ground that used to be filled by stuff like Flying Nightmares, EF2000, F/A-18 Hornet/Korea and JSF: Joint Strike Fighter, with relatively simple avionics to learn while still packing reasonably realistic flight and damage models, sometimes even dynamic campaigns, is largely gone. I don't think we'll see it come back unless Combat Air Patrol 2 gets finished up.

Then you've got the more recent crop of F2P titles that try to satisfy both ends of the spectrum, mostly by adopting the Freelancer "aim-to-fly" mouse controls that effectively give old WWII warbirds fly-by-wire while eliminating that for the more simulator-esque modes. War Thunder's probably the most popular of the crop, though Rise of Flight added mouse controls later to presumably try and bolster its popularity.

We're probably going to see the genre take off once more, though, and that's largely thanks to VR. Virtual cockpits have never looked so good, and I honestly find myself hard-pressed to play Falcon BMS or Rise of Flight at this point precisely because they don't support VR at the moment, while DCS does. I've even been tempted into trying War Thunder realistic/sim modes because of it, possibly buying IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad/Moscow next sale, and maybe giving CAP2 another go because they DO support VR. Flat monitor + TrackIR just doesn't do it for me anymore.
 
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RazorWind

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You do realise DCS is based on actual software that eagle dynamics license to different Militaries around the world to train on, example the A10C for DCS came about because the USAF needed a simulator for their pilots to train on, it then trickled down to consumers with some security omissions but it was more or less complete.

Same with the other aircraft, although aimed at the consumer market their is nothing consumer about the simulation, it is as hardcore as one can get on todays hardware.

Flaming cliffs would be the better example of consumer grade as its basically jump in and fly, which cannot be said about the stand alone aircraft for DCS World.

DCS is nevertheless packaged and sold as a consumer entertainment product. This isn't bad - in fact for the OP's use case it's probably good.

It's just that Prepar3d takes the THUPER THERIOUTH PROFESSIONAL AVIATOR NOT A TOY approach, with pretty much zero compromise made in the name of "fun."
 

Flogger23m

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Flight sims are a rather niche genre these days, but they're still around. I don't even have to go through the trouble of naming the big ones, they've already been posted!

I think part of it is that on one hand, you have arcade Ace Combat-style titles, and on the other hand, the genre just went turbo-hardcore with Falcon 4.0 (doubly so with BMS) and DCS World, with increasingly more emphasis on fully-simulated cockpits and complex systems that you'll need to spend some time learning. They don't call them "study sims" for nothing!

I mean, to put this into perspective from a space sim standpoint: a lot of people find Elite: Dangerous to be a complex game, even for simple things like docking at stations. Rogue System makes E:D look like an arcade game because of its "DCS IN SPACE!" approach to things, and the current alpha builds don't even have combat implemented, just startup/shutdown, flight and docking procedures!

That's why you don't see a whole lot of hardcore combat flight sims anymore; the middle ground that used to be filled by stuff like Flying Nightmares, EF2000, F/A-18 Hornet/Korea and JSF: Joint Strike Fighter, with relatively simple avionics to learn while still packing reasonably realistic flight and damage models, sometimes even dynamic campaigns, is largely gone. I don't think we'll see it come back unless Combat Air Patrol 2 gets finished up.

Then you've got the more recent crop of F2P titles that try to satisfy both ends of the spectrum, mostly by adopting the Freelancer "aim-to-fly" mouse controls that effectively give old WWII warbirds fly-by-wire while eliminating that for the more simulator-esque modes. War Thunder's probably the most popular of the crop, though Rise of Flight added mouse controls later to presumably try and bolster its popularity.

We're probably going to see the genre take off once more, though, and that's largely thanks to VR. Virtual cockpits have never looked so good, and I honestly find myself hard-pressed to play Falcon BMS or Rise of Flight at this point precisely because they don't support VR at the moment, while DCS does. I've even been tempted into trying War Thunder realistic/sim modes because of it, possibly buying IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad/Moscow next sale, and maybe giving CAP2 another go because they DO support VR. Flat monitor + TrackIR just doesn't do it for me anymore.

I agree with this. I wish there were more Flaming Cliffs level of detail planes, but no studio seems to want to make them. They're easier, cheaper and will likely require less development time. Likewise, there is more leeway in choosing planes because you don't need extreme levels of research. The study sim stuff takes a bit too long to learn. On the flip side, all of the arcadey flight games aside from Ace Combat 7 have gone away. And the last AAA games were AC6 (2007) and HAWX 1/2 (2008 & 10 if I recall). And there is pretty much no middle ground, save for Flaming Cliffs 3. I can see why the entire genre, from basic to complex, isn't exactly thriving. There just is not much to get into these days. Maybe Ace Combat 7 will change that. Maybe it will fire up some more interest for Flaming Cliffs level of detail.
 

CaptNumbNutz

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Ok. This thread has given me something to do. For those of you that have been posting in it, I much appreciate you bringing it to my attention. I am in dire need of something to pull me out of my boredom slump. TV is boring, current games are boring, and all I want to do is FLY.

And here I am with a Windows 10 machine thinking ALL IS LOST!!! My favorite flight sims are sitting in a box. Then someone posted an ETO mod for CFS3. 10 minutes of googling and I had that game up and running again doing a quick dogfight between 3 ace BF109's and my P51.

Then I found out... the one game that hasn't worked in 10 years due to a fundamental change in how graphics cards work ... my favorite MS abandonware ...



CRIMSON SKIES

...is working on Windows 10 via fan made patches. IIRC, back in the day, it stopped working due to a specific DX8 feature that was no longer being supported by ATI or Nvidia in drivers or in hardware. You could have the game run completely in CPU, but the colors and everything else was screwed up.


Apparently there is also an HD update patch.
http://www.play-old-pc-games.com/2016/06/10/crimson-skies/
http://blackjackshangar.blogspot.com/2015/08/crimson-skies-in-windows-10.html


Ya...I know I'm a bit late to the game on this, but I figured I'd share with a few of you who didn't know this.

-edit-

My initial run at this following instructions isn't working to well. It stutters a lot. I'm going to keep playing with it.
 
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Flogger23m

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Best arcadey flight game can be played on PC. Took these a few minutes ago.




The trailer I posted earlier made me feel nostalgic, so I had to try it again for a few moments. :)
 

muz_j

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You do realise DCS is based on actual software that eagle dynamics license to different Militaries around the world to train on, example the A10C for DCS came about because the USAF needed a simulator for their pilots to train on, it then trickled down to consumers with some security omissions but it was more or less complete.
Same with the other aircraft, although aimed at the consumer market their is nothing consumer about the simulation, it is as hardcore as one can get on todays hardware.
Flaming cliffs would be the better example of consumer grade as its basically jump in and fly, which cannot be said about the stand alone aircraft for DCS World.

...and they employed actual test pilots for both Sukhoi (Su-27) and Kamov (KA-50) to bench test the products versus the real world.
Some of the newer Eagle Dynamics products are not quite as over the top in terms of realism, but the Su-27, A-10C and KA-50 in particular are about as close to the real world as you can get, without using proper military simulators.

That's not to knock - http://www.prepar3d.com. I've only just looked at it, but if it's developed by Lockheed Martin and using high end, realistic physics, it's likely on a par with the high end Eagle Dynamics products. But implying ED is consumer grade, overlooks the fact that they are gaming spin-offs as products used by real air forces. (in the same manner that ArmA is a gaming spin-off of VBS - Virtual Battlespace).
 
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