You are allowed to play as either the Allies or the Axis. Allies conist of the USA, Britain and USSR and the Axis consist of Germany and Japan. There are though a few Canadian and French planes mixed in the Allies and there are also some Italian planes mixed in with the Germans. All together there are about 104 historical planes (not including the DLC plane packs that just came out).
There are three difficulty settings: Simplified, Realistic, and Simulator. The differences are pretty straight forward. In Simplified you can pretty much pick this game up and start flying right out of the box. It's for those who have played Ace Combat and want a similar experience. Realistic is a little harder. The HUD is still displayed fully but the controls are quite different. It's much harder to keep your plane in the air let alone High-G turn straight onto a bandit's tail. If you're not careful you will spin out and before you know it you'll be dust in the wind. Simulator is for those who want a true challenge. There is no HUD display so it is very much what it was like in WWII trying to spot enemy bogies. There is though, a small map with radar but it's only a small red dot. It says nothing about distance or which way anyone is heading. You basically just look at the radar and get an idea, but then you have to visually confirm where anyone is. It's super tough because you even have to identify whether or not it is an enemy you are shooting at in the first place. There is no way of telling a friend from an enemy unless you know your planes or can see the markings, for example an American star on the wings, or a Japanese red dot. The controls are even harder than Realistic, expecially take-off and landing. This difficulty level is for those who have played IL-2 Sturmovik and are experienced or Over-G, another great console flight sim.
There is almost an unending amount of possible missions to be flown. There are two full campaigns (USA, and Japanese Historical Campaigns), plenty of single missions, a Mission Editor, Online Versus mode (multiplayer), Dynamic Campaign (where you choose one of ten or so theaters and re-create history with a ton of different missions for each), and they just came out with DLC which is the Battle of Britain and new planes too.
Overall though, the BEST thing about Birds of Steel to me are the graphics. This game blows me away every time I play it. It's beauty is on the lines of Red Dead Redemption. The weather is a huge part of the overall experience and especially on Simulator. Trying to find an enemy plane in high speed winds with overcast is like searching for a balloon that slipped away and is now heading for outer space. Once you get eyes on your target, you better keep them on your target.
I know this thread is a little late. Birds of Steel has been out for a while now, but if anyone out there on Battlestrats has this for 360, feel free to add me. Currently I don't have IL-2. I actually bought this game first because I THOUGHT I didn't like IL-2. Silly me. But I had played IL-2 a few years back and that's when I didn't have an HD tv and I just couldn't really see anaything so I just didn't get it. Oh well. I plan to now. Anyways....
Happy flying everyone.
Edited by STORMTROOPER333, 16 June 2012 - 02:12 AM.