- Combat Flight Simulator 3: Battle for Europe
Combat Flight Simulator 3 Battle for Europe Developer(s) Microsoft Game Studios Publisher(s) Microsoft Series Combat Flight Simulator Platform(s) Microsoft Windows Release date(s) 2002 Genre(s) Flight simulation , Role-playing video game Mode(s) Single Player, Multiplayer Rating(s) ESRB: Everyone (Violence) Media/distribution CDROM System requirements
Minimum Windows 98,ME 64MB RAM,Windows 2000,XP 128MB RAM,Processor 400 MHz,Hard Drive 900 MB,Video Card 16MB/3D
Combat Flight Simulator 3: Battle for Europe (CFS3), is the latest installment of combat flight simulators from Microsoft Game Studios, released in 2002. The game is more or less a heavily updated version of the first (Combat Flight Simulator WWII Europe Series), offering a far wider range of options to the player. The game incorporates an active campaign mode, whereby the player may play for the USAAF, RAF or Luftwaffe in a campaign starting in March 1943. Based on the player's performance in the North-west Europe, which spans from northernmost England to eastern Berlin, the player can alter the length and even outcome of the war. By avoiding the aviational errors of the Luftwaffe made in the past, and by targeting key targets in British production centres, it is even possible for the Germans to drive the allies back to London and force their surrender. It is also possible for the Allies to make a landing in Fortress Europe prior to the 6/6/44, or D-day.
On top of the new campaign mode, a pilot system has been introduced, allowing players to create their own pilots based on stock varieties and improve their skills such as visibility, G-tolerance and general health. The player may use their own pilot in the Quick Combat missions, or in pre-defined missions that are available.
The addition of medium level bombers into the game was a welcome gesture, as it allowed pilots to experience what it is like to fly and operate a World War II bomber aircraft. All stations in the aircraft are operable, including all defensive gun positions. The available bomber aircraft are:
- Martin B-26 Marauder-US Air Force
- North American B-25 Mitchell - Royal Air Force
- Junkers Ju 88-Luftwaffe
Many of the old classics return to the game, such as the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 series and the Messerschmitt Bf-109 series, as well as the typical RAF and USAAF fighters. Perhaps the most exciting additions to the fighter class in the game are the German jet fighters. The Messerschmitt Me-262 and Ho-229 (Go-229 in the game) both make an appearance, with many exotic variations of the Me-262 making an appearance, including the Me-262 1a/u4 high altitude bomber formation destroyer, armed with a single 50mm cannon (similar to that of the Ju-88 P-4). The aircraft are:
- North American P-51 Mustang
- Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
- Lockheed P-38 Lightning
- Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star
- Curtiss XP-55 Ascender
- Hawker Typhoon
- Hawker Tempest
- Supermarine Spitfire
- de Havilland Mosquito
- de Havilland Vampire
- Messerschmitt Bf-109
- Focke-Wulf Fw-190
- Messerschmitt Me-262
- Dornier Do-335
- Gotha Go-229
The game has garnered much criticism for its standards. One was that it was really impossible for the actions of one player to affect the outcome of a campaign. Another stemmed from the lack of a global interface, which the previous version lacked. This criticism is viewed to have ended the Combat Flight Simulator line, with Microsoft now focusing its attention on the Flight Simulator line. Some specific criticisms also include inaccurate flight models like the Spitfire and the Me-109 being too easy to fly over their contemporary the North American P-51 Mustang, for example.
Combat Flight Simulator 3 was criticized by many for its radical new file format. While CFS2 was simpler, it was also less detailed. The new format greatly dashed many ideas for addons because of the complexity and limits within the game. As of 2010, newer addons are still being produced for the sim. Many third party addons are being designed and developed to add to the general combat simulator experience.
Nevertheless some modding teams found their way into the game and file structure and of all modding efforts at least six of them are outstanding: Firepower,The ETO expansion pack,The NEK (Nationality Expansion Kit), Mediterranian Air War (MAW), Over Flanders Fields (OFF) and Pacific Theaters of Operation (PTO). While Firepower, MAW, ETO and PTO are W.W.II scenarios, OFF is a total conversion of CFS3 to a W.W.I flight simulation.
Firepower adds new planes, graphics and sound enhancements as well as custom missions. Planes encompass not only authentic planes of the era there are also types never being flown for what if scenarios. The team also improved the flight models of the involved planes according to feedback of real W.W.II veterans. Newer aircraft variants are also added to the stock fleet which include: The Arado Blitz bomber, the Focke Wulf Ta154 and the Messerchmitt 410 to name a few.
The NEK (Nationality Expansion Kit)provides added nationalities to the stock sim. The stock Nationalities: British, German, and American are now supplemented with Russian, Japanese, French, Italian, Indian and Chinese nationalities. Players can download this pack and can now choose any different nation to fight for, or against, with added badges, medals and Aircraft upgrades according to the Nation they fight for, all through three important parts (which have the items listed), and twelve total parts.
Mediterranean Air War (MAW) is planned as a series of three chapters and still in development. Chapter One with the new Mediterranean Theatre and its focus on the time frame June 1940 - December 1941 has been released so far. Chapter Two will follow up Chapter One and will cover the period January 1942 - September 1943. Chapter Two will introduce the USAAC and will cover the Tunisian Campaign as well as the invasion of Sicily. Chapter Three will concentrate on the war in the Balkans and campaign of the Allied forces on the Italian peninsula until the end of W.W.II in Europe. However, the MAW website is not working and the project may have been abandoned.
Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO) takes CFS3 to the war in the Pacific region. It includes new planes like the Japanese types and the American types used in the Pacific. Improved flight and damage models add realism to it. Also, the scenery was changed to replicate the Pacific islands.
European Theater of Operations (ETO), made by the creators of PTO, is another addon for CFS3. Although the stock CFS3 already takes place in Europe, ETO expands on that. On startup of ETO, a Windows Batch file changes the era of WWII that CFS3 takes place and the appropriate user-interface music, sceneries and missions for the "era" of the user's choice. In ETO, the stock nationalities are supplemented with British Navy, Canadian, Australian, Italian (both Co-belligerent and Axis), Spanish (Republicans and Nationalists), French (Vichy and Allied), Belgian, Dutch, Russian, Polish, US Navy, US Marines, Other Axis Nations (OXN), and Other Allied Nations (OAN).
Over Flanders Fields (OFF) is a total conversion of CFS3 to a W.W.I flight simulation. OFF radically changes all of CFS3. Most of the irksome features have been replaced, renewed or improved to achieve this. For example high resolution scenery, more scenery types, much improved AI (computer pilots), physics, flight models, damage models, W.W.I aircraft models, effects, ground objects and scenery of the 1914 to 1918 era, and most importantly with a full external replacement for the CFS3 campaign engine. This is called the "OFF Manager", a new independent W.W.I historical campaign engine. Now very popular with many of the old Red Baron 3D players.
Dogpatch Crew Korean Skies takes CFS3 to the Korean War. Korean War aircraft such as the F-86 Sabre, MiG-15, Yak-9, F9F Panther, F4U Corsair and F-51 Mustang are added. In DPC Korean Skies, the stock nationalities are supplemented by North Korean, South Korean, South African, Australian, US Navy and US Marines.
- ^ Microsoft FAQ
- ^ Game overview, http://www.combatsim.com/memb123/htm/2002/03/cfs3-p3/
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