IL-2 Sturmovik Battle of Stalingrad (12)

This is what you own a special flight-stick for.

You know how Early Access works; dig in and wait until Winter. 1C’s latest entry in the IL-2 Sturmovik series, Battle of Stalingrad, has launched on Steam’s early bird service in standard ($55.00) and deluxe ($95.00) forms.

Deluxe adds a pair of DLC planes: La-5 (8 series) and Fw 190 A-3. Plus, you get “special markings” in multiplayer and a Golden status bar in the official forums. Does that sound like it’s worth an extra $40.00? Well, the DLC planes are selling for $20.00 apiece, so in that sense, yes.

This latest, Stalingrad-themed IL-2 Sturmovik says it will offer “Better quality of content, bigger scale, new physics, more realistic aerodynamics and new game elements.” than previous releases in the combat flight-sim series.

The developers have put up a pretty detailed FAQ about their decision to enter Early Access and what it means for the game, which you can read below. Aspects like the single player campaign won’t be available until the full scheduled release in September, which is worth knowing before you put down any money:

Why Early Access?

“A huge part of the community insists that the project can be easily released at this stage of development. However we want to guarantee you a truly quality game. That is why we need the Steam early access program. It will help us make sure that the game runs smoothly and firmly, and let’s you have fun playing it.”

How long will this game be in Early Access?

“We’ve scheduled the launch on September 2014, but the certain date still depends on results of the early access.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“The release version will include all content and modes that have been announced for the new IL-2 franchise: historical campaign, quick mission builder, multiplayer, and of course all 10 planes and a huge winter map of Battle of Stalingrad.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Some features are going to have limited functionality during the early access, for instance, singleplayer campaign and custom user-made multiplayer servers are not going to be available until September – we are still working on some important elements and complex gameplay mechanics, and optimizing game’s performance.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“We offer Standard and Deluxe (Premium) editions with a discount – $5 per each edition.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“As it has become traditional since the very first day of project, we’ll continue sharing the development process with you telling you our little secrets, moments of the studio’s life and, of course, answering your questions here on Steam. Join us in building a friendly and close community of players who truly are in love with the sky and aerial combat!”

Here are some screenshots of those noble knights of the sky. And one train.

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