Sim News: SPADs, SPADs and Autocannons

This week, surrounded by the pale primroses, fluttering brimstones and murmuring bumble-bees of a burgeoning English spring, my thoughts have naturally turned to simulated killing machines. eSim, the makers of the superb if depressingly shadow-free Steel Beasts Pro armour sim, have been sharing details of an imminent upgrade pack. Preview footage of the lyrically titled 2.460 expansion shows-off a bevy of new playable vehicles including a UAV and several unfamiliar European IFVs modelled originally, one would imagine, for the dev’s various military customers.


Elsewhere, the Russian outfit currently putting the finishing touches on WWI dogfight sim Rise of Flight, continue to release hugely promising video tidbits. Albatrosses and Camels have never cavorted or kaboomed this convincingly before:



While OpenBVE is satisfying most of my railway cravings at present, I still occasionally go for a spin in Rail Simulator, the title that rose from the firebox ashes of the first abandoned Microsoft Train Simulator sequel. Attractive and atmospheric, if a bit short in the content and signalling realism departments, it is, according to a recent announcement going to get a sequel this June. There’s no news on the new routes or rolling stock yet, but I will, naturally, be using my considerable influence within The Industry to try to persuade RDSL to include this  (criminally left out of  Hellgate: London) and this.


  1. Pags says:

    Rise of Flight looks absolutely incredible right now; there’s not really been a good WWI dogfight sim since Red Baron 3D (once patched to all hell); even then it was four years between that and the last good WWI flight sims, the first Red Baron and Wings of Glory (despite it’s cheesy, cinematic cutscenes). There’ve been a good few others, likes Flying Corps, but mostly they’ve been pretty but with shallow campaigns and/or unrealistic flying models. RB3D seriously made you feel how delicate kites like the Albatross were.

  2. MacBeth says:

    I love the fact the birds keep tweeting away happily while the bombs are falling… but yes, that looks amazing. Dogfighting with a couple of machine guns and some canvas stretched over wood has always been more appealing to me than designating radar blips from outside visual range… but what’s the word on Rise Of Flight’s hardcore-sim-ness? Will the wings fold up on you if you try to pull up a fraction too briskly?

  3. Smurfy says:


  4. Plopsworth says:

    MacBeth: AFAIK Rise of Flight is based on the IL2 engine, and thus has the capability (if not the expectation outright) of being configurably hard-core or casual, depending on user preference.

  5. Guhndahb says:

    Wow, I thought Rise of Flight had disappeared off the grid. I used to check the site regularly and then it went poof so I figured it was yet another abandoned WWI flight sim. Great to see it’s still progressing. It’s a really exciting project for me.

    And I agree that the last good WWI flight sim was RB3D. I have nostalgia for trying to out turn your opponent while the spars are groaning and cracking and the canvas is ripping, turn turn turn and then (a) success! down goes the enemy or (b) SNAP!!!! off go my wings. Now that’s fun!

  6. Tim Stone says:

    Neoqb started out using the IL-2 engine, but eventually switched to something self-built. They call it Digital Nature.

    As to the realism level, I should be able to report back on that this time next week.

  7. N says:

    wings of honour (it’s actually written honour not honor) was a nice distraction, very casual but entertaining none the less…

  8. Radiant says:

    “I still occasionally go for a spin in Rail Simulator…Attractive and atmospheric, if a bit short in the content and signalling realism departments…”
    List of People I Am Afraid of:
    1) Tim Stone.
    2) Guys with Scalextrix.

  9. Radiant says:

    Sorry :)
    Keep painting those figurines.

  10. Dozer says:

    SPADS = Signals Passed At Danger. I thought you were talking about railway simulations here for one brief unbelievable moment!

  11. Pags says:

    @Dozer: He was! Read the last paragraph.

  12. me, ehem. says:

    Ah, Steel Beasts…fun. You forgot to mention that the infantry models are sprites. Sprites!

    And wow, Rise of Flight is looking amazing.

  13. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    @Pags and Dozer: This is the magic of Identical Acronym Punnery.

  14. Tim says:

    Those guys ever going to make Steel Beasts 2 for consumers?? Gah..

  15. AdrianWerner says:

    Well, there’s always Over Flander Fields Phase 3. Sure, it’s merely an add-on to Combat Flight Simulator 3, but it’s simply amazing and well worth buyign the damn CFS3 just for it (as well as Firepower add-on)

  16. Rei Onryou says:

    Well, there’s egg and bacon; egg sausage and bacon; egg and SPADS; egg bacon and SPADS; egg bacon sausage and SPADS; SPADS bacon sausage and SPADS; SPADS egg SPADS SPADS bacon and SPADS; SPADS sausage SPADS SPADS bacon SPADS tomato and SPADS; SPADS SPADS SPADS egg and SPADS; SPADS SPADS SPADS SPADS SPADS SPADS baked beans SPADS SPADS SPADS or Lobster Thermidor a Crevette with a mornay sauce served in a Provencale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and with a fried egg on top and SPADS.

    What was the article about again?

  17. Alex Karpovich says:

    I played Rise of the Flight at Neoqb headquarters last month, and it is simply amazing. It is really different because of low speeds and altitude, along with crazy land details. People in neoqb are absolutely crazy about the topic and they’re eager to make it as realistic as possible.
    I could also recommend to get TrackIR to play it, it’s a completely different flying experience, man.

  18. Chaz says:

    Wow that Rise of Flight is looking very nice. It’s been a long while since a flight sim has piqued my interest.

  19. scharmers says:

    om, probably need to mention Over Flanders Fields again. This team has turned the questionable CFS3 into something pretty amazing.

  20. AztarCasinoHotel says:

    Looking really cool!