IL-2 Desert Wings-TOBRUK: Updates, VR and Great Developer Initiative!
It has been a while since we last talked about Desert Wings, hasn't it? We really liked what we saw back when this expansion launched in August 2020. But that does not mean we have not revisited the title on the time since then. Quite the opposite, we have kept our eye on the developers and the game as it continues its journey. To say that the guys over at Team Fusion Simulations have been busy would be an understatement. They have kept updating the game at a constant pace, including many quality of life improvements to the core of the game. This is something that I wish more developers did and it shows how committed this team is to their project.
Aside from these QoL improvements, the developers have been actively working on more content such as a number of campaigns but, additionally, they have worked on two aspects that could turn this game from a game I casually play to one of my primary flight simulators. These are still in development but these are the two main fields they have been working on: AN EXTREME VISUAL OVERHAUL I don't tend to use the word extreme very lightly, when I say extreme I mean extreme. They have been retexturing the external models of aircraft and upscaling their resolution all the way to 4K (4096 x 4096). That would put these textures on-par with contemporary simulators such as DCS:World or even CLoD's successor, IL-2 Great Battles.
It is hard to put into perspective the effort that goes into retexturing but ever since I started working on the DCS: Blackhawk project, I have learned to understand how time consuming a process like this can be. But believe me when I say this is worth it.
Here are a couple of my favorite picks from the images that TFS have been sharing of their retextured models, take a look: They have not only worked on textures, though. They have also been working on the implementation of TrueSky, a fact that surprised me since this is the same tech being used on games like Ace Combat 7 and Project Wingman, just to name a few. This means that the sky will get a lot prettier as this new tech allows for volumetric clouds and weather to go with them! You can see them in action on the above screenshot but here is one where the scale of this change is truly appreciable. I expect this game will get a lot more enticing for new players as these cosmetic changes to work like make up for this old title, taking it to the current generation of flight sims. But speaking of current flight sim tech, let's talk about the other feature that the developers have been working on. VIRTUAL REALITY INTEGRATION Yup. This old game is now getting VR compatibility, making good on the promise that the developers did when they launched Desert Wings. Not that much is known about the VR implementation aside from a couple of posts and a recent video by the developers but what has been shown looks very promising. As someone that is quite new to VR, I am excited to try it out and see everything for myself.
What also helps VR to be much more appealing now rather than before are all of those cosmetic changes we discussed previously. Those will be the cherry on the cake for this title, finally putting it at the same level as all my other simulators. Check the official informational video that the devs made about their VR implementation: I sincerely applaud the developers for not only proceeding to develop all of these aspects into their simulator but also for the fact that this will be a free update for all owners of the game. From modders to proper developers, the folks at Team Fusion Simulations never cease to amaze me with their level of dedication and passion towards this lovely simulator. About the writer: Santiago "Cubeboy" Cuberos Longtime aviation fanatic with particular preference towards military aviation and its history. Said interests date back to the early 2000's leading into his livelong dive into civil and combat flight simulators. He has been involved in a few communities but only started being active around the mid 2010's. Joined as a Spanish to English translator in 2017, he has been active as the co-founder, content director and writer for Skyward Flight Media ever since. Twitter | Discord: Cubeboy #9034