It's extremely difficult to recommend this complex somewhat broken - as in UNPLAYABLE (right out of the box) - buggy title to anyone, for so many reasons.... but there is a reason for the thumbs up. If you're an experienced hardcore flightsimmer and/or real pilot (like I am) and you are willing to take the time and effort to immediately install Team Fusion's several patches - sequentially and individually - to make it playable, and you have gobs of patience, don't mind a steep learning curve, can put up with many bugs and an incredibly bizarre menu implimentation and structure ... etc. etc. etc., and you have the hardware (more than just a fast computer) then I'm fairly sure it will be very rewarding. If you don't possess these attributes and are just a casual or arcade-style flyer then PLEASE don't bother wasting your money as you'll be pulling your hair out!
1. Absolutely stunning aircraft models featuring the most detailed realistic looking virtual 3D cockpits I've ever seen in a flight sim/game to date.
2. Gorgeously modeled and rendered period landscapes and the ocean... OMG the ocean... It looks so real that when I roll the canopy back on my trusty Spit and swoop down to just above the wave crests I could swear I can smell and taste the salty Atlantic!
3. Extremely realistic dynamic lighting and shadows (especially in the cockpit) including sun glare. It just doesn't get any more immersive!
4. Tons of options to set the realism experience to acceptible levels while you learn to fly these very unique high performance period aircraft, each with their own very different strengthes and weaknesses.
5. While single player is an option, and a necessity to develop skills, online multiplayer is so immersive. You may be in battles in your trusty Hurricane or Spitfire teaming up with real Brits, or you may choose to team up with real Germans flying Axis aircraft. Conversely, you may choose to fly a Bf-109 against Britain and may be battling a real German flying a Spit for the RAF. Of course, these days it's all in good fun, because you will all be brothers... it's fantastic.
I fell in love with this game after watching hours and hours of extremely immersive battles on Youtube. There are also a ton of tutorials. This makes the game/simulation well worth the effort if you're willing to perservere. This game has been on my wish list for a long time. Steam finally had it for $5.99 so I pulled the trigger.
In addition to those I already listed there are quite a few with varying levels of importance.
1. This isn't really a con per se, but a major consideration never the less. Forget that crappy gamepad controller. You will need a good joystick, rudder pedals, and headtracking device, such as TrackIR to make the most of this game and to protect your 6 o'clock! I don't have a TrackIR but will snag one soon, or make a homemade one. They're not that hard to make and Youtube has several how-to videos.
2. NO comprehensive manual! This game/simulation is so complex that it needs a whopping thoroughly comprehensive manual to not only guide us learning each unique aircraft, but chapters on preparing us for the ultimate challenge that is WWII air combat.
3. It's still early for me as I just got Team Fusion Patch 4.0 installed this morning (still have a couple to go) and played for a few hours. My initial impressions are that the flight models still aren't perfect. Of course, without TF patches the aircraft are literally so twitchy as to be completely unflyable right out of the box. Even now sometimes the aircraft are too twitchy and other times too forgiving. Ground handling isn't all that realistic either.
4. Setting up controls is a nightmare. Unlike Microsoft and other titles in the past you don't get to set up your controllers and adjust for non-neutral axis bias. My old CH Products rudder pedals seem to have a little right rudder bias and I can't tune it out. Even trying to counter it with rudder trim makes me constantly have to 'step on the ball' with my left foot to keep my plane flying straight.
5. A fairly minor gripe is that the engine(s) always sound like it/ they are somewhere just above idle while in the cockpit, even at full throttle at War Emergency Power. A 1700hp+ V-12 Merlin, or German equivalent, or any multi-cylnder radial WWII warplane engine with only short stacks and no mufflers is freakin' LOUD, even in the cockpit! These sounds are like Elon Musk supplied them from one of his Tesla electric sedans!
In spite of all the things wrong with this title they got many things right. I'm going to hang in there as it is immersive and a promising experience for those who perservere. I'll add more to this review later, once I get more flight time.