Cliffs of Dover is an excellent World War 2 flight simulator, recreating what it is like to be a British or German combat pilot during the Summer of 1940. HOWEVER, it is excellent only if you use the Team Fusion patch. Let me make that clear. Cliffs of Dover should have been an excellent product from the first. Its vision and the designed scope of improvement over other WW2 flight sims was, and still is, truly next generation. However, the sim was a commercial flop - for a variety of reasons.
More than anything, the effect its release had on the flight simming community was to generate at first epic anger, and later, epic sighs of disapointment. We all had high hopes, but they were decisively dashed after the initial boot-up of what has become known as IL-2 CloD. Frame rates when the sim was first released were slide-show poor, stability was enough to make Job tear his hair, and menu navigation was inexplicably difficult. These and a myriad of other major issues kept anyone from feeling they got their money's worth. Most who had purchased Cliffs of Dover, eagerly expecting the best WW2 sim experience possible, quickly shelved it after vigorously (and justly) lambasting the developers online. The issues with which this product first shipped are unacceptable for any entertainment product if it is going to succeed. And, therefore due to the quality, or lack of it, succeed IL-2 Cliffs of Dover did not. The vision was there, the scope was there, the basics were there - but the execution left all the positives absolutely irrelevant.
Now fast forward in time to the present. Over the years since release, a series of patches from the developers have addressed many issues in the software, partly to silence their critics, but also in an effort to salvage their reputation for further software development. The most recent developer's patch, however, came with a statement: No More Work Will Be Done. Although the official patches fixed many issues, serious flaws still remained unaddressed. Seeing that CloD had been abandoned by the developers, a small group of historically-minded flight sim enthusiasts took it upon themselves to fix the glitches that remain, adding content as well as restored functionality. The result has been, literally, a game-changer. Frame rates are at 60FPS on modern machines, flight modeling is impressive, software stability is great, and the single player campaigns have even been re-written. Multiplayer is fantastic. 50 to 100 human pilots routinely fly together, in one server, over the English channel and French and English countrysides, re-enacting the dramatic days before, during, and after the Battle of Britain. You can find your aerial combat fix nearly any day or night on the ATAG (TF) multiplayer server. Team Fusion continues to poll the community for needed changes, and to add more content and bugfixes regularly. Their forum, and their patches, can be found at: http://theairtacticalassaultgroup.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=91
I highly recommend IL-2 CloD if you are a serious WW2 flight sim enthusiast. To date, it has the highest degree of period engine and flight modelling that a complete WW2 flight simulation product has delivered. You will feel as if you are piloting a piston-powered, 1200 horsepower, state of the art (for 1940) aircraft into realistic and deadly combat using nothing but a compass, high-power guns, crosshairs gunsight, and your wits. It is not an easy sim. It is a realistic one. If that is what you want, you have found it. Just make sure you use the TF additions. -Venturi