IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | DS
IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey box art
System: DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: DiB Games 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: 1C Company / 505 Games 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Sep. 10, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: E 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Regarding graphics, the next-gen versions of the game are renowned for their historical accuracy. The developers used aerial photographs of the locations and, through intense research, adjusted them to look the way they did during the Second World War. Due to some combination of the DS's limitations and the game's budget, this version loses a lot of that realism. The ground has almost no detail, and the sky is even worse; the clouds look like white pieces of paper suspended in mid-air. To be fair, though, some of the planes look pretty neat, and the game runs smoothly.

IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey screenshot

The final issues lie in the game's on-screen instructions. Before each mission, your boss appears on the upper screen and gives you directions to mark on your map (the lower screen). This is completely pointless, given that landmarks and enemies appear on the map whether you mark them or not, and it comes off as a lame excuse to incorporate touch-screen controls into an otherwise traditionally controlled game.

Also, the instructions themselves (both before and during the missions) can be frustratingly unclear, something that starts during training; the practice bombing run took us multiple tries, and at one point, the instructor urged us to hurry up and rise to the proper altitude even though we were well past that altitude. Fortunately, while poor guidance often makes missions harder, it's rarely so bad that it'll stop you from completing a mission in a reasonable amount of time.


Fans of flight games who don't own next-gen consoles or gaming PCs might do well to give Birds of Prey's DS port a spin, preferably by renting it. Again, the amount and variety of content make it a decent and sincere effort to please the dogfighting enthusiasts among us. However, this is a title with far more than its share of flaws, so the vast majority of gamers can safely stay away.

By Robert VerBruggen
CCC Freelance Writer

The visuals run well, but there's not much detail to anything.
They're too simple to truly simulate flight, but for what they are they work well.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The engine roars are a little weak, and there's no music during gameplay.

Play Value
There are lots of missions and difficulty options, but they're all unlocked right away, so there's no sense of progress.

Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Battle hundreds of enemy aces for control of the skies in intense multiplayer dogfights and bombing sorties.
  • Choose a difficulty level to match your experience: from adrenaline-fuelled arcade action to realistic simulations.
  • Engage in over 40 death-defying missions, piloting stunning WWII aircraft over photo-realistic environments all throughout Europe.

  • Screenshots / Images
    IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey screenshot - click to enlarge IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey screenshot - click to enlarge IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey screenshot - click to enlarge IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey screenshot - click to enlarge

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