Eagle Dynamics announces Modern Air Combat, confuses DCS owners

by: Dave -
More On: Modern Air Combat

Imagine that you have been a loyal consumer/player of Digital Combat Solutions (DCS) World, staying true to the purveyor of the absolute best military air combat simulator through three maps and a lot of relatively expensive ($79.99 and below) DLC airplanes to go with them. You have a goodly amount of lucre invested, in other words. Now imagine your confusion when Modern Air Combat is announced and that it will include no less than 14 of those very same airplanes. While no price has been announced, you're pretty sure that it's going to be less than the hundreds of dollars you had to part with to get to the same place. 

I need not imagine that scenario. I am living it. Not surprisingly, my first reaction was, well, not something I can share here. A little more research indicated that perhaps it's not as unfair (strong word, that; perhaps "irritating" would be better) to veteran players as it first appears. Looking through the list of planes to be included, it appears that most of them are being plucked from Flaming Cliffs 3, which is essentially the kid's version of DCS world. The biggest distinction is one of complexity; Flaming Cliffs airplanes are fairly simplistic, while DCS World planes are typically study-level models. Of the five models that are based on DCS World models, there is only one that isn't showing its age; the other four consistently go on sale for 50% off. Also regarding those five models, it appears that they will be "dumbed-down" to Flaming Cliffs level.

Frankly, that appeals to me in a way. Many of the current DCS World planes are so complicated that I tend to be able to be proficient in one of them a time (currently this would be the AV-8B Harrier). Some, such as the A-10C, are so complicated that I can only figure out how to fire the gun and randomly drop unguided bombs. I would enjoy a little less complexity at times, as long as it didn't remove the plethora of clickable cockpit controls. Much of the simplification will be around cockpit systems controls, but a goodly portion will also have to do with the controllability of the aircraft in flight. Many of the planes included can be a real handful even for an experienced pilot armed with high a quality HOTAS and rudder controls, which would render them unflyable for a beginner using just a cheap joystick and nothing else. Reportedly, the MAC planes will be so easy to fly that it can be done with nothing more than keyboard and mouse. I find that hard to believe, but there it is. I would go so far as to say that it might be possible to fly them that way, but probably not to be able to fly them well.

Digital Dynamics also goes to pains to point out that the terrain/battlefields will remain as rich and complex as DCS World, but are likely to be geographically smaller. Simplified airplane controls do NOT mean that the combat environment will also be easy. It will not be.

Neither pricing or a firm release date have been set, but they have stated that we can expect to see it in the fall of this year.

Modern Air Combat by Eagle Dynamics Coming this Autumn!

Developed by the same studio that brought you the wildly successful Lock On, Modern Air Combat (MAC) brings you one game with 14 unique combat aircraft to own the sky! MAC aircraft include:

F-15C Eagle. US air superiority fighter with 104 kills to 0 losses record.
Su-27 Flanker B. Russia’s dominate air superiority fighter.
Su-33 Flanker D. The Russian navy’s carrier capable version of the Flanker B.
J-11A Flanker B+. The Chinese version of the Flanker B, with R77 active homing missiles.
MiG-29 Fulcrum A. Russia’s widely exported light-weight air superiority fighter.
MiG-29S Fulcrum C. The modernised version of the Fulcrum with latest weapons and defences.
A-10A Warthog. The USAF’s massively successful ‘flying tank’, designed to kill ground targets.
Su-25A Frogfoot. Russia’s primary ground attack and close air support jet.
Su-25T Frogfoot. A modernised version of the Frogfoot with enhanced sensors and weapons.
F-86F Sabre. America’s iconic top fighter during the Korean War.
MiG-15bis Fagot. Russia’s 1st generation jet fighter that opposed the Sabre over Korea.
F-5E Tiger II. The US light-weight fighter that has been operational since the Vietnam War and operated by over 30 countries.
MiG-21bis Fishbed. Russia’s most successful fighter of the Vietnam war. A supersonic fighter that closely matches the Tiger II.
L-39ZA. A Czech designed, two seat trainer that was then adapted to a light attack aircraft.

Each aircraft’s flight model, sounds, external model and cockpit is recreated to an exceptional level of detail and accuracy. Great care has been given to offer scalable gameplay that suits your personal levels and wishes. This includes intuitive and consistent keyboard controls between aircraft, selectable difficulty settings, option for more forgiving flight dynamics, and even the ability to fly these aircraft with just your keyboard.

As with Lock On and the Flaming Cliffs series, MAC is focused on east and west counterpart aircraft, and this includes such legendary match-ups such as the Eagle and Flanker, Warthog and Frogfoot, Sabre and MiG-15bis, and the F-5E and MiG-21bis. MAC is a blend of both east and west, and this allows you to re-fight historical conflicts from the Korean War to today, and to create your own ‘what-if’ missions.

You can generate an unlimited number of missions using the Fast Mission Creator and Mission Editor. MAC also includes numerous instant action and single missions, as well as campaigns for most of the aircraft and is fully compatible with DCS World online! There are no limits to content.

In addition to the full Caucasus map, MAC also includes a limited part of our Nevada and Persian Gulf maps.

Key Features of MAC:

  • 14 exceptional combat aircraft from the United States, Russia, China and Czech Republic.
  • Shallow learning curve with consistent key controls between aircraft, and easy to fly with just a keyboard.
  • Professional level flight models, but with option for forgiving flight dynamics.
  • Play instant action, single missions and campaigns for most aircraft in single player or fly online.
  • Supports Virtual Reality like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality.
  • Includes the Caucasus map and portions of Nevada and the Persian Gulf.
  • Purchase MAC aircraft individually or as a pack at a reduced price.
  • Flaming Cliffs 3 owners can purchase the MAC pack at a great discount.
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