Mixed or average reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
Buy On
  1. 73
    "IL-2 Sturmovik" is better in many technical areas but is somewhat less approachable than CFS3.
  2. PC Gamer
    It simply wasn't polished enough before it was booted out the door. [Jan 2003, p.96]
  3. Didn't the developers play "IL-2 Sturmovik"? They should, so they can see how it's supposed to be done.
  4. An experience which never rises above being a cool simulation, albeit a fantastically detailed and well thought out one.
  5. Computer Gaming World
    By far the best-looking and most entertaining simulation in the series so far. But the improvements are marred by A.I. oddities and performance problems. [Feb 2003, p.82]
  6. If you're a longtime flight sim fan who has played that title to death already and you're eager for another visit to the western front, Combat Flight Simulator 3 is a reasonable choice.
  7. There are just enough things wrong with this title that it feels like it needed another few months in development before being sprung on the public.
  8. 65
    Disappointing, and CFS3 actually falls below standards set by previous series titles.
  9. From the interface, through performance to the actual gameplay, it fails someone, somewhere, at every level. The missions are too simple, the campaign usually ends up looking strategically dubious, and there aren’t enough rewards for the prestige the player earns.
  10. 60
    Despite the beauty of CFS3 and its engaging campaign mode, the performance issues we experienced kept us from losing ourselves in the experience.
  11. 50
    A system hog...There are better choices for flying on the Western front in the Second World War, most notably "Rowan's Battle of Britain," which remains an enjoyable sim two years after its release date.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 15
  2. Negative: 4 out of 15
  1. Jul 14, 2013
    This is a pretty accessible game all things considered. The quick combat feature is easy to use and the missions give you a taste of what theThis is a pretty accessible game all things considered. The quick combat feature is easy to use and the missions give you a taste of what the campaign is like. The campaign is also an amusing yet incredibly interactive system that takes a strategic mind to play through and get good results. The option of initiating ground offensives, the notion of striking the point on that map that represents the biggest blow to the enemy, deciding your payload, and even upgrading to aircraft before they were even delivered by their respective designers all contributes to a very dynamic and exciting campaign. It takes weeks to play through which is what I like best. I can kick back and enjoy a few missions or spend a few hours pummeling my opponent but the excitement is available for quite some time. Its even cooler how you can change the outcome of the war.

    The cool parts aside I am actually quite disappointed in this game in its historical omissions and inaccuracies. The selection of aircraft is limited and on top of that they left out some of the big players in the war. Where is the Hawker Hurricane? And where is the Whitely, the Lancaster, the Wellington, the Hallifax, or the Stirling bombers? Instead the British get the B25 which was an American plane first of all and second of all it wasn't used in any impressive numbers on lend lease. And what about the Germans? They got cheated too. No Me110s, or He111s, Do17s, and most angering, no Ju87 Stuka. And these two bug me most of all; no B17 or B24 for the Americans. I mean come on! The B24 was the most produced American bomber of the war and the B17's reputation will precede it into the 22nd century. Weirder yet, they omit the biggest, baddest. and most famous but they put in experimental aircraft of which only a two or three prototypes were ever made (P55 Ascender, Do335, Go229). Where is the logic?

    In terms of a flight simulation, CFS3 could also use a lot of work. Whichever game designer though that stalling happens as a result of max elevator deflection needs to lay off the crack. Really, learn your damn physics. Stalling happen because you've exceeded the critical angle of attack and usually only once your airspeed has dropped sufficiently; Its nothing to do with the deflection of your elevators. You don't just stall out of the blue when you pull up hard going 250 knots. Another laughable feature of CFS3 is how using coordinated rudder and ailerons to turn like in a real aircraft literally doesn't work at all; gotta give a great big slow clap on that one. Almost all steering must be accomplished with the elevators after doing a ninety degree roll. And then you stall in the turn and drop like a stone because someone didn't understand physics. Wonderful! In general the controls are unpolished, unresponsive, and barely accurate of flying in a real aircraft. I also seriously doubt the glide ratios of the aircraft in this game were as bad as this game makes them out to be.
    Full Review »
  2. RyanC.
    Jan 13, 2008
    Good game better than IL-2 because it's user friendly.
  3. BrettD.
    Nov 28, 2007
    Incredible missions that intrigue. As with any new technology, two years is actually a long time. CFS2 was great, CFS3 is better! Same old Incredible missions that intrigue. As with any new technology, two years is actually a long time. CFS2 was great, CFS3 is better! Same old game but more of it, and the graffics have improved. Will there be a CFS4? I hope so! Full Review »