Generally favorable reviews - based on 43 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 43
  2. Negative: 0 out of 43
Buy On
  1. Is the experience worth the purchase price of the game for average console gamers? If you've played Ace Combat and the like and want to try something a bit more involved, that would be a definite yes - even without the flight stick.
  2. IL-2 builds on existing simulation titles that have been landing onto consoles recently, and is probably the best combat flight simulation title I have played on consoles to date. With its stunning visuals, audio score, well structured campaign and insightful exploits from our WW2 heroes, IL-2 will certainly send any budding fighter jock into a flying frenzy.
  3. IL2 has held its own from the PC title, adapted to console beautifully, and is a rich and action packed simulator that gives a great realistic experience while giving enough entertainment to keep you enthralled.
  4. IL2 is a worthy addition to your console games collection offering fast paced and daredevil fights with some jawdropping graphics to boot.
  5. IL-2 feels like two separate games: one a solid, fun arcade flyer, the other a testing simulation of true aerial combat circa Hitler-times. It's inevitable then, that if you're at all interested in planes, or just want to embarrass yourself at a different altitude, IL-2 can hardly come more recommended.
  6. Does for Spitfires what Forza does for Ferraris. The best combat flight sim ever made.
  7. For those who have been hoping for an incredible flying game to play on their home consoles, the wait is over. The variable controls, the authenticity and the sheer enjoyment of taking down Axis planes is something that everyone can enjoy. From top to bottom, IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey is an absolutely incredible journey and certainly one of the biggest surprises of the year; don’t hold back, pick this one up.
  8. Birds of Prey is both a realistic flight simulator and an historical and deluxe edition of Ace Combat, leaving the fans of this genre of games extremely satisfied. Sturmovik is a well-finished and balanced product, that will nail you to your seats for more than 40 hours in single player and virtually forever in multiplayer. The best choice for all those willing to fly high in the sky.
  9. IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey, viewed generally as a piece of software, is finely crafted in every way, and it shows a great carefulness on the part of its developers to do right by the subject matter.
  10. 86
    This isn't a game that seeks to amaze with some kind of gimmick or flash. Birds of Prey is more subtle and sturdy, where the strength of its play mechanics and attention to detail make it one of the best choices for console-based flight combat.
  11. Combining superb atmosphere, setting, and visuals with a learning curve that will appeal to casual gamers and experience simulation pilots means that this is the best all round console flight combat game, bar none.
  12. The main virtue of Birds of Prey is its diversity. Probably the best air combat videogame in years.
  13. Three different options for simulations make Sturmovik suitable for hardcore and casual gamers, but the game doesn't defeat the congenital problems of the genre.
  14. 84
    The dry subject matter will keep it well below a lot of folks’ radars, and while that’s understandable it’s a bit of a shame. You really don’t need death rays and power-armour to have a fine, shooty old time – rattatat and all that is more than enough.
  15. Ignoring some small flaws, IL 2-Sturmovik is delicious, honest, mature and deep, one of the most complex and fascinating flying simulators ever published in console.
  16. Birds of Prey shines brightly as a solo endeavor in large part due to the extreme level of authenticity and attention to getting the flight mechanics just right.
  17. 83
    505 Games and 1C did an fantastic job of not only crafting a fine flight simulator that just about anyone can pick up and play, but also doing a fine job of paying homage to WWII pilots and aircraft. This title is a far cry from a cash-in or a port -- it is the best combat flight simulator one can own on the console. Still, for the hardcore, you would be better off on the PC, where the flight simulator still reigns supreme.
  18. IL-2 doesn’t try and wow players with a certain gimmick or crazy stunts; it is simply the best recreation of its era’s airborne warfare that you will find.
  19. For a dogfighting newbie, IL-2 Sturmovik seems like a great place to start.
  20. While IL-2 doesn't quite manage to be the awesomest air combat game of all time, it comes temptingly close. [Oct 2009, p.68]
  21. Games Master UK
    Considering a hard-as-nails sim lurks below the skin, Sturmovik has surprising playability. [Oct 2009, p.78]
  22. The PC flight sim makes a near-perfect landing on consoles, with some of WWII's most exciting combat.
  23. This is a brave, thrilling and fun-packed game that sets out to entertain us with recreations of daring do from the last century. It really achieves those aims, but in also doing so while giving us a say in how we play it, it makes the game all the greater.
  24. Il-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey delivers a top notch flight sim experience that manages to remain accessible thanks to its scalable controls. Aside from a few bumps in the air, it has certainly earned its wings.
  25. Edge Magazine
    From the patchwork fields of the Dover coastline to the unforgettable sight of Berlin burning in the pouring rain, the carefully characterised locations are as integral to the experience as its encyclopedic line-up of planes. [Oct 2009, p.97]
  26. IL-2 Sturmovik Birds of Prey allow us to revive some of the most important World War III battles controlling airplanes in realistic scenarios. Tons of contents, 50 missions and multiplayer options are waiting for you in one of the best air combat videogames in years.
  27. IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey is a step in the right direction for flight-sims on consoles. It’s accessible for both newcomers and hardened veterans alike, and its variety of locales and mission types should hold your attention for a good few hours at least.
  28. The console port of this important series has certainly proven successful. The game is an excellent title based on aerial combat in the middle of World War II when played in arcade mode.
  29. Fans of flight combat simulators will surely spend plenty of time doing missions and unlocking the extra aircraft but simply put, the game offers little else that stands out for the average gamer.
  30. IL2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey succeeds at bringing a flightsim to the consoles. The game delivers a few things that console gamers haven't had for years, but at the same time takes its place between the less-realistic alternatives on the consoles. If you can look past the minor flaws, Birds of Prey is recommended for the serious flightsim-enthusiast.
  31. Birds of Prey is a great mixture of simulation and arcade. The missions get repetitive quickly, though.
  32. Gaijin Entertainment showed hou a very realistic game can be brought on console without the need of mapping the controls on a whole keyboard. The Sim mode is very challenging and entertaining, but the Arcade and Realistic modes allow everyone to enjoy the game without having to master all the aerodynamics laws. Our main complaint is about the missions variety, that start looking a little bit too repetitive at the middle of the game progression.
  33. 80
    Despite a few minor issues such as frame rate drops and occasionally mundane gameplay, IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey is an engaging title that will appeal to simulation veterans and newcomers.
  34. IL-2 Sturmovik is the most realistic flight-simulator on the consoles. Although it misses some appeal of a top-game, it has very profoundly controls and beautiful graphics. Give this game a shot if you’re a hardcore simulation fan or if you just like to see old planes.
  35. 78
    Il-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey is the best World War II combat flight simulator at this moment. The game really brings you the atmosphere of WWII. Thanks to the good gameplay and content, this game is definitely worth buying.
  36. IL-2 Sturmovik's dogfights and bombing runs are exciting enough to satisfy anyone with an interest in air combat. It successfully caters to both novices and veterans, and it's good to see such a faithful sim appear on a console.
  37. IL2-Sturmovik: Birds of Prey isn't for everyone, especially not players who expect this to be the next Crimson Skies or to fill in for the next Ace Combat. Its emphasis on traditional dogfighting without frills, along with its low-key presentation, may seem a little dry alongside Jeremy Soule's stirring soundtrack, but the realistic bent of its flight mechanics and gameplay will find an audience among flight sim enthusiasts and would-be WWII pilots who want a reason to plug a flightstick into their console.
  38. It has to be said: IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey is not for everyone. However, what Birds of Prey does achieve is a stunning landscape, deep storyline, and arguably the best combat flight multiplayer ever created for a console.
  39. Taken as a rousing aerial shooter, it's easy to recommend - and sadly rather too easy to complete. There's a ton of content, at least, and it's all presented in a whiz-bang style that draws you in with heart-pounding action without belittling the history behind the explosions. It's just a shame that for such a venerable simulator series, it's the more serious game modes where Birds of Prey feels most compromised by its hardware.
  40. It's a great game, but having the IL-2 Sturmovik name is more a burden than anything: the old PC game still has some important advantages like joysticks, better multiplayer and user created content.
  41. IL2-Sturmovik is a solid aerial combat game that is accessible enough for anyone to pick-up and play, whilst still offering hardcore simulation fans the option to play the game in a fashion they feel comfortable with.
  42. AceGamez
    If you have, or intend to, invest a massive amount of time in learning all the delicate intricacies of the IL2 series, then by all means give this latest addition a stab. However, if you simply wish to play an engrossing and hair raising thrill ride in the skies, you'd be much better off queuing up on the aircraft carriers in Battlefield 1943 for your chance to fly a plane for 30 seconds.
  43. X-ONE Magazine UK
    It's arcadey enough to be fun but engine issues and a confusing UI and missions bring it down. [Issue#50, p.91]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Nov 9, 2012
    Of all the World War Two fighter sims I've played, and simply historical games in general, this game ranks with me among the best, if not theOf all the World War Two fighter sims I've played, and simply historical games in general, this game ranks with me among the best, if not the best. I'd recommend it and do recommend it to all of my friends quite frequently. The environment of it is stunning, even for a game that's three years old, it possesses graphics better than many new releases. Although those that are in it for the multiplayer should pass this one over- the multiplayer of this game is virtually dead, and its beautiful single-player campaign and quick missions is where the playability lies. I urge any history nerds to buy this game immediately, along with anyone else who appreciates terrific flying/fighter sims. Full Review »
  2. TJ
    Sep 17, 2009
    Currently, one of my favorite air combat games on any console. In some ways, it's more viscerally satisfying than ace combat - the Currently, one of my favorite air combat games on any console. In some ways, it's more viscerally satisfying than ace combat - the destruction of enemy planes is so realistic and the plane models all lovingly hand-detailed - it gets so many things right it's easy to ignore the few flaws. Amazing audio work and excellent graphics make this a must buy for anyone who likes aerial dogfights. Full Review »
  3. AlexNewman
    Sep 14, 2009
    If you liked IL-2 for the PC and like me no longer have a computer, this game is the closest you'll get to the realism of flight on aIf you liked IL-2 for the PC and like me no longer have a computer, this game is the closest you'll get to the realism of flight on a console, the realistic mode is awesome and makes the game feel real, after the first couple of missions the controls come easy and the game is just fun. Full Review »