Heroes and Generals has just received its first big update after its official launch that takes a focus on aerial side of things. This update adds a set of reconnaissance planes and the ability to join a friend in a plane as the tail gunner. The planes are also apparently unique to the game, not appearing in any other World War II title. The planes included are "The Soviet Polikarpov R-Z", "The German Henschel Hs-126 B-1" and "The US Curtiss O-52 Owl". This means that each faction gets their own plane from this new class with part of the reason behind these being "a new experience to the game and enhancing teamplay". The team also has plans for additional planes to be added in the future as they expand the air aspect of warfare. There were also some changes to the piloting as it's been reworked and now planes fly almost twice as fast as before.
Personally I found the new controls to be fine when soaring across the sky, but the speed was a bit quick when attempting to get into dogfights. That aside sitting in the gunner seat was an absolute blast featuring a slightly pivoting turret position to blast other planes out of the sky. I've also included images I took while taking part in my piloting so that both aspects of the planes can be displayed and I'll mention that I'm part of the German faction in both of them. The planes were also well detailed with a nice touch of realism and had some great crashing explosions to match as crashes do tend happen. I also found the flight perspect to be rather neat in that it really does give a sense of scale for the game and I never realized just how large the battlefields were. It'll be interesting to see what types of new planes get thrown into the mix as I'd like to see some more that directly influence the ground game. At the current points it feels a bit like Battlefield where the planes are in their own mini game in the sky with minor effects on the infantry below.
Interesting fact about the update title of "Ihlefeld": Named after Herbert Ihlefeld, which was a German fighter ace credited with 132 enemy aircraft shot down in more than 1000 combat missions.
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