Lock On series was my favorite combat flight simulator. Several years later I decided to have another go at flight simulation and when I found out that developers of original Lock On sims are developing a brand new simulation engine with DX11 support (damn, DX12 would be AWESOME for generic terrain object rendering), I was, obviously, very excited.
My excitement only grew when I saw that latest “alpha” release of their Digital Combat Simulator (DCS) World 2.0 is “free to play” and “free download”, and the only logical thing to do next was to hit that “download” button.
9 gigabytes later the simulator is installed launches on my Windows 10 desktop, but the only thing I can do is browse their DLC packages, all of which are very expensive (1 aircraft ~$50). There are 2 aircraft included for free, but there is no terrain and I can not fly even the free aircraft.
At the time of this writing there was only 1 terrain package available, and that was, again, hefty $50.
I can understand the steep prices – after all this is a niche product and developers have to price it higher to make any profit at all, but I can not forgive the misleading title “free to play”, when, clearly, you must spend $50 to play. This is a clear case of false advertising.
Update: DCS version 1.5 is the one to download if you want to actually be able to use it, because version 1.5 comes with free scenery.
I am flying free aircraft (SU-25 and P-51 trainer), as well as Su-27 which I bought on sale for less than $10, and I am very pleased and impressed with how the sim looks and flies. This is, no doubt, the number one combat flight simulator for PC or any consumer computer platform and I can’t wait to see the version 2.0 to enter into Beta and, eventually, final release, and receive more downloadable modules (preferably for less than $50 bucks a piece) in future.