The South Atlantic Map has just been released as early access for Digital Combat Simulator World. With scenery ranging from Chile, Argentina, West and East Falklands/Malvinas islands. A move that allows DCS content creators a chance to create a new theater of war. The scenery is made by the third-party developer RAZBAM, who have also created the AV-8B, MIGs, F15E, and others.
The biggest selling point of the South Atlantic Map is the Naval warfare. No DCS map has ever offered this much ocean space before. Allowing rival forces the proper range for battle. The map includes new assets to help you build these conflicts. At the time of this first look, the assets have not been released yet, but they will include:
- Castle class patrol vessel
- Harbour tug
- HMS Invincible aircraft carrier
- HMS Achilles frigate
- HHS Andromeda frigate
- HMS Ariadne frigate
- Almirante Lynch frigate
- Almirante Condell frigate
- Santa Fe frigate
- ARA Veinticincol.de Maya (currently being worked on and will be included during EA)
- LARC V
- Tower crane
- Small lighthouse
- Wind turbine (Offshore and Land based)
- KAT345L Excavator
Currently, there are no Instant Action missions available for this scenery in its default state. Some are beginning to populate on the DCS user files forum, and there are many multiplayer servers already available. Multiplayer is the quickest way to jump in an aircraft and fly. Most Falklands servers allow all types of aircraft. Otherwise, if you would like to fly offline you will need some basic knowledge of the mission editor to build a quick flight.
To start a quick flight, enter the mission editor, select the South Atlantic Map and the country you would like to be. Now you should now see the entire map. You can spawn anywhere, but we’ll start with an airport. I’m going to select a UH-1H from the helicopter tool icon and place it at the airport. Now you can tell it to start hot or cold, from the ramp, parking, or runway. Change skill level to player, then adjust the weather and time if you want. Push the green button on the left and you’re good to fly around at a basic level. If you want targets, you can add opposing forces around the map.
The buildings and trees look really nice above and close up. Where it matters, I think they fill the environment realistically. The airports have their unique characteristics, buildings and markings. Most of them are also helicopter friendly. My favorite being the San Carlos FOB on the north side of the islands.
Speaking of airports, the scenery currently presents 8, and there are many unmarked grass and dirt strips to discover as well. That being said, there are still quite a lot of strips, and airports missing around the region too. I’m sure some of these will be added as time goes on. But for right now we have the mission critical ports at our fingertips.
- Ushuaia & Ushuaia Helo Port
- Rio Grande
- Punta Arenas
- Rio Gallegos
- San Carlos FOB
- Port Stanley
- Mount Pleasant
The scenery is about 80-%100 complete in the immediate area around airports, while outskirts range from about 30-70%. RAZBAM have stated they want to refine the noise map tiles, improve detail to sea cliffs, and forest title lines. The mountains in particular, need more attention and can be hit or miss. Sometimes they look really good from above and other times blurry when flying lower. Reminds me of the Caucus map mountains at times. But most of the coastal mesh is really nice to fly over, and the map will be improving over time. Right now, the Falklands islands are the prettiest and complete. See the full progress map here.
For several days, I piloted and observed many different aircraft and situations around the map. One evening online, I found a pair of C-101s exploring the land. I followed them for a while as they seemed to be on a good sightseeing route. Not long after, 2 more aircraft joined them. Assuming 2 friends flying coordinated together, joined by others that they may or may not have known. It was great to already see community happening in real time on the South Atlantic.
Performance has been steady for most of my experience. I’ve had moments where my fps would degrade on a couple of servers. You do see a decrease in fps as you get closer to airports. This is where most of the 3D buildings are located. During my tests I’ve been using a 3080Ti and 10700K CPU.
So who is this scenery for right now? The price is $55 during early access. Not everyone will share the same idea of value in this pack. This map is going through a transition on both the developer and user end. For DCS content creators I think this is a must have. Certainly if you specialize in Naval battles. You now have a much larger playground to build these complex conflicts. That also goes for users who have been looking to fly in those situations, or relive the 1982 conflicts in the region. The multiplayer servers for this region are growing fast for this map. It’s a new canvas for content creators and I think this map will bring some very creative content in the future.
Remember, DCS is free to start playing. There are two free maps available, Caucus and Marianas. You can also try their entire catalog of aircraft and maps for free and at your own leisure. If you need help starting out, checkout our beginner guide.