I was one of the MS Combat Flight Simulator fans that was bitterly disappointed when this was originally released at full price. It needed a huge patch to run smoothly and my mid range PC struggled to present the graphics at anything above minimum.
The marketing men had tried to widen its appeal with the style of gaming campaign. I doubt they were successful. I found it boring and unrealistic.
I stuck with all the IL2 releases. They were astronomically better in almost every way.
I recently tried Wings of Prey. The aircraft were OK and the terrain was superb. However, the missions were unrealistic and arcade-like. For some reason, it reminded me of MS Combat Flight Simulator 3 and inspired me to try it again.
I dusted it off and reinstalled it. On my new mid range PC, it runs as smooth as silk at maximum settings. The aircraft look good from the outside (but still disappointing inside). The terrain is OK but not amazing by today's standards.
The campaign is still rubbish. However, the single missions and the quick mission builder are very good indeed. They offer far more realistic combat than wings of Prey. The ground attack missions are superb. The air to air missions are tough. Some enemy aircraft seem to be able to fly, even when you pump hundreds of rounds into them!
You need to add the big patch (it's available for download and is included in add-ons, like Battle of Britain). I found it was a good idea to turn off the labels. They are so thick, they obscure the target. You may want to remap a few other keys, too (very easy).
If you want a break from IL2 and found Wings of Prey unrealistic, it's worth trying. If you haven't bought it, it's now at a budget price, so may be worth considering.