NaturalPoint TrackIR™ Support
There is NaturalPoint TrackIR support enhanced by the OBD software team specifically for Vista, and it is now available through NaturalPoint’s game update is fully supported and works extremely well on my Windows XP system without any noticeable cost in terms of frame rates. TrackIR is an invaluable tool and especially useful when trying to look around a big engine up front and two or even three sets of wings. Of course, visibility in a bi- or triplane with tailwheel and front mounted engine will always be severely limited.
You can move closer to or further away from the instrument panel, look left, right, up, down, behind you, and lean to the sides, which is a great help when trying to take in the environment, keep track of the friendly aircraft in your formation, scout for enemies and look around that engine cowling nearly always pointing towards the skies, when you take off or set down on the airfield.
With Microsoft shutting down the Game Match service, you have to connect with buddies using direct IP connections, agreeing on the type of mission to be flown before even starting the multiplayer session. This is no critique of the OFF development team, but I do fear that with this way of setting up multiplayer you will never be able to browse for suitable online games and joining a public server on a pick up basis.
Join a squadron if you are interested in multiplayer, or enjoy the exquisite single player campaigns, as at this time multiplayer looks like an unknown quantity, entirely dependent on the success of OFF.
During the course of this review I did not test multiplayer as it is unchanged from CFS3.
It is in the multiplayer department where I see the greatest potential Achilles heel for OFF. It is a sad irony that while everything added and modified by the OFF team works seamlessly and faultlessly, we have to keep working with the CFS3 multiplayer module written by Microsoft.
With a release as huge as this it is inevitable that a few bugs are hiding under the woodwork in some corner of the software. When selecting the Bristol Scout an error message regarding a missing skin would pop up, but the message wouldn’t spoil the flight. The team is working on squashing this bug for the next update, v1.3.
It is quite amazing that when presenting the few notes I had on minor bugs to the team, they already knew of the issues and were working on solutions. Top act!