One thing that is really impressive in the new game is the TrackIR support available. For those folks that spent the cash on the TIR3 and the Vector Expansion for the device they will be in for a treat. WOV is only the second flight simulation that I know of that takes full advantage of 6DOF and it is impressive in this title. Not only can you move your head around in the cockpit but the BDG and Shockwave have done a bang-up job of making sure that your head stays in the proper parameters and does not act like a disembodied cranial mass. If you have spent the money on the device you will find it put to good use here. Bravo to the team for giving us a game that finally shows off the capabilities of NaturalPoint’s product.
There really is nothing that I can consider a negative with this title except for one thing. And this one is a big problem.
The game, in its current state, has been found to be pretty unstable on quite a few peoples’ systems but not all of them. Shockwave has worked very hard on trying to figure out the problems. A patch has been released which will hopefully fix the stutters, the crashes, and the infamous English text error message that killed gameplay for a lot of people.
There are quite a few fixes and suggestions, some ranging from easy (a couple of type changes in a file), to some that are somewhat convoluted (installing from safe mode, do a hunt and kill on some files), to downright dangerous (turning off firewalls and antivirus software). If you have to resort to turning off vital computer functions to play this game, I suggest you take the game back. A reasonable irritation to get the thing running, like turning off some background apps, is fine, even recommended for most games, but if you have to turn off something that protects you from the badness in the world then it isn’t worth it.
I don’t want to harp too much on this but the crashes are a serious problem. Frankly I think that people will want to see if the patch solves these problems before considering the game. Initial reports do sound good although others report some problems after patching. It does run well for probably 75% of the population but for those 25% it has been a frustrating experience. Hopefully the patch will fix this.
I know they didn’t find this error on their computers and I do think they will get all these bugs fixed. Several people have found the fix to the bdg file has corrected a large number of English text errors while others have found the patch just released has improved the stuttering to a point to where it is tolerable.
One last limitation to comment on — I am sure most people know this already, but BoB2:WOV does not ship with a multiplayer component. Most people familiar with the first game remember that the multiplayer aspect of the game was broken at the outset. Shockwave decided early on that correcting the multiplayer aspect of the game was not going to happen in the allotted time and made the decision to leave out the multiplayer aspect of the game.
I have mixed feelings about this. While I respect Shockwave’s decision to leave out the multiplayer option in the face of insurmountable problems, I still find that any game released these days without a multiplayer option to be less than a full release. I slammed B-17II a few years ago for not having a multiplayer component and I have to be somewhat critical of Shockwave for releasing the game without the ability to fly online. I do give them points for at least being up front about it but any game that is released as a full priced product IMHO should be a full product. Without any way to play with friends or enemies the game feels slightly less than complete. Sorry, that is my opinion and I am sticking by it.