Aces High II Public Beta
Right now, this looks to be the “gold standard” of future online flight simulations that will be able to use TrackIR. Some games like Warbirds III and WW2 Online have some mouselook capabilities, but AHII looks to have this capability enabled by default. Some of the features of AHII, like the ability to actually change position relative to the cockpit make looking outside of your aircraft a lot easier, and the ability to pan the cockpit via the mouse at the same time will enhance the effects of the game.
The biggest aggravation with the mouse emulation is the interference you get with the interface. Enhanced mode allows you to use the mouse in non-flight modes so you can access different menus without having to keep your head completely still. Trying to just click on the runway or selecting a loadout for your aircraft right now is difficult with the straight mouse emulation mode. Slight movements of your head cause the cursor to move just enough to keep you from staying on the correct button for selection. While not a major gripe, it is irritating, and makes you spend more time with the interface than you would ultimately want.
Within the game the device works fine. In some respects the AHII cockpit setup works in a superior manner with the TrackIR2. AHII has not only the ability to pan the cockpit but to move yourself around within the virtual cockpit to get a better position. This basically means that by using a hat switch (to map the “in-cockpit” reposition changes) you can pretty much make “seeing” in the cockpit a much more virtual experience.
The original Aces High supports mouselook via a complicated manner, but I could never get the thing to work properly, so I can’t recommend it with any current online-only flight sim. I have a friend that uses his regularly online, and swears by it for the original Aces High, but I couldn’t get any view other than the seat — no matter how I tried to configure it.
As I said earlier, there are some difficulties with the interface… most notably when in the cockpit. If you are in the cockpit and try to bring up something with the mouse, you tend to pan all over the place, which is very disorienting. This is not exclusive to the TrackIR but is a mouse related problem that HTC hasn’t corrected yet. I won’t get too much into it since this is a game very early in beta.
Still it shows potential problems with flight sims that have the ability to use mouselook and have clickable functions in the cockpit.