That old familiar ache in my shoulders had returned once again from having my arms up on my HOTAS for the entire hour. The great thing about flying helicopter sims is that you have to fly them the entire time. Sure, you can stick the autopilot on I suppose, but I generally do all the flying and I enjoy the “burn” after a long session. Add in a few human players on the server to coordinate with and you have a recipe for a long night of fun.
I ran full maximum graphics settings on the multiplayer server and I didn’t notice any difference in performance at all. As a matter of fact, you notice in the screenshot 5 shots above that the FPS counter was running and recording an FPS of 105 during that particular sequence. Generally the FPS though runs in the 30 to 50 range. There are some heavily wooded areas of the Taiwan map that dropped my FPS down to 10 for a short period. That wasn’t great, but if I had scaled back my graphics settings slightly I might have been able to raise that minimum number a bit. In any case, the low FPS only lasted about 90 seconds then I was back up in the 30 to 50 range.
I would caution that the relatively small amount of time that we have spent on the servers is probably not enough time to judge whether multiplayer connectivity has been improved or made more robust. We had intended to do much more thorough multiplayer testing, including more in depth server end testing, but our second reviewers copy of EE2 arrived [finally! -“guod”] a few days ago and much too late in the review process so we accomplished what we could. I am comfortable reporting that our multiplayer hours during our own testing and on the G2 servers has been quite fun, although occasionally running into (literally a wall in the sky!) a non-MP related bug can be a bit of a bummer. That said, blowing up things with people from all around the world in a massive campaign environment is a blast.
In conclusion, I am cautiously optimistic about EE2. There is no question that EE2, though it has better overall graphics than EECH, has a bit of work to get out from under the shadow of EECH’s success. It is my hope that sometime soon G2 will release some development tools for the modders to try their hands at. When I look at the improvements in the 3D models, vehicle textures, and the nice new lighting and explosion effects I can only wonder what the talented guys behind the modding of EECH will be capable of providing. If EE2 is opened up, we could see yet another decade of this sim being firmly a part of our helicopter sim landscape; I’ll be looking forward to that.
In closing I’d like to thank the members of the original Razorworks team for the legacy software that EE2 is based on. What your team did all those years ago continues to amaze and inspire people to build upon that solid foundation. I’d also like to name all of the modders that have contributed to the evolution of EECH (whose work directly led to EE2) but I know if I did that I’d leave someone’s name out and I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings (plus the list is really long!). Thank you all for your tireless work.
Multiplayer Reviewers System Specs
- Alienware Pentium 4, 3.4GHz
- 2 GB DDR2 SDRAM
- NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT PCI Express 256MB
- Saitek X52 Stick
- CH Products Pro Pedals
- NaturalPoint TrackIR4 PRO
- Windows XP Pro
- Intel E6700 Core 2 Duo Processor
- Asus motherboard
- ATI Radeon X1950XTX video card
- 2 GB DDR2 800 RAM
- WD Raptor HDD
- Audigy 2 sound card
- CH Products HOTAS
- Windows XP Pro
Note: For illustrative purposes some of the images in this article were cropped or marked on in order to highlight certain aspects of the software. All images were captured at 1280 x 1024 and were reduced in size and quality for bandwidth purposes.
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