Installation and Setup
Unlike most games I have played, War in the Pacific did not come on a CD. One of the newer things to come out is the digital download. Upon purchasing the game you are directed to download the game. You get a unique code which must be put in before the game installs. This is similar to the codes companies like EA make people provide and adds protection against piracy (well, supposedly). You have the opportunity to purchase a CD with the download, or just get the CD shipped to you. Since the download was close to 600 megs overall, people with dial-up connections probably will opt for the CD to be sent.
There is a lot of grumbling over people having to purchase a CD separately and in all honesty I have to agree with them; especially when you consider the cost of the game. WitP is not a cheap game; the last I saw it was still seventy dollars. I am not really griping about the price, I think that a game of this scope probably should cost a little more but for that price I do think a 38 cent CD and the postage to mail it to you should have been included. Call me cheap if you want but for seventy bucks they could have thrown in the cost of a CD and price of media mailing it to me.
Installation is a breeze. After putting in my CD code (heh) the game installed without a hitch and I was up and running. I decided to install the updates for the game to make sure that everything was good to go. I know that the original game had some difficulties with Win98 and ME users but this seems to have been corrected with the later versions. I am running version 1.4 of the game. Most patches have been order of battle (oob) fixes and some changes in the upgrade paths of certain aircraft. I understand there will be more in the future updates of the game.
One problem I have with the patches is the requirement to put in the activation code for every patch that comes with the game. I have never had to do this with a patch before and the need to look for my purchase information every time I update the game is somewhat irritating. It is a minor gripe but one I am sure others have had. I don’t know if Matrix is doing this with all their other games but they should remedy this problem, a patch IMHO shouldn’t require a re-verification of purchase.
The game allows for a wide variety of realism in the setup of the game. Hard core gamers can set this sucker up to play with full fog of war, historic ship and aircraft replacement times, real Japanese sub doctrine (Japanese sub skippers generally didn’t attack merchantmen, it was considered un-warriorlike), realistic US damage control, plus a historic first start to the war.
Fifteen different scenarios come with the game. The scenarios range from relatively simple learning style missions to mini-campaigns that simulate the major campaigns of the war. The final scenarios are the meat of the game, the Grand Campaigns, which deal with the entire war, from beginning (or starting at strategic times during the war) to the end.