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Hindsight 20/20?


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Guys, I just think we have seen CM rise from the grave. And I think it's was silly to pan Battlefront's Shock Force2 graphics last year given its overall gameplay. So many wargamers can't wait for the Cold War product. I am really happy for Battlefront. 

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16 minutes ago, kevinkin said:

The Wargamer.com comes to mind off the bat. And amateur reviewers over at Steam etc.. 

it didn’t help that the screenshots they use (CMFB, SF2 and now CW) were terrible quality. 
 

FWIW I think the graphics in CM are good for a sim. If I wanted to overhaul the looks I would start with the terrain, then add some more animations in. Beyond that I think it’s functional and even looks pretty good sometimes. 

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I think the reviews at The Wargamer.com will become very favorable with the release of Cold War. The public was craving for this game. And it looks like they spent a ton a money on the software. Look at the TOE. Bravo.

 

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16 minutes ago, IICptMillerII said:

it didn’t help that the screenshots they use (CMFB, SF2 and now CW) were terrible quality. 
 

FWIW I think the graphics in CM are good for a sim. If I wanted to overhaul the looks I would start with the terrain, then add some more animations in. Beyond that I think it’s functional and even looks pretty good sometimes. 

 

ehh... The art quality is fine for the kind of game it is, but there are definite rough spots, like vibrating models, severe clipping issues or just a really lackluster framerate. I've probably put 300+ hours into multiplayer Combat Mission games during coronavirus, so I say this as a big fan. Some pretty good looking "sim" type games have come out in the last few years, and Microprose is about to dump a couple more fine looking examples on us this year.

Edited by SgtHatred
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BFC was blindsided by the industry backing off support for OpenGL architecture. BFC has done about as well as OpenGL allows, graphics-wise. The 'pretty' games run off DirectX. Still, it seems the people who complain most about CM's look tend to play chess-board-style from a high elevation, which means they're looking down at LOD vehicles and ant-size infantry. 

Edited by MikeyD
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Graphics we are struggling with the real huge and large scenarios. I don't have problems if CM remains a simulator and not just another computer game. The pressure starts building up from customers who don't have the complete picture of what the game is all about. Just watch some of the clickfest AAR on YouTube. They are skilled in recording the game and that's where it stops. 

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wargamer.com has become just another of the 5 or 6 N network outlets for search engine optimisation (or "creating online communities" if you want). Generic articles are written on anything vaguely resembling a wargame, which look and read like product placement.

Computer wargame reviews are dead but for Tim Stone's Tally-ho Corner, and a few blogs (Max Chee, chelco, etc.). 

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13 hours ago, MikeyD said:

BFC was blindsided by the industry backing off support for OpenGL architecture. BFC has done about as well as OpenGL allows, graphics-wise. The 'pretty' games run off DirectX. Still, it seems the people who complain most about CM's look tend to play chess-board-style from a high elevation, which means they're looking down at LOD vehicles and ant-size infantry. 

Wow, this is radically false. Combat Mission is absolutely not the best that can be done with OpenGL. Hell, Doom 2016 runs on OpenGL, and I think any rational person would say that Doom 2016 is superior to Combat Mission graphics-wise.

OpenGL's death has been expected for a decade now, so I hope BFC wasn't too blindsided by that. Still, as long as you aren't foolish enough to chain yourself into Apple's ecosystem you will be able to use your OpenGL software for years and years to come.

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13 hours ago, MikeyD said:

BFC has done about as well as OpenGL allows, graphics-wise

This is where you are completely wrong. I guess you never played a game outside the wargaming industry...

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14 hours ago, MikeyD said:

BFC was blindsided by the industry backing off support for OpenGL architecture

They shouldn't have been.  There were a number of people on the boards warning in the mid-2000s that OpenGL was a dying standard.  You could see it in the quality of the AMD and nVidia drivers and the announcements coming from those companies.  

They were blind-sided by the evolving libraries in OpenGL.  They were trying to cater to older Macs and PCs.  And again, they shouldn't have been.  They made the decision to continue supporting already outdated libraries and most likely had good reason to think the future would be kind to them.  X-plane kept evolving with OpenGL until recently and had some pretty good luck with it from a graphics perspective.  But they held on too long also.  Now they are going through what BFC will have to go through to get any further with a new engine.

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Just for completeness...

https://www.wargamer.com/combat-mission/games

That's a pretty fair review.  Granted its not just CMSF2, but it gets coverage.  Very positive for wargamers, but dinged on the old patching process and average at best graphics.  I think that probably hits close to the truth.

I'm not sure there will be any crow eating from that review.  I would expect the writer to be excited about CMCW, with the same comments about graphics.

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21 hours ago, kevinkin said:

 And I think it's was silly to pan Battlefront's Shock Force2 graphics last year given its overall gameplay.

Hopefully few agree. One aspect should not be given a pass based on the quality of other aspects, nor should it be elevated for the same reason.

Each should be judged on its own merits. I can believe that spotting and ballistics are top-notch while thinking graphics are underwhelming. And I would say so, and hope others do too when offering their assessment. Any notion of not being critical of graphics because of the overall package is misleading and not what I want from honest reviews and opinions.

The reaction on these boards to Combat Mission hitting the mainstream last year was something to see. Like the neighbor's fence came down and now everyone can see the wash hanging out to dry.

Edited by landser
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I just checked 5-6 reviews that showed up on google search.  Most of them mentioned outdated and below average graphics, but only in passing.  All seemed to  have very positive reviews about CMSF2's gameplay and authenticity.  That seemed to dominate the reviews.

Edited by Thewood1
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I have learned to ignore Google search if I like an objective review. Average graphics? in FOW you don't get a crystal-clear view. Engine 4 is struggling with 4kmx4km master maps according to map making enthousiasts. The people to take objective advice from. Players, Beta Testers and last but not least the people who tackle the editor effectively.  

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2 hours ago, chuckdyke said:

Average graphics?

Yes, average graphics, as in:

  • Awful fog rendering
  • The worst-looking shadows I've seen in any game
  • Plowed fields that give a moire effect when viewed from certain angles
  • High-detail texture and terrain object rendering that stops way shorter than it should for those with high-end systems
  • Nonexistent proper 4K resolution support

None of those things have anything to do with Fog of War. Yes, the gameplay is still great, but the graphics are definitely lagging behind in certain areas.

Edited by LukeFF
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Graphics ( and indeed, much in the way of flavour objects and other "clutter" ) could be better, but I appreciate the emphasis on the fidelity of the simulation. :)  

And modders can make a big difference as this pic shows ( posted by someone else here )

Mod alters.jpg

Edited by Baneman
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Probably not OpenGL-related but "zig-zag" roads kills the graphics experience a lot for me. There is a huge difference if you play the game at camera level 3-4 and 1-2 where the game can truly shine. I will always appreciate gameplay over graphics but I would sure like a revamp of a lot of graphics. I must say that the stock graphics have improved a lot since BN was released so there is still room to eek out more from the current state of things.

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