Note: We've updated the article since working out some graphics and performance issues with the help of Playnet's PR. What you see below is the updated article. The key changes are that the game is now quite playable at high detail settings and doesn't suffer the sudden slowdowns we experienced. If you're curious where most of the help came from, it was in updating our VIA 4-in-1 drivers. We've also replaced all but the last 4 screenshots with new ones, to reflect the new graphics settings. The last 4 remain for comparison.
In preparation for this article I was reading my original review
of World War II Online. I was surprised to see how little had changed in 3 years. The interface is still atrocious. The graphics, while improved (particularly the trees and textures), still aren't anything to write home about. Fortunately the load times are much better, especially in relation to modern games which do have long load times. Yet despite this surprising lack of technical change, note what I said - I was surprised
What does that mean, exactly? Many of the original faults are still in the game yet the reviewer is surprised? Well, it just so happens that they don't really matter all that much. Three years ago I uninstalled World War II Online and lamented a good idea gone bad. Now I can barely force myself to write this article for fear of losing Maastricht to a British counter-offensive. (Sadly, this did happen and I'm currently in the process of re-capturing it).
Somewhere along the way, World War II Online got good. The game isn't so much better than it used to be because the graphics got some sprucing up or because of new weapons. It happened in the community. With all due respect to Cornered Rat Software and Playnet, who have kept with the game through thick and thin, developing new features, weapons and a whole new balance to the game - it's the players who make things happen.
Three years ago, the idea of getting a ride on a tank or in a truck, even with the new, excited, friendly community was a joke. In fact, it doesn’t seem like trucks were used all that much during the period of the original review. The situation in the game was very confused; players jumping from city to city, looking for a fight or a tank to spawn in rather than a boring session as infantry.
Now, it seems like everyone, this reviewer included, is in a squad. Those who aren't, are quickly invited in, or at least welcome to tag along and join public squad channels. Squads - at least Axis squads - are part of Kampfgruppes which are in turn a part of a division which belongs to Korps which is a component of an Armee which is under the control of the GHC/OKW. Scary and intimidating as all this sounds, it's all really rather informal. I routinely abandon my theater of operations in favor of fighting the French, just for variety.